I've only ever caught sight of the Bulls Eye TV programme when flicking through the channels - and the sight of the gravel voiced compere was enough to make me flick further immediately!
The one idea that fills me with horror, more than the thought of watching darts, is a quiz show based on the game.
I approached this computer version then with trepidation. Would Jocky Wilson suddenly come bursting from my monitor? Obviously they've saved the full bulk of the darts pro for the expanded 128K version (joke - I hope!) because apart from the cartoon bull the only part of 'arrow' throwing anatomy you get to see is a hand.
It's a generally accepted fact that quiz games don't work well on a micro - which has never stopped companies trying. The current title does have an advantage though. The dart throwing means that instead of endless answers and a feeling of deja vu as they increasingly often repeat, there are far fewer questions to a round but a bit of arcade action to break them up.
This is strictly a two-player game and at the start you each throw to answer from one of ten categories. If your dart lands in the one you've named as your choice then you score a bonus. Each player gets three goes before round two when whoever scores highest on a normal board gets to answer a general knowledge question - a wrong answer passes it to their opponent.
The current winner then throws at a special board, gaining points for hitting a red section once but losing the bonus if they hit it again. Finally comes the gambling round. The leader is given the opportunity to double the score if s/he can score at least 101 with four darts.
This all plays very smoothly with limited fuzzy recognition to allow for typing errors and difficulty levels which adjust the time limit to answer questions. Darts are thrown by moving a disembodied hand at the bottom of the screen left to right then adjusting the force of the shot to place it on the board. While it's fairly easy to target subjects in Round 1 I suspect that it becomes harder in the later, purely darts rounds.
As with all the Macsen TV spin-off titles, this will be of more interest if you like the programme it ties in with.
I don't but I still found it one of the more enjoyable quiz games I've played. Though it's unlikely to be loaded too often, I'd rather play it than watch the real thing!
Reviewer: Jerry Muir
Macsen specialises in computer versions of TV game shows. Some are dire - this is surprisingly good.