Arcade Darts is an impressive addition to the collection of minis on the store; it has 3D graphics, unlockable items and there’s a full career mode and even multiplayer to play through. Icon Games Entertainment have set out to create a fantastic replica of the real game of darts, and this hits the bullseye. Unfortunately, a few fatal flaws plague this otherwise robust game.
After starting up Arcade Darts and choosing one of 20 characters, you’ll find yourself in the main menu. There’s plenty to choose from here; an arcade mode, where you battle through single matches against computer controller players; a full career mode with multiple tournaments, that has you competing to become a pro; and even a multiplayer mode, with each player taking alternate turns on the same system. There’s also options to set up single matches or tournaments for a quick game, or you can hone your skills in the practice mode. Throughout these modes, you can play 6 different game types, such as 501, Around the Clock or Cricket.
The gameplay is really simple, to aim you use the stick to select an area with the reticule (although this moves about, so it isn’t always completely accurate), you then have to press X at the right time so the dart flies straight, and finally, you have to press X again to set the power to make sure it flies in to the dartboard at the right height. The darts can fly perfectly, or sometimes they even bounce back from the dartboard. Though these controls aren’t always accurate, you can simply press circle to go back and readjust any of these stages, which is put in place to prevent players from messing up, but this can easily be exploited, resulting in accurate shots every time and this flaw takes away the challenge from the game.
If you enjoy the game of darts and understand it well, you’ll feel right at home as you play through the modes and you’ll soon unlock everything. However, if you’re not sure how some of the modes work, you’ll be stuck, as there’s no tutorial for first time players and you’ll probably find yourself having to look it up. Once you have got the hang of things, battling through the same modes will be fun at first, but it soon becomes repetitive and stale; There’s only so much you can do with a dartboard. Unlocking the additional dartboard and dart designs is enjoyable, this acts as a form of in-game trophies that we rarely see in minis titles.
Arcade Darts looks good, though there are no character models. The unique venues look great and are fully 3D, and the variety of darts and dartboards are detailed well, with the scoreboards showing the score as you would see if you were really playing darts. The music in the background and the sounds of clapping and other ambient sounds create the feeling of people actually being there, without seeing anything. It really feels more like a PSN game rather than just a minis title due to this.
- A great game for fans of darts
- Lengthy career with many unlockable items
- Feels ‘big’ for a minis title
- No help for newcomers
- Winning can become too easy
Newcomers to darts will have trouble finding their feet, and this is definitely not the best way to learn, whereas darts fans will find a great game with Arcade Darts. There’s definitely a lot of gameplay here, but it’s better for a quick tournament now and then, as playing continuously can become repetitive. If you’re looking for a darts game for when you’re on the move, or even just a darts game to play at home now and then, look no further, this provides enough entertainment at a great price.