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Video Game / Elf Bowling

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The box art of the DS port.

Elf Bowling is a series of freeware bowling games for PC. The original Elf Bowling was originally released in 1998 by NStorm for PC, with the second game being released in 2000. A compilation of the first two games called Elf Bowling 1 & 2 was developed by Black Lantern Software, published by Ignition Entertainment, and released in 2005 for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, to notorious negative reception.

The first game has you play as Santa Claus. Santa is apparently quite the bowler, and he is quite willing to use those whiny, snickering, union elves as bowling pins.

The second game has Santa and the Elves on a cruise ship heading to an island adventure. Santa's good-for-nothing brother Dingle Kringle joins up with them. This game is a strange shuffleboard tournament, and the elves are being used as the pucks.

A Direct to Video movie based on the games, called Elf Bowling the Movie: The Great North Pole Elf Strike was released in 2007. No, really.

The game series contains examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The elves will hold a sign that says, "Santa Sux!"
  • Asshole Victim: In the third game, you can knock out Dingle for a full round with a thrown elf as he attempts to ice up a landing target.
  • Bad Santa: The player character, in a way. His elves go on strike on Christmas Eve and his first reaction is to grab his bowling ball and use them for pins.
  • Easter Egg:
    • With the correct timing, it's possible to squash the frog that hops across the lane and bean the reindeer with a gutterball.
    • In one that doubles as a Shout-Out, if you mouse over three of the pictures in the developer menu in quick succession, it will play the famous "Stop Poking Me!" sound clip from Warcraft.
  • Fake Difficulty: In the first game, on occasion, the frontmost elf in the alley may randomly sidestep the bowling ball as it comes at him. This can deny the player a strike or a spare. This also makes getting a perfect score pretty much impossible as if you're scoring nothing but strikes, it will inevitably happen sooner or later, turning the strike into a spare.
  • I Shall Taunt You:
    • The elves do this, constantly.
    • Surprisingly averted on occasion, such as in the second game, where landing an elf in a high-scoring spot on the deck will cause the elf in question to say "That was a good one!"
  • Is That the Best You Can Do?: If you fail to take out all ten elves with two balls, one of them will say "Is that all the balls you got, Santa?"
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The elves in the first game do this every time a ball is rolled at them. They do not, however, actually flee.
  • Mooning: The elves will do this to Santa after a game is finished, or even in the middle of a frame.
    Elliott: Hey, Santa. (all the elves turn around, drop their pants, and laugh) Who's your daddy?
  • Off with His Head!: In the first game, the head-grasping mechanism used to set the elves into place will occasionally fail with one of them, fruitlessly tugging a few times before departing with the elf's head. Somehow, it reattaches when the elf is picked up again.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: The first game is set at the North Pole; the second game is set on a tropical cruise.
  • Serial Escalation: In the second game, the weather conditions rocking the deck side to side escalate from relative calm up to "Hurricane NStorm" with each successive round.
  • Shout-Out: The elves will sometimes sing "Elf, elf, baby!" after a game.
  • Third Is 3D: Elf Bowling 3 went beyond the 2-D hijinks of the first two games to have the player catapulting elves at a series of distant targets using a comically oversized bra.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • A reindeer will sometimes walk along the alley and defecate on it, not to mention the elves mooning.
    • In the first game, Elliott the elf is propelled into the air by the force of his own flatulence. Then the surrounding elves comment on it, laugh at him, and hold their noses until the ball comes at them.
      (Elliott farts loudly)
      Other Elf: Hey, Elliott farted!
      (other elves laugh and hold their noses while Elliott blushes)
    • In the second game, occasionally an elf that comes to a stop will break wind, exclaim "Clear the deck!", and then laugh.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: This is more or less the premise.
    • In the first game, it is possible to run over a frog or rabbit wandering onto the alleyway, if the bowl is timed and aimed right. This has no effect on the score. The player can also knock out the aforementioned visiting reindeer with a gutterball at the extreme end of the range closest to where the deer is standing, sending the ball flying out of the gutter onto the reindeer's head. Needless to say, this does involve losing part of one's score.
    • In the second game, it is virtually encouraged to knock opposing elves off of the deck to drop the opponent's score. Going off the sides is not too bad, as the elves simply land on a lower deck, but going off of the aft end of the deck knocks them straight into the jaws of a waiting shark.
    • In the third game, a thrown elf can knock out a polar bear walking to or from a landing target. You still lose the elf, but the bear cannot consume any further elves for the rest of the round.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: In the second game, on occasion, an elf being lifted up from the party going on belowdecks will have his swimsuit catch on a piece of the mechanism and snap, leaving a pixelated blur in its place. It doesn't last long, though, as the swimsuit reappears for the player to use in flinging the elf down the deck.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The elves will hold up a sign that says, "Santa Sux!" as opposed to "Santa Sucks!".

Alternative Title(s): Elf Bowling One And Two