Review by Matt Dunn
I faintly recall playing lawn darts at the occasional park BBQ growing up. It’s like playing darts, but the board is on the ground rather than being on the wall. It’s a fun little game to kill some time at summer gatherings, and the iPhone version follows suit fairly well!
3D Lawn Darts takes a fairly dull game, and adds enough features to actually make the game entertaining. There are two different game modes, that are essentially the same idea: throw the dart as close as you can to the middle of the target for the most points. The variety comes in the many different kinds of darts you can use to accomplish this: magnet darts, flame darts, bomb darts, and nukes to name a few. All of these have different effects, and make the game a lot more fun to play. There’s nothing worse than getting nuked and losing all your darts at the end the round! Luckily, you gain different weapons depending on how well you score, and they aren’t unlimited.
There are 4 different levels to play, that are unlocked as you beat each preceding level. The background graphics for the playing fields aren’t very impressive. The game uses the same engine as 3D Constructo Combat, which was satisfying, but not as good as it could be. There are some strange graphical glitches in the game, like not being able to see your opponents darts when they are thrown, or the occasional missing dart from the playing field. Not a huge deal, honestly, but that, combined with a low-res 3D engine take a lot away from the game’s polish. The sound is about on par with the graphics. It’s there, but nothing too impressive.
The game provides 3D trophies if you can complete the different game modes, which is a nice touch. There is also a high score list, but no online support. Finally, there is support for local multiplayer to challenge a friend. I did this my wife while on vacation, and it was fun!
Presentation & Graphics
Just as with 3D Constructo Combat, the game engine is solid, but the textures are so low-res that they take away from the polished feel of the game. Human character models are absolutely FREAKY, but the creature models are fine. Backgrounds really leave something to be desired. Animation itself is good, but the sprite explosions feel a little cheesy.
The addition of trophies is cool, and a high score list is nice, but without online support, there’s not a huge point to having one. Multiplayer is fun if you can find someone to play with you on your phone. There is a hard and easy difficulty, but they surprisingly don’t feel a lot different. The two game modes are too similar to make a huge difference.
3D Lawn Darts is a solid game, and a bargain for $0.99. You don’t have to be a fan of regular darts to enjoy it, and the controls are very easy to learn. Unfortunately, it falls to the same issues that 3D Constructo Combat did as far as the overall visuals, sound and presentation goes. They’re simply sub par compared to other 3D games out there for the iPhone. It also lacks a challenging AI, and could really use another game mode or two. Despite it’s shortfalls, this game is fun, has a great twist using with powered up darts, and is a great little distraction for a great little price.