THE TIME TRIP
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.