Nintendo’s lawyers suddenly have a lot of business coming their way. A few weeks ago a series of pretty decent Game & Watch knockoffs drew the attention of would-be intellectual property law specialists. And now someone’s cooked up a 99 cent Duck Hunt clone!
Mobile 1UP’s GW games and Duck Hunt are both clearly actionable IP violations, but the GW series is somewhat more defensible–the developer put together all the assets from scratch, and is careful to explain that his games are rendered in the style of Nintendo’s Game & Watch machines.
The Duck Hunt guy didn’t bother with such niceties; he is trading directly on Nintendo’s good name. It looks like he ripped Duck Hunt’s assets straight out of an emulator, and the game even has an “iPhone Entertainment System” splash screen modeled on the Nintendo logo! And if that leaves any doubt, he also describes the game as “a port of the classic Nintendo game to the iPhone platform” on its App Store page. Curiously, the game uses a fake N64 thumbstick to move the crosshairs around, in lieu of tap controls.
Duck Hunt lacks sound effects, as well as the hunting dog that sniggers at you when you miss, but the developer is promising their inclusion in an update… assuming he makes it that far before getting sued. But then again, the GW games are still on sale, so Nintendo may not be paying very close attention to the App Store after all.