dart board review

Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Review

Take a long hard look at the dart board that fastracks you toward professional grade dart gaming.

What makes a home dart board the perfect passage to pro-level

It’s a game that tests accuracy. A unique blend of physical and mental acuity is at play when you throw darts. Is it any wonder, then, that only the very best of dart boards will give you the best experience?

We talk here of the Arachnid Cricket Pro 800, a performer that brings out the best performance in you. If you’re not at your best yet, this is a piece of equipment that will make you sweat and fire you with inspiration to try harder.

A snippet of what’s on offer with this electronic dart board

In terms of making you perform, and in terms of being a pathbreaking piece of work, the Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 is a gamechanger. Any dartboard will have a metal frame called the spider, which holds all the segments of the scoring area together. The challenge is to make these metal wires in the spider as thin as possible so they don’t obstruct the darts hitting the board, resulting in the dreaded bounce-out problem. Arachnid solved this in the most innovative way possible by making Nylon wires instead of metal. The bounce-out rate drops sharply to near zero, something other makers struggle to achieve as yet. This tells you how serious Arachnid is about providing the very best to its dart gaming patrons.

Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Review: Aspects that Stand Out

1. Physical features

Starting with the looks, Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 is a winner right away. It has a solid red and black façade with yellow lines, and the dark theme stands out against any wall or background. The theme and combination of colors is so attractive that Arachnid has made it a trademark design. The stark yellow lines make it easy to pick out the bull’s eye and have a go at it. And oh, the bull’s eye itself is adjustable, depending on which game you’re playing. There is an inner bull’s eye and an outer bull’s eye, which means you get plenty of practice hitting a smaller target. Way to improving your skills and challenge yourself to a great extent! The gaming console also offers a spot for the darts to be stored.

Below the circular throwing area is the display and gaming controls, nested in a set up that looks state-of-the-art. Two solid buttons – one to help you navigate the levels and another to turn the heckler on or off make it handy for players who like the extra kick of a voice urging them on as well as the players who prefer quiet gameplay. This dart board supports up to 8 players, with the scores of 4 players on display in the X O format at a time. A crisp LED display gives a sophisticated look to the gaming console. LED makes the digits brighter and you can spot the score from afar, as far as the oche. There is also a lower failure rate with this display, meaning it lasts longer.

There’s no question of totting up the scores manually, the electronic dart board with a lightning-quick display does it all for you. You get to concentrate on your game (and of course, on challenging your friends in a group setting). A single center button makes it easy to switch between players’ turns. Next is the list of games, which you can select through the buttons at the bottom. Also available are controls for volume, solo gaming, and powering the dart board on/off. The whole set-up weighs about 10 pounds, the light weight being one of the many advantages of having a tournament-quality, regulation-size electronic dart board. The dimensions come up to 30 x 22 x 3 inches and there are many other size variants in the Arachnid stable to choose from.

The 15.5 inch diameter allows you to prepare yourself for tournament-level games, and this is a handy size to practice on, even if you never plan to participate in tournament games yourself. You can call yourself a true-blue dart-gaming enthusiast by practicing on this size board, and it also makes you a serious player. This is a heavy-duty, durable game board that guarantees many hours of practice for you and your team, with tips for improving your game as you go.

2. Installation

Installation of this light-weight dart board is quite simple. It is a straightforward wall-mounting board, with the plastic inserts and two long screws. Being light enough, the dart board can easily be affixed to wood or drywall. 2 washers are also provided, making the board steady and countering any wobbles during gameplay.

The ease of installation and the solid construction of the board gives a wobble-free experience and a lot of satisfaction to avid players of darts. This is where Arachnid stands head and shoulders above the competition, despite its boards being on the pricier side.

3. Gameplay features

Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 offers 39 games. Within the game there are 179 variations with 7 cricket games to choose from. Even during the gameplay, you notice that the dart board gives suggestions on the display as to how you can improve your throws. Another feature it allows is dart averaging. The lower difficulty levels can be quite handy to help you learn the game. As you progress through the various difficulty levels, you will notice that your skill has improved visibly.

It is a good idea to start with 301, a game which is supported by almost any dart board, including this one. The challenge is to count down to zero from a beginning score of 301. Hitting the inner bull’s eye directly knocks off a score of 50 and the outer bull’s eye knocks off 25, with singles, doubles and trebles making up the rest. The challenge is to end up at exactly zero in your turn. Each turn gives a chance to play three darts. Other games supported by this dart board are Killer, Shanghai, English Cricket, American Cricket, and Baseball.

For all you lone warriors, the options of playing solo is also available. You can play against the computer. The intelligent dart board comes with reset and sleep modes, so you can pause and play as you find convenient without losing your scores. Also select your bull’s eye size for keener challenge.

4. Power options

The Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 is powered by an AC adaptor, but you can also use batteries. It is compatible with rechargeable batteries.

Other power-packed features

The Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 is the complete nerd’s dart board that is full of features and a little extra bang for the extra buck that you pay. The set that comes along with the dart board includes 6 soft-tip darts (3 darts of a color) and extra dart tips. The gaming instructions offer you a lowdown on how to play the games, and the installation manual kicks you off on how to get started with the board, right from the unboxing stage.

Arachnid uses the square hole technology that keeps the darts firmly lodged once they hit the playing surface. The edges of the square expand on impact from the dart and squeeze shut around the dart, keeping it in place. Another feature that contributes to the reduced bounce-out problem is the nylon segment dividers which are micro-thin. It all amounts to reduced incidences of the darts popping out right where they enter the board. The thinner spider also means that the playing area is greater in the Arachnid Cricket Pro 800.

Even with all this technological advancement, Arachnid has made available a bounce-out amend feature which allows you to take away the throws that have resulted in bounce-outs. This way your scoring is not interrupted and there’s fair play all around.

What’s more, the Arachnid offers a one-year warranty against defects.

These features make it the best dart board for home. You can enjoy it as much with friends or family as you can playing by yourself. Even seasoned players of steel-tipped darts will enjoy playing this one, since there is no problem with the board registering the soft-tipped throws. It offers all the advantages of electronic dart boards in one fun package. 

Recommendations to enjoy this dart board to the fullest

  • Use of lighter darts seems to work better as opposed to heavier darts. Light darts stay put while heavy ones bounce out.
  • Use a soft material as a surface before mounting the dart board, and the sound coming off the darts is far less. A layer of foam might be just right.
  • Many users suggest setting up a dart board surround and then setting up the dart board, as it will give the darts extra life, as well as reduce the noise caused by darts hitting the target.

Pros

  • Regulation size playing area
  • Excellent scoring system and display
  • Reduced bounce-outs
  • Sturdy construction gives durability
  • Heckling feature adds fun, option to turn it off is good to have

Cons

  • A loud board overall – both because of the heckling feature and the other sounds. Even the sound of falling darts is loud
  • Some players report that one area (12) is less receptive than others, particularly in the final stages of play

Final verdict

All told, it comes down to the budget. Spending this amount, plus shelling out some more for a suitable dart board backboard or surround, might daunt those who are merely looking to occupy some time with darts as a passing hobby. But those who are intent on practicing and getting better at throwing darts will intuitively feel the core strength and the many advantages of this board.

 

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