Overall Score 63%
Imagine the scene; the Bytten crew are fighting for games from the Review Queue and we come across a game called Crazy Ducks. This is interesting we say as one, it's a first person shooter based on the Nintendo classic Duck Hunt. The fighting stops as the Crew look at me, I owned the NES game so I was the only choice.
For those readers who don't know a classic from their own elbows, Duck Hunt was a lot like real duck shooting. The original game controller was a light gun and the whole game evolved around you shooting ducks that were then collected by your faithful dog. The game was very shallow but somehow having a gun controller made the game a lot more entertaining.
20 years later and light gun games are still rare, especially on the PC. Instead of real guns, we now have the next best thing, the First Person Shooter. Crazy Ducks is probably as close to real duck hunting as you'll get without obtaining a real-life gun license, donning the outdoor gear and finding yourself a field full of ducks.
Crazy Ducks lets you enjoy five different styles of hunting. Duck Hunt is fairly obvious, hunt for ducks and shoot them, with higher scores given for multi-kills and quick finishes. Duck Attack is pure survival, with the ducks mounting an attack against you. Duck Crossing is my favourite, turning gameplay into a wave-based shooter where you must kill all the migrating birds. Capture the flag is not only tough, but a little surreal as the ducks try to grab your white flag.
Clay shooting is the least effective mode, removing the ducks and replacing them with round discs that are incredibly hard to shoot. All of the modes are fun for a short time, and enough variety is offered to keep boredom away. Reading the developers website shows that Crazy Ducks is an ongoing project and several new modes may be added in time.
Graphics in a First Person Shooter need to be good for the game to work, and Crazy Ducks does a reasonable job. The game engine is looking a little dated, but it's strong enough to carry the gameplay and doesn't hinder you. Unfortunately the maps are very average, with little on offer other than open and hilly fields.
Sound is good, if only because of the comical duck quacks that ring in your ears whilst playing. Most of the gun sound effects are basic, but the bow has a cool twang that raises a grin, especially if you manage to arrow a bird. Music is OK but the option to turn it off is a welcome one. Presentation throughout is functional.
Final conclusions are tough to articulate. Kudos to the developer for creating an F.P.S. and for trying something different. The arcade gameplay offers quick thrills but no lasting challenge and sadly it will be the lifespan of this game that is its undoing. I definitely recommend downloading the demo, and if you like it the low price tag of the full game offers a few extra hours of fun!
Is this as good as Nintendo Duck Hunt? Not quite, but adding a dog might help.
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