[Review] Duck Hunt

Duck Hunt Cover 2

REVIEW # 00000000 00011001

Do not shoot the dog

Admit it: you sweared at least once to that idiot dog, thinking about the most cruel way to kill him and hoping to have him in front of your face to punch his nose so hard to let him fly over Pluto’s orbit until Oorst’s nebula where maybe a huge ice rock could crash him. I don’t want to invite you to be cruel against the animals especially against dogs. I love dogs, I even have one. However there’s only one dog you should hate if you’re born in the 70’s or in the 80s and if you had a NES and his name is the-bastard-shitty-dog of Duck Hunt.

Duck Hunt Cartridge

My heart says…


Duck Hunt is one of the most upsetting games ever. The first time I played it I was calm and relaxed, I placed myself at the correct distance, as the instuctions said and I aimed right in the middle of my (at time) brand new green 15″ TV Color: I missed all the f*****g ducks. So I placed myself a couple of steps ahead: 2-3 ducks and still that stupid dog kept laughing at me. So my final decision was to put the zapper directly AGAINST the TV: was a solid 10/10. And now try to laugh again in my face you stupid hound!

Duck Hunt 3

Obviously this wasn’t the proper way to beat the game but having in my hand that orange futuristic zapper and killing all the ducks (but I moved quickly on the clays, since I was feeling bad for all those poor ducks) made me feel powerful.

Duck Hunt 4

By the way since Duck Hunt came along with Super Mario Bros. and THIS was the game I played the most I dind’t have the time to fall in love with duck hunting, so this game remained an occasional pastime.

Splash screen


Nintendo used to make good title screens, but this time, maybe for the “low” budget allocated for this title, maybe because this was only a side-game, the result is below the standards. Too simple, too dark, too meagre. The only catchy thing is that you can select the options by shooting with the zapper. Too little.

Duck Hunt 5



It’s strange, because the graphics are a bit blurry. It seems that developers dind’t care about it, and this is real bad because Nintendo has always been titanic about the graphics. Maybe they were all focused on something else…



Oh, c’mon do you think there’s a plot behind what that idiot dog is doing? It’s a hound it’s his nature to run after the ducks!



Duck Hunt don’t need instructions. Just sit down (or better stand up) and shoot. It’s good to play in two, since playing it alone could be a bit boring after a while. There are 3 sub-games: one duck, two ducks or clay shooting, each one with 99 levels. It’s clear that you have to shoot the ducks (or the clays) before they left the screen.

Talking about the duck hunting you have three shoots before the duck flies away. Every kill is worth 1000 points or 500 if you use all the three bullets you have available and in every level you have 10 ducks to kill (10k point in total).

Apart from the gameplay the biggest heritage Duck Hunt left to the world is the zapper gun: was one of the coolest things ever seen. I mean, it was 1984 and the zapper was a controller that can be assimilated to the modern Wii controller: you shoot at the screen and a duck dies. Awesome! (again: not for the poor duck).

NES Zapper



It’s impossible to have an opinion about the sound of this game, since the only thing you can hear is the sound of the gun, the duck wings and the unnerving laugh of the hound, along with the short music between one level and the other. Again too little.



Virtually the longevity is high even though after level 99 for a bug that afflicted a lot of games in that decade, the game ends. However I think it’s very hard for a normal human being who has the faculty to feel love and anger to reach level 99 without kicking the TV and throwing the zapper a thousand miles away.

Final score 60/100

Year: 1984

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Shooter

Games Mode: Single Player, Multiplayer

Original Platform: NES

From same developers/publishers:

  • Donkey Kong (1981)
  • Mario Bros. (1983)

Inspired to:

If you liked you can also try:

Other chapters of the saga:

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. Mr. Wapojif says:

    I hope you’ve seen the new mini-NES which is being released soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Sure! I made a post about it yesterday! It will be mine one day…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mr. Panda says:

    Very fair review! I wish I had the opportunity to play the real version with the NES zapper. I have only played the Virtual Console version, and using the Wii remote is not the same. I can see why this would be popular back in the 80s though. Great job on this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. benez256 says:

      Yeah, handling the zapper was like having in your hand the power to control the world. It was so futuristic (at least for me) al well-designed I still keep it as a relic in a safe place…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I still have my copy of this along with the Zapper from when I was a kid. I still get it out to play from time to time, but it doesn’t seem to work to well with modern TVs. I always preferred the clay shooting personally. A nice write up on the whole.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      I prefer clay shooting too. Sometimes in the old days seeing the ducks being killed and treated like a trophy almost made me cry (I was so sentimental……). Fortunately I have in my bedroom the same old TV, the same I had in 1991. 25 years of age and still does her job. Old technology, so long-lasting…


      1. It makes me wonder if we’ll see releases of old style CRT TVs again what with the recent resurgence of retro gaming. The mini NES that’s coming out is a prime example.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. benez256 says:

        I hope so! but then we have to bring back the VHS recorders…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Rei says:

    if that gun had limited bullets, I would’ve emptied it on that dog *triggered*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      It’s exactly the thing I do when I’m tired of playing. Unfortunately he’s a bulletproof highlander…

      Liked by 1 person

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