Monday, 22 April 2013

The best darts game on the Spectrum?

Nice loading screen!
Title : 180
Year : 1986
Publisher : M.A.D.
Developer : Binary Design Ltd
Format : ZX Spectrum 48k/128k

Price : £2.99
Audio : Nice effects and speech on 48k, continuous music on 128k.

RetroIsland Rating : 8/10

The Mastertronic Added Dimension range brought us a pub darts simulation to various home computers and it had grand visions. Eight different computer opponents, realistic digitized speech, and not to mention a two player option.
The cassette inlay for the Spectrum version

Binary Design did a terrific job of bringing all of this together and squeezing it into 48k of memory. The main menu allows you to try the training option first so you can 'tune up' your darts skills. Having to hit each number on the darts board in sequence within the time limit is not as easy as it first sounds.
The dart-board screen is visually excellent, with crisp and detailed graphics while the animation of the floating hand with your dart moves smoothly across the screen at your command.
Fantastic graphics on the Spectrum.
Once you have honed your skills you can enter the tournament where you can play against such experts such as Devious Dave and Beer Belly Bill. A highlight of the game is when you gain a score of 180 with 3 darts in any match and you will be greeted with a digitised voice exclaiming "180!". 

Loading this game on the 128k Spectrum has the added bonus of a continuous bouncy tune by music supremo David Whittaker to listen to while you watch your opponent throw his darts.

I have to mention the various animations that are present when your opponent is taking their shots; pints fly across the bar from the barmaid and occasionally a dog will enter and lift it's leg against the side of the bar - excellent humour!

180 is a game that still holds it's own and worth loading up next you are watching the darts on television. If you can't be bothered loading the game up then just watch me complete the game on the video link above.