Nester's Funky Bowling

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Nester's Funky Bowling
Nester's Funky Bowling Coverart.png
Box art
Developer(s) Saffire Corporation
Nintendo IRD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Virtual Boy
  • NA: February 26, 1996
Genre(s) Sports (Bowling)
Mode(s) Single-player
Multiplayer (up to two players)

Nester's Funky Bowling is a bowling video game developed by Saffire Corporation and published by Nintendo for the Virtual Boy handheld game console. It was only released in North America on February 26, 1996, and it was the second-last game released for the system before it was discontinued. Players control Nester, a character from the Nintendo Power comics, or his twin sister Hester, as they compete to see who is superior. It features standard bowling mechanics and rules, encouraging players to get 300 pins. It has three modes of play - Bowling, Challenge, and Practice, all three supporting one or two players.

It has received generally mixed reception; while some found it to be a poor or average game, such as IGN and GamePro, others were more forgiving, toting it as a quality game compared to other titles in the Virtual Boy library, such as Nintendo Power and Allgame. Its graphics received some recognition, though it was faulted for its lack of a save function and lack of game modes. Tips & Tricks gave it a five out of 10 in terms of rarity.


Gameplay of Nester's Funky Bowling. It features the Virtual Boy's trademark red and black visuals.

Nester's Funky Bowling was developed by Saffire Corporation and published by Nintendo for the Virtual Boy handheld game console. It was released exclusively in North America on February 26, 1996.[1] Players control Nester, a character from the Nintendo Power magazine's comic section, or his twin sister Hester, as they attempt to prove their superiority over one another. Like all other Virtual Boy games, Nester's Funky Bowling uses a red-and-black color scheme and uses parallax, an optical trick that is used to simulate a 3D effect.[2] There are four ranks that are achieved based on their score, which is based on normal bowling rules - the ranks are Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Pro. Players may adjust their character in order to hit it how they like, such as using pins ricocheting or bouncing in order to knock more down.

There are three modes of play, all of which can be played by one or two players. These include Bowling, Challenge, and Practice. In Bowling, players play a standard game of bowling. In Challenge, players must knock down all of the pins that appear with only once chance to do so as the pin set-ups become increasingly difficult. Players are given more points for knocking all of the pins down depending on the difficulty of the shot. In Practice, players may choose from 28 different pin variations. When playing with another player, players pass the Virtual Boy back and forth in between turns.


It has received generally mixed reception. Author Andy Slaven noted it as the quintessential bowling game for the Virtual Boy.[3] Nintendo Life's Dave Frear called it a decent game due in part to the two player mode; however, he criticized its lack of a save function or additional game modes.[4] IGN's Craig Harris noted it as a 3D game that Nintendo hoped gamers would purchase, but ultimately didn't.[5] Fellow IGN writer Lucas M. Thomas called it a "stinker".[6] GameSpy's Luke McKinney commented that the Virtual Boy's library consisting of "almost five percent" bowling games was a poor decision.[7] Allgame's Scott Alan Marriott called it a fun game for the Virtual Boy, praising the graphics but bemoaning the lack of replay value due to few modes of play and no save function.[8] The Daily Gazette's Tony Brusgul suggested players looking for a bowling game play it on a different system, citing the eye pain incurred from playing.[9]

GamePro called it "challenging and fun at first", but found that it wore off over time. They felt that the graphics improved the game, though adding that it became repetitive over time.[citation needed] In their preview, Nintendo Power commented that while it may seem like it would take liberties with the game, it stays true to the gameplay.[citation needed] Their review praised it for its gameplay, calling it "solid", as well as its modes of play; however, they criticized the two player mechanic, calling the method awkward. It was an editor's pick for Nintendo Power editors Scott, Dan, and Henry.[citation needed] They named it one of the top games released for the platform.[10] Joystiq's Eric Caoili bemoaned that Nester's Funky Bowling was only released on the Virtual Boy.[11] Wired's Chris Kohler commented that Nester's Funky Bowling had become more valuable over time.[12] Tips & Tricks ranked it a five out of 10 in terms of rarity.[citation needed] Official Nintendo Magazine called it an average bowling game.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Search:. "Nester's Funky Bowling Release Information for VirtualBoy". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  2. ^ "Backwards Compatible: The Virtual Boy". ABC Good Game. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  3. ^ Video Game Bible, 1985-2002 - Google Books. 2004-01-16. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  4. ^ "Nester's Funky Bowling (Retro) review". 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  5. ^ Craig Harris (2010-07-15). "Legacy Games for Nintendo 3DS - DS Feature at IGN". Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  6. ^ "IGN: Urban Champion". Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  7. ^ "Videogame System Swansongs - Page 1". GameSpy. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  8. ^ Alan, Scott (2010-10-03). "Nester's Funky Bowling - Review". allgame. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  9. ^,3972126&dq=virtual-boy+wario-land&hl=en
  10. ^ "Virtual Boy Top 5". Nintendo Power (82). March 1996. p. 8. 
  11. ^ Caoili, Eric (2008-06-29). "Promotional Consideration: Nester's return". Joystiq. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  12. ^ Previous post Next post (2010-08-13). "Virtual Boy, Nintendo's Big 3-D Flop, Turns 15 | GameLife". Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  13. ^