...just not as much fun as I have down at the pub actually throwing darts...
There’s been some discussion on this title, most notably this. Does the “It’s just darts” argument stand up to the oche?
Loading up Top Darts you’re greeted to the calibration screen. It isn’t the most precise screen with just three clicks of the move controller. This allows for excellent dart control as long as you don’t stray too far from where you’re standing, but it makes the menus a little harder to navigate. After this you’re greeted by the menus offering up numerous modes available to the player. A play now option allows for you and your pals to jump into a game right off the bat, or you can enter the cup/league modes. When you select a profile to play as, you’re given the option to create your own avatar. There are 40 selectable cut outs where you pose for the camera which results in a hilarious and often embarrassing profile pic (My avatar has cartoony aviators; you’re dangerous). Top darts includes just about every darts game you can want to play, including but not limited to: 301/501/701, cricket (US and UK versions), around the clock, and simple highest score. You’re also given the option to select what type of board and environment you want to play as. They all look pretty sharp and can really add to the experience, after all, its in 1080p. Though the game allows for custom soundtrack support, you might not need it, because the music is really good in this one.
Gameplay really does amount to holding the move controller in dart-like fashion and flicking it towards the screen (without letting go of course ;P). You hold the move button to select an area of the dart board, and as you move the controller back and forth, you can see the circular area you’ve selected turn red or green. Get it to turn green and you’ll likely get the dart to go where you want it to. There is a tutorial available which I ran thru, but it doesn’t give the biggest insight into the controls. If you hit X you can zoom in on a selected portion of the dart board. This makes things incredibly easier, and it really feels cheap after awhile. Hit the T button and you can turn off and on the HUD, which helped me make a lot more shots (mainly due to it allowing me to pinpoint my shot without the dart visible). During gameplay, the announcer will provide commentary on your shots. This often provides some much needed comic relief to this otherwise dull game. He’ll rip on you if you mess up, or get overly excited if you manage to get a treble treble. Do yourself a favor and hear him say “100”, I laugh out loud every time.
Cup mode plays out like a tournament, where League mode plays like a bar league. You play every person in the league once accruing points in each game. The two players in the league with the top score get promoted to the next league… where you do it all again at a higher degree of difficulty. When you win these games you’re awarded with types of darts that get listed on your profile screen. Most of the trophers in this game are obtained by this. One last thing to mention is the novelty games and my favorite which is “stacker.” Numbers will fall down on the right side of your HUD and you have to hit the corresponding spot on the dart board to get rid of it. There are power-ups and bonuses available making for an arcade-y kind of game. The other novelty games are intended for two players, but can be accessed if you enable “sim mode”. Cat and mouse can really get heated.
All in all, this title really is “just darts” with a few quirks. I had fun, but not as much as I have down at the pub actually throwing darts. A good sim and solid entry in the Move’s library which makes for a decent party experience. 45, that’s a bag o nuts
For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
What I Dislike:
Release Date:December 2010
Price:$9.99, £6.29, €7.99