Moorhuhn Remake is a simple game to pick up without too much to worry about other than your time. It pulled me in by its analogy to my childhood hit Duck Hunt, while at the same time providing something new entirely. Does this little game make for a good fit on the Nintendo Switch though? How does it perform and is it anywhere close to the legendary hunting experience I remember from so many winters ago?
“What is this game?”
Let me start off by saying, chickens are not meant to fly. Period. To think of downing flying chickens is, at the least surreal, at worst brutal – something Moorhuhn Remake never gets though! It is by far one of the most child-friendly shooters I have ever played, and in that respect, it does pay homage to Duck Hunt. Yes, there are flying birds going around, but that is as far as the similarities go. When I passed the Switch onto my wife – who writing a book review at that time – just to glance at the game, my hands didn’t grace the Joy Cons for another 1-plus hour, as to her this game felt like Whack-A-Mole, something that I do have to agree on.
This game is addictive, because there is always some chicken out of reach, or a frog that manages to duck away – yes, frogs. The game is simple in its setup, hit as many chickens as you can within the set time limit of 90 seconds, which can be extended by 10 seconds by shooting a frog. These appear at random, somewhere in the scene and will croak to notify you, and when they do, be sure to find them to give you that much more time to focus on your chickens. The scoring system is straightforward: your successful shots are awarded a number of points depending on the distance to the bird and therefore difficulty. Shoot the special chicken to multiply your scoring and rake up your numbers. As with any arcade-style game, the high-scoring system will get to you as you combat your friend or family member to push for your bragging rights. Be sure to avoid those road signs though, as hitting those, or reloading your gun before all of your rounds are used up will deduct your score – nice touch.
“Get your high-score on!”
Moorhuhn Remake comes with three modes, single player, multiplayer, which is, in essence, the same as the former, with the difference of passing along the controller (my personal favorite gameplay mode) and 1 vs 1 duel which is tiresome for its limited control scheme. Having said that much, my biggest grudge with this game is the control scheme other than the touchscreen, which has its own drawback I will discuss in a moment. What made Duck Hunt such a great game, so great in fact, that there are memes bring created for it to this very day, is that it relayed on ‘motion control’ even back in the 1980’s. The NES Zapper made it possible to point at the more-or-less exact spot you were going for and you pulled the trigger. The Nintendo Wii two decades later, brought a much more refined version of this with its true motion controls. Moorhuhn Remake on the Nintendo Switch needs this kind of treatment, badly. The current control scheme with the on-screen cross-hairs is not cutting it, as it operates too slow, and works very counter-intuitive. When playing against another player this becomes even more apparent and although a simple patch with an adjustable speed by holding down a button could improve things, I don’t see this as a good way to play the game, unfortunately. No, it is the touch screen that makes this game fun to play, and fun it is! With the touchscreen, you can be quick in your shots, as well as reloading and shift the camera just the way it should be. The drawback here though is that, although the Nintendo Switch boasts a high-precision multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, Moorhuhn only uses single-touch controls, and the precision leaves much to be desired for. Although clearly the best way of experiencing the game, it can and should be improved to get the most out of it.
On the whole, the graphics and audio departments have delivered a satisfying job, while I would appreciate some more different backgrounds and scenes to mix up the experience somewhat. The music is heart-warming. I am a sucker for the Medieval setting, whatever way it comes, and the featured music for this game is a success in this case. The sound effects during the hunt are bare, yet effective, and both enough for the arcade genre it sets itself in, as well as mimicking the actual hunting scene.
Moorhuhn Remake is a small game, that has the potential to be played for hours on end, especially in a multiplayer setting. It is not a game that one will get back to that often as the gameplay, though competitive, and modes are quite limited. Its cute visuals and child-friendly features make it for an all-around family experience and as such a great fit for any Nintendo console. For what it offers, the game should be updated when it comes to controls to fully justify its pricing point, at which time it should be a pick up for anyone looking for a light-hearted arcade-style shooter on their Nintendo Switch!