Darts has never been a sport I watched or thought I would enjoy playing. To be honest, I’ve always thought of it as being a sport that older men played in pubs, but last year, I caught a few episodes on Channel 4 of The World Dart Championship and it was actually really exciting and addictive to watch. Since then, I’ve been a lot more interested in playing, so I headed down to Flight Club, Shoreditch with a few of my friends.
Flight Club have completely modernised this traditional sport for the 21st century, appealing to all sexes and ages. With fast paced, user-friendly multiplayer games and ground-breaking dart tracking technology, this is a whole new side to darts. The venue was designed by those behind Dishoom and Zetter Townhouse, and so far has welcomed over 500,000 customers with its revolutionary and exciting games.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Similar to bowling lanes, players input their names and photos into an interactive computer next to their darts board, where they are added to a scoreboard. Once everyone has been added, the competition commences and you are provided with a range of games to choose from. High speed cameras track your dart in-flight, and touch sensors track where it lands on the board, meaning there is no need for mental arithmetic as the computer calculates your score for you!
We played three games, starting with ‘Demolition’. Demolition is the closest game to regular darts. You each start with 180 points, as opposed to the conventional 501, and take it in turns to throw your darts, with the aim of getting to 0. The good thing about this game is that you don’t need to finish on a double to win, making it easier for those who have never played before.
‘Snakes and Ladders’ was another game we played. Similar to normal snakes and ladders, the aim is to get to square 50, using the ladders to fast-track yourself to the finish line, and avoiding the snakes that bring you back down. How does darts come into it you ask? Each ring on the dart board is a number mimicking a dice. E.g. Hitting bullseye gives you a 6, green is 5, inner ring 4, triples 3, outer ring 2 and doubles 1. The area on which your dart lands, will equate to a dice roll and your counter will move the appropriate number of squares forward. This game definitely tests your precision as once you work out what number you need, you must hit that part of the dart board, otherwise you could find yourself snaking all the way back to the bottom row!
The final game we played was ‘Killer’. We soon discovered there is no loyalty when playing this game. Everyone is out to get one another! The aim is to become a ‘Killer’ and kill off your opponents one by one until you are the last man (or woman) standing. The game randomly allocates each player a number, which you must hit 3 times to achieve ‘Killer’ status. Hitting a double or a treble of your number will help you reach ‘Killer’ even faster. You are then able to attack your fellow players by hitting their numbers on the dart board and ‘kill’ them from the game. This was one of my favourite games, although if you are knocked out early, then there is a chance you could be standing around for a long time while people try to knock each other out. This means you will have less time playing so it’s something to be aware of if you only have the board for an hour.
DINE AFTER DARTS
Aside from the darts, Flight Club also serves food and drink, which can be ordered and delivered to your oche (throwing area) so no-one has to miss out on their turn or wait around for people at the bar. We were provided with a range of pizzas and a couple bottles of Prosecco, which went down a treat. After these, we enjoyed a round of their slushy cocktails too! The area can hold up to 20 people, although I wouldn’t recommend playing with that many people if you want to have maximum time on the board. There were five of us playing in our group and we managed to play three full games in an hour. The time flew by so I would suggest playing for at least 90 minutes in a group of 6 to make the most of your time there.
Once your game has finished, you are welcome to stay and drink/socialise in the bar. I’d recommend arriving early and making the most of Flight Club’s new ‘Fizz Hour’ where you can enjoy a bottle of Prosecco for £20, every evening from 5pm -7pm.
We all had an amazing time at Flight Club and would definitely recommend you give it a try. The next morning, we received an interactive story board of our time there which included a group photo and video footage of poignant moments throughout the game such as ‘the winning dart’ in demolition, and the reactions we had when we hit a snake or a ladder in ‘snakes and ladders’. This is a brilliant concept and acts as a great memory of the evening.
Flight Club is an ideal activity for a work night out, a birthday party, or a general social evening with you and your friends. Don’t worry if you have never played darts before – there are three different throw lines of varying distances from the board, and the interactive games bring a fun and quirky side to the traditional sport.
For more info on how to book, locations, and prices, please see website: Flight Club
* I received complimentary tickets to review this experience