Deer Hunter: African Safari Hands-On Preview

Glu was on hand at WWDC today, showing us playable versions of their upcoming new games. We saw Build-a-lot 2, a new physics puzzle game called NOM, and the sequel to Deer Hunter 3D, called Deer Hunter: African Safari. Of these three, we were most interested in the game that lets you stalk, shoot, and stuff elephants and zebras.

African Safari lets you hunt in three different regions: South Africa, Cameroon, and Tanzania. Your game includes lions, zebra, kudu (large deer-like creatures), buffalo, and elephant. It’s a significant departure from the woods and streams in the first Deer Hunter game, and some of the vistas looked pretty stunning.

Just like in the first game, you start off with an overhead view (GPS) where you tap to start walking in any direction. Eventually you’ll hit some tracks (animals are plentiful in the Deer Hunter games) and will have a chance to set up your shot. The next screen is new for the sequel: You’ll now be able to place your position in an overhead view, with targets marked out for you.

Then you’re into the 3D scene, and you can drag your crosshairs over one of the local wildlife. Head, neck, and spine shots are instant kills, but it’s possible your prey could limp away, forcing you to give chase on the GPS screen. In this sequel, some animals will even charge you if you make them angry.

In terms of equipment, you’ll be able to buy camouflage and tripods to stabilize your weapon. More equipment will be available as optional in-app purchases, but we think most players should be satisfied with the six items that come with the initial game.

Deer Hunter 3D has been incredibly successful on the iPhone, and an impressive-looking iPad version of the original is coming soon. it makes sense that Glu would take the series someplace new, and the African setting is certainly lush enough for aspiring big game hunters. Deer Hunter: African Safari will be available in mid-August for the iPhone, with an iPad version coming later in the year.

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