Originally programmed for the Commodore 64 by American software house Access (Leaderboard, Raid Over Moscow), Tenth Frame was converted to the Spectrum by US Gold in March 1987. As the name suggests Tenth Frame simulates the sport of ten-pin bowling.
Two types of bowling can be selected: team bowling involves competition between teams of up to four players, while open bowling allows single players of different abilities to compete with each other on an equal basis, by using the skill level option.
The bowling alley is shown in vanishing point 3-D perspective, with ten pins at the back. The bowler appears at the front and can be manoeuvred left and right. Once the bowler is correctly placed then a marker must be positioned halfway down the alley. This is used to aim the ball. Then it's time to set the power and straightness of the shot, using a Leaderboard-style speed and hook gauge. Each player is allowed two attempts at the ten pins, with the aim of knocking down as many as possible for a high score.
Ten-pin bowling sounds an unlikely sport to be represented by computer, and unfortunately Tenth Frame proves it to be unsuitable - the game just fails to impress. For fans only, even at £2.99. Just far too easy!