It may have lost the 3D, but Darts Up brings a couple new tricks along with its move to the home console realm. Does EnjoyUp’s budget game still have what it takes more than a year after its initial release? If you’re a dart fan it very well could … though you might still prefer it more on 3DS than Wii U.
The most notable feature about this game is its control. Motion control made Darts Up 3D unique on 3DS, and the same is true here on Wii U. It’s good fun scanning and aiming with the GamePad, and I’ve found everything responsive and enjoyable. It helps to make the game feel more immersive. One thing I’ve noticed this time around is the tendency for darts to bounce off each other. This is actually a good thing, as it helps to prevent exploits while adding challenge.
Graphically it’s a trade-off of 3D effects for HD visuals. The game looks good on Wii U (though surprisingly less colorful in parts) but I can’t say I prefer it over the 3D effects of its handheld counterpart. You can’t even pick from amongst your Mii’s anymore! Still, everything is quite crisp and well lit. On the audio end, I would’ve liked to hear something new, but failed to notice much if any additions. It’s very likable, but also very familiar. The audio/visual package was very solid on the 3DS and the same’s true here, but slightly less so – my expectations are higher for the game on stronger hardware.
At the end of my Darts Up 3D review I said “An enhanced Wii U edition with a stronger single player mode would be very welcomed”. The new modes (combo and ranking) do indeed offer some minor enhancements. However this is still a multiplayer game at heart. No computer opponents to challenge, no tournament structure, no unlockable content, etc … Darts Up is still best when played with friends. The lack of sizable improvements when experiencing the game solo disappoints me. That said, the move from local ranking to online leaderboards does help.
Darts Up is still good game (and wallet friendly at just $2.99) but its quick, simplistic nature might make it remain a better fit for 3DS. The loss of 3D effects, Mii characters being eliminated, and a lack of much new content is hard to overlook, especially since over a year has passed since it first released. Much like Abyss, this is another solid EnjoyUp port, but I’m not sure it surpasses the handheld original. Nevertheless I’m still scoring it the same thanks to its HD visuals, online leaderboards, and generally fun gameplay. Darts Up is a familiar but fun addition to the Wii U eShop that’s worth checking out.