Zzap1st December 1986
Published in Zzap #20
Mastertronic's latest release offers you the chance to play darts against one of eight computer opponents or a human player. Both games are played under professional rules - starting from 501, each player takes a turn at throwing three darts at the board in an attempt to be the first to reduce their score to zero.
When playing the game, you are given control of a dart-wielding hand which wobbles around in front of the dart board. By moving the hand to the required position and pressing the fire button, the dart is thrown. The longer you keep your finger on the fire button, the harder the throw and the higher up the board the dart will land. All scoring is done automatically, but it's up to you to decide the best way to finish the game.
The single player game is played over three sets and each set is the best of three games. Once you have thrown, the screen changes to show your adversary taking his turn at throwing his darts. His score is then taken from his total and it's your turn again. If you manage to beat your opponent, you go on to the semi finals, played in similar fashion. Then, if you're really good, it's onto the finals and the nine dart finishes.
Fortunately, the option to practice is available if the going proves too tough. There's no opponent to worry about in the practice game, only a time limit you are given one minute to hit each number on the dart board in descending order, twenty through to one.
I always thought a computer version of darts was a waste of time - after all, a board and a packet of cheapo darts hardly costs more than yer average computer game. Still, Mastertronic have decided to have a crack at the rather dubious darts market and have come up with a surprisingly good product. 180 is a real giggle of a game with very nice graphics and some really neat tunes. The game plays very well and although the hand wobbles about a fair bit, with practice you can move it to the right place and throw your darts on target well, most of the time.
My only gripe with this game is the computer players. On many occasions my opponent shot a nine dart 501 to wipe me out!!! Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable program, especially when you consider the two player aspect of the game. 180 is a must for those who are too lazy to walk from the 'oche to the darts board to retrieve their arrows.
I hate darts - it's even more banal than football or snooker. However, much to my surprise, I found 180 great fun to play, especially with a human opponent. It won't enthrall for any great length of time and I wouldn't consider it to be an essential purchase, but for only three quid, 180 is worth a second look.
This is exactly what a darts game should be: great fun with a lot of excitement thrown in for good measure. The sound is good, especially the soft thud as a dart lands in the board. The digitised speech announcing 'one hundred and eighty' isn't too bad either. The choice of three variations on a game of darts is good, and the two player mode comes in handy for an alternative practice mode. I like 180 immensely and have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who fancies a quick game of arrows.
Sufficient instructions and a one or two player option.
Well-drawn dart board and hand, but the other graphics are a bit on the naff side.
A couple of Dave Whittaker tunes jolly along the proceedings.
The computer players are tough, and the two player option provides some long term appeal.
Value For Money 76%
Plenty of cheap thrills to be had.
Far from outstanding, but good fun.