Duck Hunt the Game November 24 2014

From the first plucky notes, the theme song of Duck Hunt brings back nostalgic Nintendo memories for every old school gamer. The Duck Hunt game was the very first game to utilize a light gun, which, during its intro in the 1980's, was a pretty big deal. Players could actually point and shoot at the fleeting waterfowl on the screen, and, as the levels progressed, more and more targets flew out the grass and across the sky. The game itself was intensely popular, not in part due to the fact that Duck Hunt was one of the games in a Nintendo Entertainment System package that included the now famous Super Mario Brothers. Duck Hunt was also be tucked in with other gaming packages that included World Class Track Meet and Gyromite. In other words, many gamers in the 80's had a copy of Duck Hunt whether they wanted it or not. An arcade version of the game was released at about the same time.

The Objective

Predictably, the point of the game was to shoot down as many of ducks as possible. You had to hit a bare minimum to move to the next level, and there were slightly fewer than 100 in total. A trusty pooch pal would hold up your kill and pant happily when you bag a duck, and snicker at you when you miss. (This cheeky behaviour was probably why players of the arcade version enjoyed making it to the bonus level they could shoot the dog. You wouldn’t score any points for if you got a hit, but it was worth it nevertheless.)

Where to Play

Even if you don't have an old Nintendo system kicking around and/or don't feel like hunting one down on eBAY, you can play duck hunt online now. Granted, you won't be able to embrace the whole experience, since you'll be using your mouse instead of a gun, but you can get a taste of the experience. (Of course, we're all for the classic, albeit ghetto, gun.)

Duck Hunt the Game: A Learning Tool for Hunters?

While playing the game may have inspired some people to start duck hunting, it is by no means a comprehensive learning tool. Sure, it will increase your hand eye coordination, which is important, but so will most video games. The only real way to learn how to duck hunt is to actually get out there and do it. There's simply no substitute for experience. Still, the game is undeniably fun and for many of us, irresistibly nostalgic.

If you want some tips on how to start duck hunting for real, read our step-by-step guide.