Flight Club take the humble game of darts to the next level.
Which genius first thought to let drunk people throw pointy metal things? I suppose we’ll never know – possibly because they took a dart to the eyeball soon afterwards. Nonetheless, it obviously caught on and became a pub classic.
Here in London, two Flight Club bars (in Holborn and Shoreditch) have taken the pastime to a luxurious new level, with a of twist of technology to smooth things along. In their glam wood-panelled venue, each board sits under the gaze of three precision cameras, which collectively identify the location of each dart thrown with sub-millimetre accuracy.
The same system then keeps score, tracks whose turn it is, which numbers each player needs to hit, and proudly announces the winner’s victory on a big screen. (It’s basically as if darts had a baby with those bowling alley screens.) That means you’re free to focus on hitting that bullseye and taunting your opponents.
A superb recent addition is an action-replay cam, which captures all your winning moments for posterity. The same ‘Stories’ system then sends everyone a colourful digital dossier full of highlights, replays, loopcams and the all-important final leaderboard – take a look at our story here! Victory never tasted so sweet…
The same system will also create a Boomerang of your party at your command. Frankly, it’s a wonder we got around to playing any darts at all.
Food and drink – pizzas, sliders, snack plates, and cocktails – can be delivered directly to your board; I was rather taken with the sharing cocktail served in a giant golden trophy, which helped me feel like a winner, even as I was being soundly defeated by all of my colleagues. There’s also a large bar area to relax in before and after your game.
Back at the oche, there are a variety of games on offer courtesy of the computer; including a traditional game of 501 that rewards high-scoring throws, and ‘Killer’, which amps up the rivalry by giving players the ability to knock each other out of the competition as certain points are hit. You can also form teams, for an added spritz of esprit de corps.
It’s definitely a solid night out for any group of mates looking for something a little different: out of ten, we’d give it… ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHHHHHHHHHTY!
Locations: 55 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1BS; or 2a Worship Street, EC2A 2AH. Nearest stations are Holborn and Old Street respectively.
Opening hours: seven days a week; times vary, but roughly midday-midnight.
Price: One hour’s board hire is £15 weekday daytimes and Sundays, £30 other times. Minimum group size of six needed to book ahead for peak times.
More information: from their website.