World Darts Championship: Slot Overview
Developer Blueprint Gaming expands its already extensive range of branded slots by moving deeper into the sporting world. This time it's the exciting arena of competitive darts. This is no friendly down-the-pub-over-beers type of competition either, but the best of the best at the PDC World Darts Championship. Despite being a global event, the Brits dominate the competition, meaning it won't be a shock if the game is more popular there than on the continent. We don't see darts driven slots often, especially ones with famous faces. On the other hand, the features included in World Darts Championship are old hat. Instead of conjuring up something original to take advantage of the theme, Blueprint has recycled the iconic Fishin' Frenzy, with a couple of significant alterations.
If you can recognise the ten chaps lining up on the splash screen, there is a good chance you've picked the right game. This is reinforced further when the 5-reel, 10-payline grid appears and Chase the Sun by Planet Funk starts to play. If you've never seen a Championship Darts arena blasting that track, it's been called 'the most British thing ever'. If the sights and sounds tick the right boxes for you, you'll be in for a heck of a good time. If not, well, you might need to try a different sports-based game.
Offering stakes from 10 p/c to £/€500 per spin, World Darts Championship is a medium volatile slot with the same RTP as the original Fishin' Frenzy on 96.12%. It's not an exact clone, however. Blueprint has made a couple of changes to free spins, one of them so outrageous it'll cause a double-take. In general though, if you're familiar with Fishin' Frenzy, you'll have a fair idea of how most of World Darts Championship plays out.
Once again, fans will rejoice over the paytable. Ten different professional darts players are used as the mid pay symbols – any combination of three or more of them triggers a payout. Below them are J-A card royal low pays, while above are darts, trophies, flights, and a logo. The top two symbols are worth 100-200 times the bet, also, the logo pays out for two of a kind. Lastly, a dartboard wild is on hand to substitute for any symbol except scatter or bonus symbols.
World Darts Championship: Slot Features
World Darts Championship's one main feature is a triggered round of free spins where the wild symbol collects cash prizes. When 3, 4, or 5 dartboard scatter symbols land, players collect a payout of 1x, 1.5x, or 18x their bet, plus 10, 15, or 180 free spins. That's not a typo just to be clear - 5 scatters award the huge sum of one hundred and eighty free spins. Buckle in for a long night if you're lucky enough to score a five scatter round of free spins.
Now, there is a bit of a twist. Players can either select the standard bonus round or the mystery player option. During both, player symbols display a set cash prize. If they land at the same time as the dartboard wild, their values are collected and paid. The difference with the mystery symbol option is 1 darts player symbol is randomly selected to be the only one to appear in the feature. Cross your fingers it's the player offering the biggest cash prize.
World Darts Championship: Slot Verdict
In many regards, this is exactly what a branded darts slot should be. It's full of stars, plus it's got the right tune, crowd noises and looks to put you at the heart of a big PDC event. All that's missing are the costumes and pints – players' choice whether they'll supply those from their end. Its readymade audience will find it easier to overlook any shortcomings pointed out by discerning players not so infatuated with the sport. But hey, the slot’s not designed for them anyway. Blueprint has targeted the fan base and has given casual gamblers who just happen to be interested in darts something to enjoy.
On a more critical standpoint, Blueprint could have been a bit more adventurous and built some new features to take advantage of the theme. Pro darts is incredibly tense, especially at the upper levels where the slightest error can throw an entire game. Players are professional, focused, and extremely competitive. Shame Blueprint couldn’t have channelled a bit more of that intensity, yet World Darts Championship is not really that sort of slot.
However, two alterations help set World Darts Championship apart from most which use Fishin' Frenzy's free spins collection system. The first is the sheer number of free spins five scatters awards – 180 being the highest score you can achieve with three darts. Choosing the one mystery symbol option has its pros and cons. Good if you get the higher value players, not so great otherwise.
Fishin' Frenzy has served the studio well over the years, in particular in the UK market, though the dynamic feels a little worn out by now. It worked quite well in a game like Tivoli when it was nestled amongst a unique dreamy environment. World Darts Championship is flashy, yet a little generic looking at the same time and unless you follow the sport, it's unlikely many of the athletes here will be familiar.
That brings us back to the fact World Darts Championship is really only for darts fanatics or Fishin' Frenzy players who like the idea of 180 free spins to reel 'em in. It’s not hard to picture darts enthusiasts whacking this on during ad breaks when the Championships on telly and having a blast. Those who don't know the difference between Annie's room and Annie's attic will struggle, but in the right hands, World Darts Championship is bound to please.
For fans of dart it might be a bullseye, but others will be less impressed getting another Fishin’ Frenzy clone.