The critters in Deer Hunter 3D are downright cuddly compared to the targets found in most iPhone games. After fighting our way through hundreds of battles with soldiers, aliens, robots and zombies, it’s a nice change of pace to slowly draw a bead on a majestic animal grazing peacefully by a stream. Deer Hunter 3D combines attractive natural settings with the dramatic feeling of striking down unsuspecting wildlife, making it a good purchase for hunting fans but far too basic for experienced gamers.
Moose – It’s what’s for dinner.
Deer Hunter 3D starts with just one environment, difficulty and weapon available, but it’s very easy to meet the target requirements for each hunting trip and advance through the game quickly. This is because most of the animals appear almost immediately as you explore the terrain using an overhead GPS map. When you locate their tracks, the game shifts to a first-person view with a beautifully rendered panoramic display, and you’ll find plenty of animals standing mostly still, enjoying a nibble on the ground.
A quick shot to the head or through the vitals will earn you a kill. If you get a hit but don’t kill the animal, it’s back to the GPS map, but this time the tracks are bloody. You can kill five different animals on each hunting trip, and you’re encouraged to bag the biggest game for more points. Larger game like bears and moose are exciting to come across the first few times, but they go down just as easily as a deer with a well-placed shot.
The most annoying aspect of Deer Hunter 3D is its shooting mechanic–you have to drag the crosshairs over to your target and wait for a bouncing reticule to pass over it. This makes the aiming process a bit too timing-based, and the shaky hand of your hunter only gets worse if you choose an unconventional weapon like the black powder musket or compound bow. A scope attachment for most of your rifles does help by limiting the guesswork, and being able to dial in the zoom lends a nice tactile feeling.
Once you get the hang of locating big prey and timing your shots, the game breezes by like an afternoon outdoors. In 3 hours or so, you’ll have seen every environment and animal the game has to offer, as beautiful as they may be. Eyebrow-raising extras like the AK-47 aren’t very satisfying either, because the game won’t give you points for using an illegal weapon to hunt deer. Instead of an assault rifle, lengthier challenges and more variety in the core experience would have made this relatively pricey hunting game a better value.
Since it’s so easy to find targets in this game, much of the tension is gone. Deer Hunter 3D is a very pretty, but ultimately dull shooting gallery that doesn’t contain a lot of depth or detailed information about hunting. If you really like the sport, it can be relaxing just to enjoy the nice environments, making Deer Hunter 3D a decent purchase at $5.99. Otherwise, you might want to track down a more exciting shooter.