LGR – Hunting For Duck Hunt PC Games
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LGR – Hunting For Duck Hunt PC Games

September 26, 2019


Duck Hunt! I’d argue it’s the one title
that most defines 8-bit lightgun gaming. Whether you’re shooting pixelized ducks
or clay pigeons, it was incredibly approachable
for pretty much anyone to pick up and play,
due to it’s use of the NES Zapper. [Springy trigger noise] Just point, shoot, and learn to embrace
your hate for virtual dogs. But as much as I enjoyed playing it
at my friend’s house back in the day, my family only owned
a 486 PC at the time and, of course, Nintendo was not
interested in releasing games for DOS. Not unless it involved rap music! [Rap music] Ahh, the ’90s were
a magical time, guys. Anyway! The point was I wanted to play
some friggin’ Duck Hunt on my computer, even though it obviously
didn’t have a light gun. So when I saw this,
I practically begged to get it… Duck Hunt for the PC! This was a shareware game
by Alligator Software that I got in 1994
at the local book faire! Sandwiched between hundreds
of other bland-looking disks. There was no box art or screenshots to go on,
only the title and description, so it was a real gamble
picking up games this way. But, dude,
I was desperate! So I rushed it home,
installed it, And here is what I got. [Quack!] [Obnoxious duck calling] [Quacking and gun noises] Ehh… it’s not quite what I’d hoped for,
to be honest. I mean, you could shoot ducks
on top of a 3D-looking background, and that I liked. And it had sound effects
that ran through my PC speaker with the right drivers,
so that was a plus. But compared to the bright,
colorful Nintendo-gasm that was Duck Hunt on the NES, I was absolutely bummed
this is what I’d picked up. There’s no ammo to worry about here,
you just reload every 3 shots and soot as many ducks
as you can in each wave. And once the identical waves
of identical ducks run out, or you missed too many of them,
it’s game over. And the shooting itself
felt more like a dice roll than anything else. It really seems that
no matter how accurate you are, half the time
the shots just won’t connect. And even though you have
a “Duck Call” option, it’s an extra thing to click on
at the start of each wave that does pretty much nothing. But I didn’t give up! I scrounged around
online bulletin boards and AOL’s game channel
for anything Duck Hunt-related, and I’d often run across
games like this: Once again, it is called
Duck Hunt, this time by ALO-Software
in 1993. And yeah, it’s not great;
you just press Space to shoot and hope you hit the duck-arrow. Mmm~
ASCII art. Although it does get the taunting
aspect of the game down pat. Except, instead of a condescending dog, you have belittling text. Ohh…? Ouch! Okay—now you’re just being a dick! Finally, in 1995,
there was a DOS Duck Hunt tribute by Creators of Intense Art. Although I, unfortunately, did not
discover this until recently. This is exactly the kind of thing
I was looking for back in the day! It’s quite an impressive recreation! Doubly so once you realize
this is made using ANSI characters. There are not bitmap graphics
here at all. [Jingle] All this to say that, yeah,
once NES emulators came out I was all aboard that hype train! But to this day, I have a soft spot
for duck-hunting games! So when I ran across this
in a Goodwill some time ago, I had to grab it. This is Duck Hunter Pro! Originally released in 1998, but rereleased in 2002 here
by Ducks Unlimited. And yes: that says
“mousepad with free game”, and not the other way around. That does not exactly
instill confidence in the product, But hey—it’s 2002
and the tech bubble is bursting, so just shove everything we have
into a bag and sell it. “Are you ready? Ducks Unlimited & HeadGames
have teamed up to bring you—” Wait! Wha— Wait!
HeadGames made this?! And they refrained from attaching
the “Extreme” label to it? Huh! I mean, it features 10 different birds
and website hotlinks and an easy to use Chevy truck interface. Cool… And I see the Amazon reviews
are quite promising! Or… Amazon review.
From “A customer”. Uh-huh. There’s also this customer image
someone uploaded of a guy posing
and some dead grass with a bunch of fish. Yeah, that sounds about right… Let’s get this thing open
and see what you get starting with the CD itself
and it’s very blatant message saying precisely what bundle
this goes with and nothing else! And, of course,
there’s the real star of the show: the Ducks Unlimited mousepad. And I gotta say,
it’s a pretty decent mousepad! And I feel inclined to use it
with this game, even though I already use a lovely
mousepad from Ducky… … which is purely a coincidence,
I assure you. Starting the game up, and…
ughh, HeadGames! I recognized your foul stench
when I was brought on board! It then greets you with a photo
of an IBM Thinkpad! And it’s here that you enter your name
and start your season of hunting. After this, you get the main menu,
including those fancy website hotlinks! The Chevy and Duck Unlimited websites
are the only ones that still work, although, as expected,
old-school IE doesn’t play well. Hah! And that seems like the
HeadGames website is up for sale! Now that is tempting! Like… really tempting! So I actually got in touch with
the current owner of the domain and they wanted $15 000 for it! Considering it’s been down for 15 years,
that’s only a grand for each dead year! Yeah, whatever.
Exiting the laptop screen brings you to the easy to use
Chevy truck interface and here you can choose
where you want to hunt. There’s four locations,
and each one of them has a unique set of environments
and conditions, varying in skill level. Exiting the truck
brings you to a Chevy stock photo! And clicking on the trunk
let’s you choose from 3 shotguns, most of which absolutely suck. Seriously!
Who’s heard of a pump-action 12 gauge that only holds 2 to 3 rounds?! Oh, well. You can still shoot stuff with them,
so that’s good! And this is done by selecting
a blind to shoot from on this map. [Sorta realistic nature and bird noises] Ahh, nothing better than
the great outdoors indoors,
on Windows 98. And from here you just… Wh—what?! [Windows error chime—“Chords”] Okay, that was weird… Anyway, from here you discover
the mouse is entirely too sensitive, so slow it down
in the options menu, and… Ohh! It’s even worse! Turns out the “slow” and “fast”
options are reversed, so you need to set it to the fastest
to make it the slowest. Did I mention HeadGames made this? Anyway, back to the hunt and—
Ugh! Again?! Apparently, every time
you start up a hunting session it thinks you’ve reinserted the CD
which triggers the autorun. so you have to disable
that feature in Windows unless you want the game
trying to reinstall itself every time you hunt! Alright, anyway,
I think we can finally play now and, uhh… I mean, it’s okay. You pretty much just sit there
and wait for your dude to start an ASMR session. [>>Here they come!] Then some ducks will fly by
somewhere on-screen and if you can hit them,
you send your dog to go and retrieve them. [>>Atta-boy, Chevy!] Wait. Did uhh…
He just called his dog “Chevy”? The dog is named after the sponsorship! Imagine if YouTubers did that!
Every other dog would be named Audible or Squarespace. But yeah, that’s pretty much it
for these easier hunting sessions. Shoot stuff
until you’re done shooting stuff! Then exit back to your truck and…
Haha! Welp! [laughing]
I guess that’s what happens to the ducks! [Grilling noise] Oh, and if you happen to break
the rules somewhere, you’ll get written up.
And in that case, you’ve gassed up the grill for nothing! Unless you were playing the arcade mode,
where you just shoot anything that moves
with no penalty, sans any tasty duck afterward. Seeing as you still have to
wait around quite a bit for ducks to fly by,
it’s not exactly what I would call “exciting arcade gameplay”,
but it’s a bit less restrictive, at least. And finally, there are
more difficult hunts which require you to possess
a bit more skill and higher tolerance for
irritating game mechanics. On these maps,
the ducks don’t fly by. They’re just these teeny-tiny
single-pixel birds on the horizon. In order to lure them in,
ya have to lure them in using decoys and calls. Calls are pretty straightforward—
you just use the correct one at the correct time and they’ll come flying closer. [Duck calling] [Duck calling]
[Duck calling] [Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling] [Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling] [Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling] [Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling] [Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling]
[Duck calling] And if you think that sound
gets super old, you’d be correct! I now hate ducks. The goal here is to get
this meter at the bottom to turn from red to yellow to green, because, otherwise, they’re too far off
to shoot with your shotgun. That’s where decoys come into play and man, does this suck. For whatever reason, this screen
is home to some legendary input lag. Just look at this crap! Not only that, but the system for making
a successful set of decoys is… Pfft. A mystery to me, man! The help menu says
you need to create a pocket for a landing zone
in accordance with the wind direction and balance the number
of female and male decoys. That’d be fine, if this was not the pickiest
and least informative system possible! All you’ve got to go on is a vague meter turning colors to let you know
if your placement is good or bad, and like… 99% of anything you do
seems to be bad! The thing is, you need to get this
into the green if you want to stand a chance and I was never able to do that
in over an hour trying. Yeah.
Combined with the lag? Screw that. I gave up and went back
to the easier modes so I could cook more ducks,
because I’m hungry. But even that’s not very fun here,
and neither is the whole game! It’s not as ridiculously terrible
as other HeadGames products, but it’s just not very enjoyable
and it’s exacerbated by all sorts of little problems, like, for instance,
the really low field of view. Every other 2D duck-hunting game I’ve played
has a static screen that you aim around, but here, the mouse both aims
and scrolls the screen. It’s just not finnicky,
but it makes it harder than it needs to be to spot the ducks
before they fly past! Oh, and look! There’s a bunch of maps where the camera
is bobbing up and down constantly because you’re on a boat. That won’t make players sick, at all!
[Puke noises] And on that queasy note
we have reached the end of my quest for
duck-hunting PC games, at least for today. I know there’s better duck-hunting games
out there these days, but I don’t really care anymore! I’m sticking with the NES game, because at least a laughing dog
is the most I have to worry about. And if you enjoyed
this episode of LGR, perhaps you would like to see
some of my others. There’s new ones
every Monday and Friday! And to see episodes early,
you can support the show on Patreon. And, as always,
thank you very much for watching!

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  1. Indeed, many jurisdictions require duck-hunting shotguns be limited to 3 rounds.
    But that game was from Ducks Unlimited. I expected unlimited ducks and ammo, so claim false advertising 😉

    EDIT: Yes this is a joke.

  2. That "easy to use Chevy interface" is just hilarious. A crappy truck with an even more crappy interior. A buddy of mine had a Chevy blazer in that exact color. With that very cheap GM plastic interior of course 🙂 Yet, we did a road trip from the east to the west coast. It was an old beast and had some hiccups along the way. However, the mechanics were able to keep it running so we were able to make it to our destination 🙂

  3. Ahh I had this game and played it on the television. I dont know how those consoles were called but you had the card slot on a keyboard and you just plugged the game into the tv, chnage to a certain channel and play away.

  4. I said "cool" about the chevy truck thing at exactly the same time you did. I think that's pretty much the appropriate reaction to that.

  5. So if I remember right it's illegal to hunt with a shotgun that holds more than 3 rounds. You can own one for self defense in most places in the US though, but you can't use it for hunting. So I guess, killing animals, only three shells no more, killing humans, sky's the limit.

  6. You can only use 3 rounds when hunting water fowl. So when using any pump action 12 gauge for duck hunting, you must utilize a plug to limit the amount of rounds a shotgun can hold so that breaks down to two in the tube and one in the chamber.
    When hunting anything else, you are not required to utilize a plug and thus can load more than two in the tube. So it makes perfect sense that Ducks unlimited (a nationally recognized wildlife conservation and hunting organization) would feature a 12ga. pump action and a semi-auto 12ga. shotgun that is limited to only 2-3 rounds.

  7. Clint, you should try this watch?v=JchYBOxNrAg It's a classic >:B (SO MANY HOURS sunk into the three installments)

  8. Can you make a download for that game by Alligator Software? I'm sure some of us would like to try it out for ourselves!

  9. 7:05 "…imagine if YouTubers did that. Every other dog would be named Audible or Squarespace."
    Actually, Shane Dawson did that with his dog Honey lol

  10. Well I had NES but didn’t get a PC until 1996 so don’t feel too bad lol but many good times with light gun and getting feels hurt by the god haha

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