Off the info highway
By Steven Bilodeau
Cdn for Windows 95
The most popular game on computer store shelves
isnt one of the super-hyped titles like Myst, Riven or Quake
II. Instead it is an original sports simulation assembled by a relatively
minor developer. WizardWorks Deer Hunter is an easy to learn,
high-resolution hunting game.
There are three available settings: Colorado
Alpine Meadows (in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains), an Indiana winter
or an Arkansas Autumn Woodland.
There are three weapons available; the
one you choose depends on the skill level you desire. A rifle offers great
distance and accuracy with its scope, but it is a single shot. The shotgun,
an odd choice for big game hunting, is less powerful and has less range,
but you get four shots. The noise of this shot will scare off any quarry
in the area. Lastly, there is the challenge of the modern bow. Though
it has a limited range, it is potent when accurately delivered. Its silence
means that a miss will not necessarily spoil the next shot.
The combination of setting and weapon
provides variety which will bring you back. And there are other options
that affect the game's difficulty. You can choose to use a tree stand
for a better shot and greater stealth, though your view will be partially
obscured at times. Because wind and scent are factored into the program,
you can use cover scent and/or attractant scent to increase your likelihood
of finding a target.
Other tricks you can use include a deer
call and a rattle, to simulate the sound of a rack against the tree.
Game play simply involves determining
the likely location of the deer, based on an area map. Sites with deer
rubbings, bedding areas or droppings are good prospects. Simply move to
those areas and wait patience is the key to a successful hunt.
This is not a 3D action game; you dont walk around looking for the
deer. Instead, you stay in one place surrounded by high-resolution graphics,
using your binoculars to identify movement. Sounds of birds, wind and
water are authentic and add to the experience.
Theres also a target range for practicing.
At $30 Cdn, this game costs about half
that of most other current releases. The games system requirements
are minimal: a Pentium 75 or better should be able to run this game just
Originality, simplicity and quality
no wonder its selling so well.
Steven Bilodeau is a columnist for the Edmonton Journal.
You can find more of his columns at www.southam.com/edmontonjournal/technology/bilodeau.html.
Steven Bilodeau can be reached via e-mail at StevenB@msn.com.
And for more computer news, visit JournalExtra, the World Wide Web site
of The Edmonton Journal, at http://www.edmontonjournal.com.
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