Bowling Spin (ボウリングスピン Bouringusupin?) is a sub-boss that appears in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Bowling Spin is encountered in the end of Carnival Night Zone Act 1. To defeat the sub-boss, the player has to make its spinning top attachment hit the mecha four times.
Bowling Spin is hovering mecha created by Dr. Eggman, that has green and grey colored metallic skin and small lamps on the top. It also has spinning top attachment below, that functions as a floating platform with set of spikes spinning on the border.
The Bowling Spin is encountered in an elevator room with a floor made of yellow-and-green blocks that descend down a vertical tunnel. After landing in the arena, the Bowling Spin releases its twirling spike-covered top that will bounce around the room and destroy the yellow-and-green blocks on the floor upon contact with them. The rest of the mecha will hover from side to side all the time and will only stop when hit by the player. The spinning top also acts as a platform, while the player has to avoid the bottom part and the spikes on the platform.
The player has limited time to defeat the Bowling Spin, as the spinning top will eventually destroy the whole floor, leaving the player to fall to his/hers death. To compensate for the limited time, the Bowling Spin is weaker than the other mini-bosses in the game and only has to be struck four times rather than six. However, the player cannot damage the Bowling Spin directly. After hitting the Bowling Spin once, the tube on its bottom will extend and surround it with an electric field that will hurt the player if he/she touches it. At this point, the player has to let the spinning top land a hit on it.
After the Bowling Spin has been defeated by hitting it four times, the arena floor will reach the bottom of the vertical tunnel and the signpost will drop from the top of the screen. At this point, Sonic can fall down through any gaps that may have opened up in the floor at this point or be crushed by the rest of the blocks that are coming down due to the Bowling Spin leaving uneven holes between the blocks.
Knuckles' battle against Bowling Spin is identical in locked-on version of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. However, in this version, Knuckles enters to the elevator from his own pathway in the Zone. During the battle, Knuckles is unable to climb on the elevator room's walls and depending how long the battle lasts, the player has to use the Bowling Spin's spinning top to reach the Bowling Spin in order to hit it due Knuckles' low jumping height.
- The Bowling Spin's ability to destroy the floor of the battle arena is heavily reminiscent of the boss battle of the Spring Yard Zone in original Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Strangely, a Lightning Shield does not protect the character from hitting the electric field that forms around the tube on the bottom of the boss (the shield is lost as soon as such a hit is sustained).
- Spin Jumping up into the Spinning Top from below forces it upwards.
- After both versions of the battle, when signpost falls to the bottom ground, hidden monitors (Super Ring, Water Shield and Lightning Shield) can be found in the center part of the ground.
- At the end of the battle, if the player remains crouching, the signpost will fall below through the ground.