Bowling is a single or two player game, which emulates the sport on the Atari 2600. The bowling lane is shown in a top-down view, though the bowler is represented in profile for clarity.
As play begins, the player can adjust the bowler's starting position on the lane. Once situated, the ball is released with the fire button. In the basic difficulty mode, the ball can then be controlled with the joystick as it rolls down the alley. In another mode, once the ball is "curved" or moved in one direction, it cannot be re-adjusted. The final mode offers no control once the ball is released, so the player must correctly align the bowler before the initial roll. Each mode has a two-player variant for a total of six play modes.
A brief celebration occurs when a player scores a spare, and a slightly longer one occurs with a strike. Additionally, there is a celebration for the winning player. Scoring is kept in the traditional bowling format, with ten frames each, and a maximum possible score of 300.