There’s no use in pretending that darts is a glamorous sport. It’s a fairly well-established fact that darts is predominantly a “pub game”, conjuring up images of portly gentlemen throwing sharp things a board as well as the smell of beer and the feel of a sticky, hop-soaked carpet underneath your feet. Conversely, darts is rather popular sport that is enjoyed by millions of fans across the world, which is why PDC Darts Night has been downloaded by more than just a few thousand people in its time on the app store. It offers up the best bits of the sport including games of 501 and 301 in various formats with both single and multiplayer functionality, not to mention games like pontoon and Round the World that are all made enjoyable by the swipe-to-throw input mechanics.
Though PDC Darts Night (offered by the real-life Professional Darts Corporation) offers a variety of different slants on the game, the core mechanics (I.e. how you interact with the darts and dartboard) of the game are consistent regardless of game mode. During your match or practice session, you are presented with a classic view: the dartboard on the wall in front of you, the various scores positioned clearly and cleanly on the screen, and of course your darts off-screen waiting to be thrown. All you have to do in order to throw each one of your three darts is use your finger to swipe upwards on the screen. The smoother and straighter the swipe, the more accurate you will find your shots to be.
The direction, speed, and line of your swipe as well as how early or late you release your finger from the screen will inevitably affect the trajectory of the dart as well as how well it stays in line with the path you swiped across the screen. The mechanics take a bit of getting used do – the difference between swiping a treble 20 and a mere 1 is marginal in terms of the trajectory, speed, and line of your swipe – but once you get a feel for the sensitivity of the controls, you can move on to discovering the wider content that the game has in store for you.
Though the mechanics are solid, this game wouldn’t have any longevity without the heaps of content that it offers. It caters for players wishing to engage in either single or multiplayer matches. It also offers up some low-level difficulty matches in the “Pub Darts” section whilst at the same time providing the more skilled players a chance to enter the Pro Darts section.
Pro Darts, though containing some significantly difficult matches, is the section that allows you to embark on a Career as well as enter into a “Pro Challenge”, which is one of the distinguishing features that separates this app from the rest of the darts offerings for mobile. Pro Challenge matches use actual data from historical matches, with match information gathered from pros such as Michael Van Gerwen, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson, and James Wade.
A career section is also available in the Pub Darts section, though here it is more of a stats database for all matches you have played this far. The Single Player section of Pub Darts allows you to play single matches as well as tournaments, pre-arranged challenges, and Speed Darts.
The content and gameplay of PDC Darts Night is held together with a cleanly-presented and simply-designed interface to allow for easy navigation through the many options that are available. The menus could be flashier of course, but they do have cool effects like spotlights scanning back and forth behind the menu options to make things look a bit more dramatic. In all, you’ll not find a better or more comprehensive darts game than PDC Darts Night, even if you spend hours scouring the many sports mobile app sites like Sambafoot in order to find a better alternative.