A Perfect Score in this Darts Game Briefly Became My Gaming Everest

So many arrows, so many 140s. Which made me think about the challenges that we’re all chasing in our playtime.
July 14, 2017, 2:35pm

Seventy-five pence. You can't buy a bar of chocolate for 75 pence, in most places. A can of pop. A packet of crisps. So a copy of Touch Darts for DS, for my 2DS, for 75p, in a local second-hand emporium? Worth a punt.

Well worth it, as the last three and a half hours of portable play have proved. The Sega-published simulation of the greatest sport to never get an Olympic nod does a great job of translating the flicking of a wrist, and the spinning of a dart between finger and thumb, to the swiping of the stylus. The presentation's a little lacking, the whole thing having a budget feel. But, again, 75p.

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The game's a full decade old now, but I've been having a lot of fun with it, rising through its competition ranks, winning every tournament I've entered, right up to and including "expert" level events. (Which isn't any kind of brag—this isn't an especially difficult game—although once you reach pro level, you need to be sharp on those checkouts.) But what eluded me for the first three hours of play, and became an obsession—a temporary Everest, my latest gaming White Whale—was that perfect return from the oche: one hundred and eeeighty.

Hundreds were easy from the outset, making entry-level competition a breeze. A 60, two 20s, no sweat. But when it came to making three 60s stick, I just couldn't, get, the darts, consistently, in the, treble, uh. Hundred and forty. Hundred and thirty five (the second-greatest insult). Hundred and twenty three (the greatest). I was carving through AI opponents with ease but this one score, this perfect moment: it became an obsession. A brief one, but no less powerful for its duration.

If you see this yourself, and you're partial to a session with the arrows, pick it up.

I hit a 167 checkout, one of the toughest, not a problem (although the game feels pretty generous when it comes to bull shots). Several others where nailing at least one treble-20 was an essential constituent of the winning sum. But damn if I couldn't line up three in the most valuable of beds. I sat up in my own, tossing away— hey, you know what I mean—but nada. Sleep.

And then, the first game of a new day, and I hit it. The satisfaction, let me tell you: like that smell that kicks up when rain falls on baked earth; like biting into a hunk of freshly baked bloomer bread; like waking up forgetting you'd booked the day off and, what's more, your significant other's taking you to Legoland. The best. Done it. And then, I did it again. And again. It's all about finding that just-right rhythm, of course.

But what about you? What is your own gaming Everest—the challenge that, no matter your other achievement in the game in question, you keep on attempting, and keep falling short of? That you can't quite crack, yet. Perhaps it's a particular trophy, necessary for that 100% satisfaction? Beating an optional boss in a favorite RPG, or pulling off (again, hey) that combo you're sure is possible in a fighting game, but so far you're just not there with the timing? Let us know, over on the Waypoint forums.