Duck Hunt from Alligator Software is totally unlike its same-named classic counterpart that appeared in arcades and on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Nintendo's Duck Hunt was intended for young audiences. The violence was cartoon-like, and there was a laughing dog making appearances to keep the mood light.
Alligator's game, on the other hand, is a dry recreation of real life duck hunting. There is no laughing dog here. This is a game for people who enjoy killing live ducks for sport. It isn't fun for the kiddies.
All comparisons aside, Alligator's Duck Hunt is a decent waste of time for its era. It does not stand the test of time, however.
Graphics are basic. A lovely mountain range and lake fill the screen. Ducks swoop past very quickly. When you shoot them, they don't fall from the sky. They continue to flap their wings as they begin a diagonal descent off-screen. That's weird.
Sound is adequate but not award-winning. You hear the quacking of flying ducks, the blast from a shotgun, the click of the reload, and so on. There are eleven different soundtracks to choose from, including Moonlight Sonata.
Now, we get to control. The manual warns players that Duck Hunt was developed in 1993, when 486 PCs were the fastest on the market. It shows. On a Pentium 60, this game is too fast to play on even the slowest setting. On a 486 DX, the game is almost bearable on the slowest setting. On a 366-megahertz processor, you cannot even see the ducks as they cross the screen. This game is for people who have a 386 computer lying around. If you are a brave soul, you can find software that will slow down your computer's processor speed. I wouldn't do that. The game really isn't worth it.
Game play on a 486 is decent. There are a few bugs, however. Overlapping sounds make it hard to tell if you have actually reloaded your gun. This is especially annoying when you get a bead on a mallard and your rifle goes, "CLICK!" Other than that, game play is fine. Duck Hunt is an average game. It's something you can play or not play. On the upside, it does not take up a lot of space on your hard drive.
Graphics: Good for its era.
Sound: Minimal -- ambient lake sounds, mostly.
Enjoyment: A decent waste of time on a 486 (or older) machine.
Replay Value: Varies depending on one's love for duck hunting.
Loosely inspired by Duck Hunt for the NES, for lack of a light gun this game instead demands an itchy trigger finger on the space bar. You play a little armed ASCII-man in the bottom centre of the screen; a series of rude birds will fly above you, and you must fire your shot timed such that the bullet's trajectory will intercept that of the bird. Too late, and the duck will insult you. Since you can only shoot straight up, this amounts to mentally anticipating how soon the duck will fly directly overhead, and subtracting the time it takes for your bullet to reach the duck's height. Gameplay continues until the hunter runs out of bullets.
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