Patrick Chaplin: Book & Product Reviews

‘Madhouse’ Mobile Phone Application Launched

‘Madhouse’ Mobile Phone ApplicationAs if mobile phones weren’t adaptable enough, news has reached Darts World of an application that allows darts fans to download ‘MadHouse’, their own personal darts scoreboard, so you can actually score games on their mobile phones.

The programme, called ‘MadHouse’, is the brainchild of Leeds-based Phill Garrett who graduated from Liverpool’s John Moore’s University in 2005 with a MSc in Computer Games Technology. During 2006, Phill focussed on mobile phone programming and found that he had a natural talent for it. He then teamed up with artist Rob James to form GoMobli and developed their first game, Mini Sudoku.

One day, when Phill and Rob were in a pub with Phill’s dad, he introduced the lads to the darts game, Tactics (or, as it is known in the USA, ‘Cricket’). Phill watched the chalking of the game and immediately saw the potential of putting darts scoring on to a mobile phone. They researched darts and discovered that there were a great number of alternative games. They played them and then selected the best to be included in their darts application, which they named ‘MadHouse.’

Phill told Darts World, ‘MadHouse is a unique Java application which provides scoring systems for a wide range of darts games in real time, most of which would be difficult to play in your local games room. Play a game of 301 and Mad House will automatically subtract your score total, keep a three-dart average record and even suggest out-shots when within score range.”

But MadHouse is not simply about 301. Other games include ‘Cricket’ (or ‘Tactics’), utilising the number 15 to 20 and the Bull can be played by up to four players and the game of ‘Halve It’ (curiously called ‘Bermuda’) can be played by up to four players using the numbers 12 to 20 and two random doubles or trebles (halving out each time a shot is missed). An intriguing game I had not heard of before is ‘Gotcha’ which is simply a game of 301, where up to four players’ scores can be recorded, in which if any opponents’ score is matched, the score is automatically rest to 301! (That’s cruel Phill. Very cruel!)

Whilst MadHouse may not totally replace chalk or the electronic scoreboard (especially amongst traditionalists and in the more formal organised darts league situations), it will doubtless appeal to the thousands of younger people taking up the sport as interest continues to expand like never before.

Launched in January, MadHouse is available to download for just £5.00. For further details of the application and phone capability can be obtained by visiting the Gomobli website at

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© Patrick Chaplin 2007

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