Have You Played… PDC World Championship Darts 2008?

darts

There are a few reviews which will always haunt me (no, I won’t name the others). Nine years later, PDC World Championship Darts 2008 is perhaps foremost among them.

I don’t have a copy of the review to quote from, but it should be in an issue PC Gamer from early 2008, if you’re over-keen. I remember the angle I took, though, which was something along the lines of “why in God’s name would you spend £30 on a videogame adaptation of darts when you could buy an actual dart board and darts for less than that?” (Prices were a little lower ten years ago).

In a way, it’s a fair point. Other sports, such as football, are not straightforward to organise a game of in real life – you need a field and 22 people – and impossible to play by yourself, so videogame adaptations only make sense. Darts, though: holes in the wall aside, that’s easy to do almost anywhere, and does not necessarily require other people. Hell, you could just wander down your local pub. All a videogame can do is remove the essential physical element of it, thereby resulting in a far worse version of darts. It seems so futile, even wasteful.

Yet I feel like I got it wrong: profoundly wrong. I essentially dismissed the concept of a darts game, over and above questioning whether this was a great game or not in its own right.

Sure, I find chucking a pointy stick around in real life far more entertaining than waggling a mouse to make a pretend pointy stick move across my screen, but there are reasons why a darts game makes sense.

Maybe you live in rented accommodation where you’re not allowed to hang anything on the walls (let alone pepper it with tiny holes, if you’re no good at darts).

Maybe you find that playing without even simulated competition is joyless.

Maybe you’re awful at real darts but know what you’re doing with a mouse.

Maybe there’s a physical reason you can’t play darts, or go somewhere where darts is played.

Or maybe you’re a huge darts enthusiast and so seeing/controlling blocky renditions of pro darts players is exciting.

Or maybe, just maybe, you fancied playing a different sort of game on your computer.

Sure, PDC World Championship Darts 2008 is not necessary, in terms of that it doesn’t help to fulfil a professional sporting fantasy in a way a FIFA or NBA videogame does. It wasn’t, as I recall, much fun to play, but I shouldn’t have dismissed the concept’s right to exist.

Hell, one of these day, someone will surely develop some spectacularly off-the-wall darts game that could only exist on a computer.

I really do think about that review every few weeks.

18 Comments

  1. TheManko says:

    I remember this game, despite never playing it nor having any interest whatsoever in dart. Proof it was a great game.

  2. Sarfrin says:

    Also, it’s much better for your health to role play a fat alcoholic than to be one in real life.

  3. Premium User Badge

    teije says:

    Not being a competitive darts follower – are those real dart champions from 2008 in the picture?

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Maybe, maybe not. It’s hard to say when all of them look like that.

    • Vurogj says:

      They are recreations of Phil Taylor (throwing) and Raymond van Barneveld (not throwing), at the time the two best dartists on the planet.

      As likenesses, The Taylor is not bad, despite the lack of mustache, the Raymond is… not great.

  4. rustybroomhandle says:

    But can you talk to the darts?

    • phuzz says:

      As long as you keep away from feathery remarks and get to the point.

  5. noodlecake says:

    I agree. In fact I think if you got very creative you could make a darts video game that is more entertaining than the real thing. That could be it’s own genre of video game! Taking real life menial to mildly entertaining things and seeing if you can turn them into fantastic video games. :)

  6. Imperialist says:

    How about a darts game, that handles and has the physics of Surgeon Simulator?

  7. Robert The Rebuilder says:

    Check out SportsBar VR: you can play darts, billards/pool, skeeball, air hockey with others. It’s also a “sandbox” – you can throw darts at the NPCs, smash bottles on the skeeball table, make trouble, etc.

  8. MonkeyJug says:

    180 on ZX Spectrum was an awesome darts game!

    Real darts has moved on from the days of the fat alcoholic, although many are still, er, rather rotund. Darts can produce amazing drama with a scoring system that allows games to swing back and forth throughout.

    I had a girlfriend once, but she left me cos she hated the smell of my darts… :o(

    • GlasWolf says:

      Believe it or not, after reading this article I downloaded a Spectrum emulator and a copy of 180. Still brilliant, if a tad easy.

  9. KingFunk says:

    In Deadly Premonition you can play darts with a gun. I quite enjoyed it, although it’s a tad easy…

  10. Jerppa says:

    There was a C64 game that had darts, air hockey and bowling. Anyone remember what it was?

  11. Lord_Santa says:

    actually played some dart game(s) back on the C64 (part of ‘sport-games’ compilation? and one just plain dart-game) and it was actually what got me interested in darts in the first place – thus by the age of eleven, I was making new friends, my own age at the local dart-club (I preferred hanging by the arcade-machine in the pubs at that age, thank you very much) – and it eventually won me a bronze-medal at the age of 13; not much to brag about in a small-town nowhere in a nation nobody cares about – but nonetheless, my interest was born with the computer-iteration of the game and it was a great way to get introduced to the sport and actually learning the rules and what-have-you-not (stuff you didn’t immediately care about as a kid, when you were just ‘tossing darts’ to see who could get the highest score, etc.)