Review: After Hours Athletes (PlayStation 3 Move)

By Wayne Webb

Meatloaf once sang that “two out of three ain’t bad”, but in this case one out of three is just not good enough. After Hours Athletes is a package of games for the PS3 Move.

A misleading title aside the three packaged games seem like a good idea for the unique aspects of the PS Move controller; Bowling, Darts and Pool. The setup is basic and the design is for fun more than accuracy. The characters you can play as or with are caricatures that are entertaining enough though the humour is not really for kids. It’s not offensive, just above their heads.

Bowling is the only game of the three that I liked. Similar to the bowling game that’s been available on the Wii for a few years now, it’s no great improvement or deviation from what is already out there. You pick the ball up and launch it towards the pins using your actual arm motion for control, power and spin. It’s fun, addictive and good to play against others..

Darts seems like a good idea and the design and presentation is very nice too. There are plenty of visual options to choose from and again it plays well with others involved. There are also a good number of dart-based rule options to play with depending on your own predilections for darts. To understand these you’d need to be a fan or a player and that’s where you get let down, as soon as you start to play. If there’s a trick to this, it never made itself obvious to me. Control and accuracy seem almost random and while I could score where I wanted to often enough, it was never ever consistent enough to make the game enjoyable.

Pool suffers a similar fate, great design and poor control. Too many steps to get your shot lined up, and when it is you have to move your controller in order to get the shot played through.  This meant that judging the power required was a nightmare. Quick, sharp movements would give you power but not any control. Longer, more realistic movements gave you control back but the effort required to make even a medium-powered shot was well out of proportion. Frustrating and tiring, that’s not a game of pool at all.

One last complaint. In order to swap from game to game I had to exit the game entirely and relaunch it to get to the game selection menu. Again if there was some trick or shortcut to that, I never found it and that was frustrating..

Pros: Bowling is fun, and the cartoon design is bright and engaging.
Cons: 2 out of 3 games not fun, dodgy controls, high physical effort for small moves, restart to change games.

1 Shack Out Of 5