VETRHUS of Rogaland
An ash I know, Yggdrasil its name. With water white is the great tree wet; thence come the dews that fall in the dales. Green by Urth's well does it ever grow.
As you may know, Milwaukee (Wisconsin, USA) is a city with a storied bowling tradition. Happy Days, and Laverne & Shirley did well to foster that notion as TV sitcoms twenty years ago.
So, it was no surprise that I found a bowling dice game at a local thrift store. The box was nondescript, but the dice were of high quality, and as a d20 gamer, I love the unusual die... so I bought it for .49 USD.
The mechanism is simple. Two die to roll as your first "ball." After which your results determine whether you roll again, and which die of the two remaining dice to roll.
If you roll as strike you record it. (Scoring is exactly in the same format as true bowling) If not, you either rolled a split or better. If you rolled a split, you roll a lower percentage die in an attempt to pick up your spare.
From the start, I found it enjoyable--for a game of chance. It does simulate my bowling game--also a game of chance, lacking skill or strategy.
As a solo game, played to pass the time on a trip, or in a hotel room on the road, I like it. I visualize the pins in my head as I roll the colored dice. And, the bowling scoring sheets make it feel slightly authentic.
Of course, the game is not a good simulation for true bowling. It lacks any component which would account for skill or improvement of the "bowler." And, if I do not pick up a spare, the die reads OPEN, which means, in essence, that I threw a gutterball. Especially when faced with a split, I will try for one or two pins showing and at least get something to record other than a dash on the scoresheet.
That said, the colored dice, the whimsy, and my Milwaukee bias toward anything nostalgic make this an enjoyable game of chance. It helps that the maker is from the midwest as well, and lists his full name and address on my box.
In some ways it is a tiny metaphor for the Midwestern United States: simple, honest, and black & white--with a dash of color for contrast. Not to bad, aina, der hey?