Some things should not be… - Macenstein

Some things should not be…

…and one of them is Duck Hunt on the iPhone.

I was actually quite the marksman back in the day on the original NES version of Duck Hunt, so I was pretty excited to see Jirbo had ported the game to the iPhone. Sure, giving a young child a light gun and letting him kill virtual animals for hours on end, alone in his basement, is perhaps a recipe for disaster, but damnit, I was good. I was a dead shot from across the room (or as far as the cords reached, anyway). I even could manage to do dive rolls and still get a perfect score.

However, as great a gaming experience as the original Duck Hunt was, is how BAD an experience the game is on the iPhone. That damn dog, once a sight seldom seen, mocks me at every turn as duck after duck escapes. Hitting a duck, let alone 10, is nearly impossible.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that 20 year’s time certainly can dull reflexes, but Duck Hunt on the iPhone is quite simply a frustrating exercise in futility. I give Jirbo kudos for doing a faithful port of the game, however, in this case, some degree of dumbing down would have been appreciated. The iPhone’s touch screen is a far cry from the accurate light gun of the NES, and the ducks fly around at light gun speeds, not “mash your giant fingers on the screen” speed, where accuracy can only be described as hit or miss (mainly miss).

The iPhone is already a phone, web browser, e-mail client, and iPod. I think adding “gaming system” to that resume might be asking a bit much. I know, the iPhone is cool, and developing games for it therefore means you’re cool, but the touch screen is not the PSP’s game pad, and fast-paced action games just don’t work.

So, a note to game developers – stick to the Sudoku and Hangman-type games for the iPhone, and focus your action-oriented gaming attention on bringing more titles to the actual Mac, where they will be appreciated and (dare I say it) enjoyed.

(UPDATE: In my quest to avoid doing real work, I did come back to Duck Hunt and eventually get to level 5, but I wished I had done something else with my time – never a good thing in a time waster. Many of my “hits” were way off, and many of my bullseyes were incorrectly marked misses. Oh, and I will not believe any reader comment from someone claiming they can successfully got to level 10 or above without a photo. It just isn’t possible (or fun)).

2 Responses to “Some things should not be…”
  1. Just find a spot beside the tree, and only “shoot” when ducks fly near there. That’ll take most of the guesswork out of finding a place to shoot.

  2. cs says:

    Lost track of levels I got to when I first found the game. Eventually just quit the game as it just kept going.

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