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Deer Hunter

Deer Hunter

Hunting Just Off the info highway

By Steven Bilodeau

Developed by WizardWorks

$30 Cdn for Windows 95

The most popular game on computer store shelves isn’t 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.Deer Hunter

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 don’t 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.

There’s also a target range for practicing.

At $30 Cdn, this game costs about half that of most other current releases. The game’s system requirements are minimal: a Pentium 75 or better should be able to run this game just fine.

Originality, simplicity and quality – no wonder it’s selling so well.

Steven Bilodeau is a columnist for the Edmonton Journal. You can find more of his columns at

Steven Bilodeau can be reached via e-mail at And for more computer news, visit JournalExtra, the World Wide Web site of The Edmonton Journal, at


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May 14, 2006