Darts is yet another sporting (or semi-sporting anyway) activity that I ‘m very fond of.  I spent many an afternoon and evening in some fine pubs in the UK playing it, and still like to find pubs and bars here in Austin that feature dart boards “ and luckily we have several very good ones. […]
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Review: On The Oche Darts for iPhone

On The Oche Darts for iPhone

Darts is yet another sporting (or semi-sporting anyway) activity that I ‘m very fond of.  I spent many an afternoon and evening in some fine pubs in the UK playing it, and still like to find pubs and bars here in Austin that feature dart boards “ and luckily we have several very good ones.

On The Oche Darts for the iPhone promises to help me enjoy a good game of darts on the iPhone.  Read on to see if it ‘s a bullseye of a game for darts fans

What Does It Do?

It ‘s one of several darts games for the iPhone.  This one plays up the ‘atmosphere ‘ side of things in its App Store description:

Set in the scene if an old English publican house.  The beer is semi-cold and the atmosphere is bouncing

That sounds good to me “ always enjoy a good pub setting.   The game ‘s features are listed as:

  • A cross-hair aiming system reflecting skill and not randomness
  • Three different opponents for players of different skills
  • Records game statistics
  • Compare yourself in the world rankings
  • In-game checkout help “ No need for maths
  • Authentic pub atmospherics

The game ‘s options are pretty basic.  You can toggle sound and music on and off, decide how many legs (individual games) you want in a match, and choose a player name.

On The Oche Darts

What Does It Do Well?

Not very much at all.

I like that the in-game checkout help “ which lets you know what double or other close-out shot you need to get to finish the game.  That saves doing the math for yourself and is helpful.

I also like that it tracks your statistics and lets you compare them with others “ although this would be far more useful to me if I actually enjoyed the game itself.

What ‘s Not So Good?

First and foremost, the actual gameplay, the way it handles throwing the darts, is just terrible in my view.  You get a cross-hair that circles round all the numbers on the board very quickly and you have to try to tap when it crosses with the number you ‘re after in the right horizontal position, then the cross-hair moves up and down rapidly within the number you hit, and again you try to tap at the ideal vertical position within that number “ e.g. within the triple section for maximum scoring, or within the double area if you ‘re trying to finish out a game.

This method of throwing feels very awkward to me, even after giving it several tries, and winning a leg.  It feels hugely un-natural.  This method of ‘throwing ‘ feels as if it is a test of split-second timing and how quick your reactions are.  In my experience, those have almost nothing to do with darts.  For me, darts i much more about technique, aim, and throwing smoothly “ no rapid-fire need to throw at a precise split-second in order to score well.

The game ‘s description,as mentioned above, makes a big deal about ‘atnospherics ‘ and feeling like you ‘re in a pub etc.  Nonsense.  The graphics are boring, not varied at all, and feature just the board itself and a chalkboard for the scores.  There are no graphics representing a pub atmosphere, no images of semi-cold (or any other kind of) beer.

There is not even any music once you start an actual game, you only hear it when you are out at the main screen where options are set and so on.  In game, the only sound effect I ‘ve heard so far is very faint background voices, which I suppose are meant to represent chatter in a pub, and which are very lame.

Overall

For me, this is a very poor game.  The supposed emphasis on atmosphere is nowhere to be seen (or heard), and if any game needs a lot of atmosphere to make up for lousy gameplay, this it it.

If you ‘re looking for a good iPhone darts game, this one is not it in my view.  I have one excellent darts app on my iPhone “ called simply Darts “ I reviewed it HERE for those who may be interested.

On The Oche Darts is not even close to being a keeper for me.  If you want to give it a look, it ‘s in the App Store, priced at $0.99.

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