Jul 18, 2010

Ultimate Darts

Darts, and other such sporting titles, are difficult to convert to a computer because how does one simulate the precise control that the human hand offers? For golf games often you'll have multiple meters and have to twitch at the right times to control power and accuracy. I suppose the same could be done with darts, but needless to say it's not the same thing. So when I saw Ultimate Darts pop up in the Android Market I was curious.

Ultimate Dart's description includes such keywords as 301, 501, and 701. I read too quickly and assumed that the game included several different darts games. No... it's 501 and that's it (no 301 and no 701, not that that would add much variety). The game's title screen is basic... Play, View High Scores, or Quit. Click play and let the game begin. And that's the let down. With the Android's touch screen platform and accelerometer technology I would have expected better controls than simply swiping on the screen. Darts are thrown by swiping from the hand to a point on the screen which controls your throw (and now that I think about it I'm not even sure I have to start at the hand). I did, however, extensively test whether arcing my throw and throwing faster/slower had any effect and the answer is no. The game relies entirely on the end point of your swipe (or touch?) and thus boils down to what pixel your phone reports your fingerprint as being representative of.

A good darts game would be nice, and this isn't horrible... just another average game. I really think the developer could have done more with the speed of the touch and arced throws and such. As is, if I could get my fingerprint down to a point I could presumably throw a perfect game with ease.

I applaud that an update was done today to improve visual feedback on scoring and to spice the font up in the display (it looks a tad better than in the older screenshot). The game also does audibly announce the results of throws that hit the dart board... and perhaps some ribbing for poor throws would have been cute. Perhaps not, given the strong accent. Graphically the dart board looks fine albeit a bit small.

All in all, I think the controls could be more interesting and that's what's going to make or break this game. I just can't imagine getting interested in long play sessions with this as is. 2.5/5 stars.


  1. hey. i am the developer of this game. thanks alot for your review! i already thought of improving the controls and i think you've mentioned some nice ideas! i'll see what i can do for the next release coming this week!