Zeppelin Games Ltd
Spike, Tink
1989
Sport: Action
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

24
Jim Douglas
Chris Bourne

Eee. Take a sup o'yer Tetley's and waddle up t'oche and sling yer arras, lad. Magic. The thought of spending any time at all playing a game based on the beery antics of the fattest men in the country (whether they be Members - fyak - of the British Empire or not) didn't do much to excite me.

So imagine my disgust to find that Jocky Wilson's Darts Challenge isn't a dreadful flask of cat squirt after all. In fact it's very good indeed.

There are three stages of the game; Head to Head is for two players, each trying to score 501 before the other. Round the Clock speaks for itself really - you must try to work your way from numbers 1 to 20 in the shortest possible time. The Championship, though, is by far the most exciting, where you play against a host of wittily monickered opponents. Defeat them all and you can take a crack at the "big" man himself ... Jocky Wilsonnnnn!

Although the different stages require different strategies, the core of the game is how realistically the "arras" are "bunged". Obviously a degree of wobblyness has had to be incorporated - when was the last time you saw a darts player with a perfectly steady arm? Here we have to live with a sort of perpetual drift which causes your ghost-like dart to move in circular motions at the time. Not a bad solution to the problem, although I'd like to think that in real life I could hold myself a little bit more steady than this. Still, if all the fun of the sport is to be captured, I guess all the effects of the beer must be included too.

Once you've thrown your darts it's the turn of the machine. You get a plan view of the oche and board with an extremely unrealistically slim darts player who regularly throws straight 180s.

The more successful you are, the tougher your opponents become, throwing darts with astonishing accuracy.

Obviously I never managed to challenge The Jock himself, but I was surprised quite how addictive I found this game. Even though I loathe and despise darts in every form, Jocky W had me reasonably enthralled for a lengthy period. You are thankfully spared all the skull splittingly dull maths involved, as the computer tells you how many you scored, how many you need etc. The only thing it doesn't do is suggest which shot you should aim for. Since I'm especially incontinent (eh - GT) when it comes to getting to grips with figures (arf, arf - AS) this would have been a bit of a boon, but I'm sure it would only be of use in especially dense players.

So there we are then. Corpulent Darts Star in Successful Licence Shock. A super bargain. Smashing. Lovely.

Label: Zeppelin
Author: In-house
Price: £2.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Jim Douglas

Super smashing lovely lovely darts sim.

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