Duck Hunt required the use of a special Nintendo Zapper light gun that plugged directly into the system. Players would then wait for ducks to show up on the screen which looked like a field. When the ducks came along, they would point and shoot. They were accompanied by a faithful hunting dog who would laugh if the duck was missed and congratulate on a successful shooting. The game also allowed players to shoot clay pigeons if they chose.
There was really no ending in the Duck Hunt game, however there were playing levels. Depending on how good the player got, he or she would advance up to 99 levels at which point, the game would go to level 00. At that level, no ducks would appear, but you would hear wings flapping. After three times of no ducks appearing, the game would be “over”.
After Duck Hunt, there were many other hunting video games that would begin to emerge on the market including Deer Hunter, Big Game Hunter, and Dangerous Hunts. Most of these games began for video game consoles like Nintendo, but the computer industry would soon become more and more involved as these games began to rise in popularity. While opinions vary as to which hunting video game was the first one developed for the home computer, many think that it was called “The Hunting Game” and was made by Oquirrh Productions. The Hunting Game allowed players to hunt for mule, deer, elk, and white tail deer from 48 separate locations. You were allowed to use a rifle, a bow, or a muzzle loader to hunt your prey. You also could hunt for turkey or water fowl from 18 separate locations.
When The Hunting Game first came onto the market, it caused quite a stir among hunting enthusiasts as well as animal rights activists. In fact, in many circles, the emergence of hunting video games brought about much debate and controversy.
Those who enjoyed hunting in the “real world” found these new games exciting and a great way to get some entertainment without leaving the comfort of their own home. They saw the games as a great way to be able to hunt animals they might never be able to do in real life such as bears and moose.
After all, the average Midwestern hunter sees plenty of deer on hunting expeditions, but their chances of hunting bear or elk is limited without a trip someplace.
On the other hand, animal rights activists threw a fit over these games because they perceived them as just another way to harm the animal population and promote violence against our furry friends. Even though the animals were just a bunch of coding made up by a software programmer somewhere, they still felt that video games promoting hunting only added to the real hunting of animals which they perceived as wrong.
At any rate, the fact remained that hunting video games took the market by storm and soon became some of the most popular selling games and software around. Software developers began to make these games much more challenging offering up different options for players that would make the games more enjoyable.
Today, there are hundreds of hunting video games for enthusiasts to choose from that have evolved into truly challenging games. Some may think that a point and click game where you can “down” a virtual deer might be a bit boring, but those who love these games disagree wholeheartedly.
They provide not only entertainment, but also a way to hone their hunting skills at any time of the day or night. When you spend a certain amount of time honing your tracking skills on the computer, chances are pretty good that you’ll be able to use those skills while hunting for real.