By Macsen
Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #33


MACSEN specialise in producing computerised versions of well-known TV game shows, and this darts game hosted by Bully the bull in his cute striped overall first appeared on TV sets tuned to Central TV. This two-player game has four rounds, with a practice option available to help you gain confidence when throwing the darts at the dartboard.

There are nine skill levels in the game, selected at the start before the players' names are keyed in. Darts are aimed by using the cursor keys to move a hand below the dartboard to the left and right. A strength bar display in the status area monitors the power of the throw - the harder the throw, the nearer to the top of the dartboard the dart lands. The strength meter rises when the Cursor Up key is held down - releasing the key throws the dart.

Each player is summoned to the ockey by Bully. A dartboard with ten sections labeled A to J is provided in section one. Each letter represents a different subject. Select a subject to answer questions on and then throw a dart so that it lands inside the segment of your choice. A miss means you must answer a question on whichever subject your dart lands on. Score a hit, and bonus points are awarded before the question is asked. There is only a certain amount of time in which each question must be answered, but players usually get two attempts.


Round two consists of regular darts throwing. Each player is called to the ockey three times and throws three darts, going for the highest score. Whoever has the highest score after each turn gets to answer a general knowledge question which wins more points if answered correctly. An incorrect answer gives the question over to the opponent. Then it's on to round three...

Whoever is winning at this stage in the game has a bonus question, and the chance to collect more points. On round three the player is presented with a dartboard with sixteen segments on it, eight black and eight red. Each red segment is worth bonus points, while the black areas don't matter. Nine arrows are supplied and the bonus value of a red area is won if a single dart lands in it. However, if you hit the same red segment twice, the bonus value is deducted from your score.

Section four is purely for gamblers. The leader is asked whether he or she wants to gamble the points collected so far - gambling is optional and if the leader declines then the chance passes over to the other player. A regular dartboard is presented on the screen, and scoring over 110 points with the four darts supplied doubles the score if you decide to gamble. Score less than 110 and the score amassed is halved.

Two additional question files are supplied on the cassette should you too familiar with those in the basic set, and a mini-league table records players' progress in the games played during a session.


Control keys: Cursor left, right and up
Joystick: not applicable
Keyboard play: a bit too responsive for fine control
Use of colour: okay
Graphics: detailed dartboards and adequate Bully
Sound: tune and occasional spot effects
Skill levels: nine
Screens: one for each of the four stages

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