Deer Hunter 3D

from Glu Games Inc., originally released 15th May, 2009

Download the best-selling hunting game of all time, and set your sights on deer, moose, bighorn sheep, bears, turkeys, and more in 30 scenic 3D environments.

Brave changing seasons and weather conditions. Unlock new weapons, skills, and hunts by bagging the biggest kills.
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Deer Hunter 3D Review

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.

Previews:

Deer Hunter 3D Hands-On

We stopped by Glu headquarters yesterday to play the final build of Deer Hunter 3D, which aims to bring a new level of realism and depth to the hunting game genre.

Our impressions after the jump!

There are already lots of hunting games available on the App Store, and some of them have become very popular–the 99 cent iHunt 3D, for instance, has been a Top 10 seller for some time.

You’d better hit it in the right spot.

This genre clearly has legs, but there’s been no real “Triple-A” title from a big publisher to set a definitive standard. The $5.99 Deer Hunter 3D will try to fill that niche when it comes out, possibly as soon as this Friday.

There certainly seems to be enough content here to justify a premium price. The game’s called Deer Hunter 3D, but there are actually lots of other kinds animals to shoot as well, like moose and bear, even squirrels. The three hunting locations–Northern Europe, American Midwest and Western Russia–all have unique flora, fauna and climates (Russia is awfully snowy).

Plus, there’s a bunch of unlockable weapons and equipment. Skillful play is rewarded with goodies like scopes and deer calls, as well as new rifles, a compound bow, a black powder rifle… even an AK-47! It may not be sporting, but it sounds like fun.

Hunting isn’t easy. In the game’s career mode (called Hunting Trip), you have to bag five animals in a day and pass a score threshold to advance. It’s a bit of a process.

First, you have to locate your prey by trekking around an overhead map until you encounter a deer. The game then switches into a first-person viewpoint so you can “tag” animals with your cursor. Tagging gives you the deer’s vital statistics, like weight and number of antler points, and it also lets you track it on the overhead map should it escape your sights.

After selecting a target and tagging it, you’re ready to fire. Touching a button brings up your scope, and then dialing a circular meter zooms in and out on the animal. A “steady” button reduces the amount of wobble in your aim for a short time, and a screen tap shoots.

It’s important to catch the animal in the right spot to get a kill shot. Otherwise, it’ll bound away wounded, and you’ll have to track it down all over again. Bonus points are awarded for clean kills and head shots–It’s all too easy to shoot your deer in its hind quarters and turn your hunt into a fiasco. You can also see entry and exit wounds for your top kills on your “trophy wall” for a cool touch.

Deer Hunter 3D’s graphics look like they will be a big highlight of the game. The natural environments look lovely. There’s sun-dappled foliage, falling leaves, rain and snow… it’s very high quality stuff. And a great deal of care has gone into animating the animals. They look very real.

We’ve got Deer Hunter 3D firmly in our sights, so prepare for the full review shortly after release.