You'll find plenty of elves in Elf Bowling 1 & 2, but not much in the way of bowling. In fact, both of the games on this budget-priced Nintendo DS game card are so devoid of gameplay, fun, and flair that you'd be equally entertained by just tapping the stylus on the screen while the system is off.
Elf Bowling originally came to life as a freeware PC game back in 1999. It involves Santa, as the bowler, and his elves, who have been turned into bowling pins after complaining about working conditions at the North Pole. You have to try to knock down the elves, but the elves will do their best to distract you. Elf Bowling 2: Elves in Paradise came out the following year. It isn't a bowling game, but rather a shuffleboard game with the elves doubling as pucks.
Both games look similar to their PC counterparts, which isn't a surprise since there are literally hundreds of thousands of free Flash games out there with snazzier presentations and more-intricate designs. Each game has one flat 2D background. In Elf Bowling, the upper screen shows the elves in a close-up view, while the bottom screen displays the lane, Santa, and his trusty bowling ball. The ball moves down the lane with no animation whatsoever, but the elves in the upper screen are cutely drawn and sometimes do wacky things like flash their bare butts at Santa. There's slightly more animation in Elf Bowling 2, with Santa tugging on the elves' thong underpants to propel them spinning down the lane. Once in a while, the elves will bump into one another or fall off the edge of the boat and land with a surprised look in the mouth of a shark.
As for the audio, both games feature some elfish screams and naughty spoken-word comebacks along the lines of "Those all the balls you got, Santa?" Elf Bowling doesn't have any background music, but its sequel has a short mambo tune that plays before each bowling attempt.
Quizzically, although both games resemble the original PC versions, a number of animations and sound effects have been removed. In Elf Bowling, the ball no longer makes noise while rolling down the lane. In Elf Bowling 2, there's no longer a coin toss at the beginning, there are fewer elf animations, and the formerly smooth scaling effect now looks choppy and uneven. Those cutbacks are tough to stomach considering how minimalist the original games were.