Multi­bowl runs on a Win­dows PC with two USB game controllers and the best CRT emu­la­tion MAME can of­fer – scan­lines, screen dis­tor­tion and all. It boots with an au­dio sam­ple from pin­ball ta­ble Tales Of The Ara­bian Nights, ex­claim­ing the game’s name (a play on the sam­ple’s bom­bas­tic pro­nun­ci­a­tion of ‘multi­ball’). Ran­domly se­lected at­tract-mode an­i­ma­tions cy­cle for the start screen, while sound ef­fects from

Pa­per­boy serve for count­down and event noises. In our ses­sion we’re treated to In­ter­na­tional Karate (C64) and Star Con­trol II (Mega Drive) via Su­perBomber­man, Gold­enAxe and Su­per Street Fighter IITurbo. While the quick-step nostal­gia pro­vides plenty of cheers, the sur­pris­ingly nu­anced strate­gies that emerge when un­fa­mil­iar games ap­pear make for real laughs, al­beit quite of­ten as a re­sult of in­com­pe­tence.

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