Commodore User1st November 1986
Published in Commodore User #39
As you will all know, there has not yet been a decent darts game on the C64. Many have tried. All have failed. Why? Well, how can you simulate that sinking feeling of hitting the wire surrounding the treble twenty? Or could it be that the refreshments your computer has to offer are considerably inferior to those of your local.
Mastertronic have decided to ignore any doubts gamers might have and hence have produced 180.
There are three games that you can play, the first is a practice mode "Around the clock". You must hit all the numbers in order before sixty seconds runs out. In order to shoot, you must guide an animated hand across the screen using only the diagonals, and then press Fire to shoot over the required number so as to simulate the trickiness. [Bernie - the bolt! - Ed]
The two-player mode is just straightforward 501. The first one to get down to zero wins, but you must finish on a double.
The main game involves you entering a darts tournament in the semi-finals and you must face one of the eight opponents that Mastertronic have provided. Waiting to get up to the 'ockey are Mega Mick, Beer Belly Bill (take note Smithy!), Delboy Des, Devious Dave, Sure Shot Sid, Limp-wrist Larry, and Tactical Ted. Each one is uniquely drawn. Beer Belly Bill is the overweight Jockey Wilson type you might expect him to be, whereas Tactical Ted is more of the slimline Keith Deller type.
You must play your opponent the best of three legs at 501 until it is decided whether you go on to the next round and a new opponent - if your next stop is the bar!
If and when you finally manage to reach the final, you will now face the creme de la creme, the Diego Maradona of the darting world, the ultimate, Jammy Jim. The only man who gets a nine dart finish every game and he makes me sick.
A bit of toughness is alright in a game, but I don't like it when it gets boring. Who wants to play against someone who gets the same score every game that he plays, especially when it's 180? Jim's name should surely have been Nauseating Nick!
One of the game's best touches is the way the C64 announces "Wun hundredd and eightee!" every time you get the big one up. A pity they didn't squeeze a bit more sound in.
M.A.D. have certainly stuck their necks out here, and have produced what now stands as the best darts game on the C64, the graphics are quite nice and there's some good effects.
Darts is a strange game to play on the computer, but you'll find it makes a lot less holes in the living room wall. And this game's a real bonus for those of you lousy at sums. Do your parents a favour - buy it.