Bully's Sporting Darts logo

Alternative Software * £9.99 (Not previously reviewed)

Bullseye - the TV programme responsible for putting a speedboat on every council estate in northern England - enters the Amiga arena with the exotic Bully's Sporting Darts. It is a veritable feast, nay, a festival of darting fun. On the oche are the classics - 501 and Round the Board, and the sports games football, golf, cricket, tennis and snooker.

So how do you play darts on a computer? Well, you control a wobbly hand in front of the dartboard, and when you fancy your chances of hitting the target, press the joystick fire-button. Simple.

The sports options are not anything special, although the pleasant 'outdoor' sound effects in golf are rather nice.

Bully's Sporting Darts works best in two player mode playing traditional 501. Good fun if you like darts or competitive two player sports sims.

Bully's Sporting Darts logo

Bullseye was always one of the Great British Institutions. The week just wasn't complete until you'd seen a nice ordinary couple make complete idiots of themselves on television. Even then they'd always fail to win a speedboat or something equally useless. Did anyone ever see a contestant with the speedboat? I certainly never did.

Bullseye may have sunk without trace but Bully lives on. Bully's Sporting Darts gives you the chance to score a hole-in-one in snooker, pot the black in cricket, or score a century in tennis (or something like that). Yes, even those of us who are crap at sport can compete in the comfort of our own Amiga.

I think football should be played Bully's way all the time. None of those fancy kits and telephone number salaries - games should be won or lost on the throw of a dart. Think of all the money clubs would save on all-weather pitches. The only problem is that I still can't get Liverpool to thrash Arsenal. Got to keep trying I suppose.

Some sports I've never seen the point of. Take golf, I used to walk my dog across a golf course. I risked my life every time. You walk around an expanse of grass, hitting a white ball with no diea where it's going to go. Most golfers only shout a warning when the ball's heading straight for you. But this is more like it. No wind, no rain and now windows to break. I even got a few holes in one. I could even get to like it.

There's snooker, cricket and tennis to try as well. Cricket goes on for ever if both you and your opposition are rubbish. IF you're batting, you have to score over 40 with three darts to score nay runs. Simple. But if you're the team who are fielding, you have to hit the bullseye twice to get the other team out. I was in bat for hour before we called a truce.

From the point of view of someone who had a dartboard set up in their room for most of their childhood, this is nothing like playing the real thing. That's why we play this sort of game. I'm rubbish at the real stuff, but at snooker sims I can hold my own.

Bully's Sporting Darts is rainy afternoon fun, and brilliant to play with your mates when you're tired to go out. I've only one thing to say. Super, smashing, lovely - just look what you could have won.

Bully's Sporting Darts logo


Darts is a game usually played by fat northern beer drinkers in smoky working men's clubs. Not that I have anything against fat northern beer drinkers having spent a good proportion of my life amongst them. It's just that darts is a game that can only be enjoyed whilst consuming large quantities of alcohol. For that reason Bully's Sporting Darts was doomed to failure from the off.

For those of you unfamiliar with the delights of Sunday afternoon telly, Bully is a cartoon character from the 'lovely, super, smashing, great' quiz show Bullseye. This game features darts quite heavily and is held together by Jim Bowen's smashing catchphrases. Bully's Darts may be a licence of the character from the quiz but it bears little resemblance to the show.

This version sports six variations on the basic darts theme, as well as the normal 501 there's football, golf, snooker, tennis, cricket and round the board. This may seem like a lot to choose from but they're all much the same. For instance, in football you throw the darts at highlighted score by throwing at the bull. In tennis, you throw at highlighted segments in order to keep the imaginary ball in play. Yawn!!

Unlike the real thing there's actually little skill involved. You control a wobbly on-screen hand which suffers badly from the effects of gravity. So, to get the darts in the bit of board you want it's basically a question of keeping the joystick pushed up and steady. Bully is ever present throughout the game to give a word of encouragement or derision... well, actually all he does is moo! In fact, Bully's moo is just about the only sound effect and as for the in-game tune, the less said the better.

As a budget release Bully's Darts fails abysmally, in fact it would have trouble cutting it as PD. Avoid.