My son got this from an uncle for his 5th birthday. It was very easy to assemble, takes 3 "C" batteries, packaged very well (twist ties, did not need scissors to unpackage). Visually, it is really stunnning, the color scheme and particularly the lights along the back/side are very nicely chosen. It is pleasant to look at. The metal balls you use are interesting, slightly smaller than marbles, seem somewhat magnetic (?) (when put near each other, they seemed to move toward each other -- you could play with the eight metal balls alone and have fun without the rest of the toy).
It took me about 5 minutes to assemble. The only downside is that you need a little screw driver to unscrew the battery case. I always find that annoying. Even worse, the tiny screw fell completely out and I had to pick it up off the floor. Not a big deal, but it is so small it could fall between floor boards and be lost forever. When battery cases do have these kind of screws, I always prefer it if they make them so that the screw cannot come all the way out. However, that is a small issue.
It has a real "wow" factor in terms of being a cool miniature version of those bowling games at Chuck E. Cheeze or carnival type places where you roll the ball into a hole, and with the lights and sounds it makes to reward you if you get a good shot. The spring action is good and the holes are all makeable (it is very tricky, but you can hit the 100 point hole).
The ball-return works reasonably well. My 3 and 5 year old both could play this after a little instruction with no (or very little) supervision. It kept them entertained for some time. The scoring might help teach them math. The aiming and spring mechanism might teach them about planning and physics.
Overall, a very well-done product, simple concept realized with beauty. I do wonder if the stickers on the lane (that make the plastic look like a wood) will stay down, or will come up over time. I see a bit of ripple here and there that makes me think the glue job might not be the best, and I'll keep an eye on that and re-glue if something starts coming up.
The lane is basically three pieces. The first part with the spring-loaded shooter. The spring shooter seems well-designed. The two parts that form the lane have a slight gap, less than 1/8th of an inch, but is not perfectly flush. That also may be something I need to watch. However, the slight off-set did not prevent us from playing with it and scoring in the various holes. I think for China to mass produce these for sale in the USA at a price point under $40 (which is what I'm seeing online), you cannot expect perfection.
It may be the best way to bring a little of that "Chuck E Cheeze Parlour Game" feel into your home. I know I personally am going to save the box and packaging material because it feels like the kind of game that kids nowadays, when grown up, will recall and say, "Why don't they make games like that anymore?" and it may have some value. So, I kind of view it as a potential "heirloom" toy despite being made mostly of plastic and in China.
It is nice for kids to have a physical toy they can play with as an alternative to video games that shows them physics and is interactive like this. I do think it needs to be owned by some one willing to take care of things, as the eight metal balls smaller than marbles could be easily lost (little kids would like to walk away with things like this, in my experience).
I have not paid a lot of attention to the actual scoring done by the electronics. I think it makes a lot of noise for getting 10 points and 20 points, but it did not make much noise when my son got the ball in the 50 point hole. It seems lik 90% of the time, the shooter will get it in 10, 20 or zero, so maybe they opted for more noise for the more common holes, it just strikes me as a bit counterintuitive. You'd think you'd have a bigger sound / light explosion for the higher points, but the kids don't seem to mind and so I don't think this is a big deal.