The Original Duck Hunt: A review

I was browsing the iTunes App Store for games and ran across a game called Duck Hunt: The Game. While getting ready to write up a review on that one, I came across Original Duck Hunt, so I decided to review both of them starting with the latter.

Original Duck Hunt

The Original Duck Hunt is the closest I’ve seen to the original Nintendo Duck Hunt game, excluding ROMs on various platforms. ROMs, for those who may not know, are just exact copies of the original games that are meant to run inside of applications that emulate the original gaming hardware.

The Original Duck Hunt stays true to the Nintendo version by including, what looks like to me, the original graphics, the original sounds (including the dog barking), and even the three different birds.

The modifications made for the iPhone are quite elegant. You hold the device in a horizontal orientation since the aiming and firing buttons are in the lower left and lower right corners, as shown below.

Original Duck Hunt

You must successfully shoot down the birds so the dog may retrieve them. Each bird is worth a different amount. The black bird is worth 500, the Blue Bird is worth 1000 and the Red Bird is worth 1500 points. In order to continue to the next round the user must successfully shoot down the requisite number of birds. The number of birds is shown in the blue line. I was up to Level 11 and the number did not change from six.

If you fail to get to the requisite number of birds, the game is over and if your score is the highest, it will be saved. Once a game is over you will be returned to the Title Screen.

There are two modes, Game A with one duck, and Game B with two ducks. With either game you only get three shots, regardless of the number of birds. So if you miss two shots on Game B, you will miss a duck.

Despite how good of a transfer the game is, there are a few items missing. The biggest issue with the game is the fact that there is a ‘Game C Load Game’, yet there is now way to actually save a game, unless it includes some hidden code in order to do so. If you hit the home button while in the middle of a game it does not save nor does it do anything other than quit the game. One of the missing features from the Nintendo version is the increase of difficulty as the game goes on. One other missing feature is that if you do shoot down 10 ducks within a round you are supposed to get some bonus points for a perfect score. These are not show-stoppers, but they can be a negative for those who are looking for an exact port of the Nintendo game.

Overall, as I said before, this is the closest representation of the original Duck Hunt, yet it still falls short in some areas. If you’re a nostalgic person or really loved playing old-school Nintendo games then this is definitely worth the $0.99. It is available in the App Store now.

I'm into everything technology related, particularly anything Apple related. I enjoy programming and tend to lean towards server-based technologies over client-based. You can contact me on twitter, via e-mail, or follow me on friendfeed.