Deer Hunter Reloaded iPad Review
We have to hand it to Glu Games. The company has the stationary first-person shooting market cornered on the App Store and Android Marketplace, with Deer Hunter Reloaded the newest addition to the company's portfolio. Suffice to say, if you played Contract Killer, there's little about this title that will surprise you. We actually enjoy it small doses, but as you'll learn, this isn't by choice.
Available for free, this hunting simulator sends you into the forests and even the desert to lodge bullets in the heads of deer, black bears, jaguars and other innocent creatures minding their own business. To that end, the developers supply a wide assortment of death dealing instruments, including a 12-Guage shotgun, 7.62 Mod Sniper and a Falcon .44 Mag, weapons that do an excellent job making things dead. You can even zoom to get a good look at your targets. In fact, Glu does one better with the inclusion of X-Ray Mode, a battery-powered feature that highlight's an animal's brain, heart and lungs. You know, just in case a shot to the butt won't do.
By completing pre-determined objectives (kill two bears, score a headshot), you earn XP and cash that goes towards the purchase of new guns, along with outfits for your hunter. That said, some of these things require gold, which is much tougher to come by; get more from exchanging...wait for it...cash for gold. You can also buy more via in-app purchase, which Glu is more than happy to provide, offering the precious metal across different amounts, from $1.99 to $99.99.
In fact, the company dangles IAP throughout the entire experience and it grows irritating quickly, even with the occasional sale that includes several items at a discounted price. You must also deal with ads that reduce the level of immersion one should feel.
Of course, it doesn't help that some weapons are significantly more powerful than others, which results in much grinding to afford the good stuff, or succumbing to spending real-world dough.
The most annoying thing about Deer Hunter Reloaded, though, is energy. Playing the game automatically depletes the energy bar, and once that runs out, you can't proceed. Instead, you must quit the App and wait for it to refill on its own, or acquire more by parting with gold. Personally, we feel that Glu's decision to limit a person's playtime unless they spend money/convert virtual loot comes off as being greedy. It's one thing to make someone grind, but to prevent them from playing your game? That makes no sense.
With that, and unless you intend to invest in Deer Hunter Reloaded, the app is best experienced in small doses. Is it fun? Sure. The animals don't put up a fight and there's little strategy to winning, aside from upgrading to better rifles, but for a few minutes a day, the game satisfies that urge to...do whatever it is hunters do. Long term, we just don't see much appeal, but hey, we're always down with free.
What's Hot: A variety of critters to blast, satisfying number of weapons, X-Ray mode, free to play, slow-motion view of the bullet traveling into its target.
What's Not: Running out of energy, bothersome in-app purchases.