Hunting Unlimited 2011 Review

Who killed Bambi? Me.

A portable spin-off of the long running PC franchise of the same name, THQ Wireless’ Hunting Unlimited 2011 (out now, $1.99) decks the player out in a rather fetching lumberjack shirt, arms them to the teeth with a formidable selection of fully upgradeable weaponry, and sends them out into the wilderness to go toe-to-toe with a wide array of both prey and predators.

The game kicks off with a slow-paced spot of deer hunting. Perched atop an elevated platform in the middle of a forest, you take potshots at groups of these wandering woodland critters, tasked with bagging a set number of trophies. Acting in lieu of a tutorial, this first stage gives you adequate opportunity to get to grips with the game’s control scheme and coo at its gorgeous graphics. Hunting Unlimited’s controls function much like those of the majority of iPhone First-Person shooters, with an action button positioned on the bottom right of the screen, a reload icon on the left, while dragging your finger or thumb along the screen allows you a full 360° field of fire.

Hunting Unlimited is most definitely a looker – its 30 beautifully rendered environments are painstakingly detailed and feature some wholly convincing lighting effects. Animal animations are also bang-on; with deer tentatively scouring the undergrowth for food and wolves slinking dangerously through the shadows.

So far so authentic, but things do take a turn for the ridiculous during the game’s frequent and thrilling confrontations with predators. These action-packed sequences see the likes of wolves and grizzlies going beserk, launching themselves toward your hunter, and gnawing frantically at your shelter. A tad over the top maybe, but these tooth and claw battles against deadly beasties are among the games most exciting levels.

Throughout, Hunting Unlimited strikes a weird balance between hunting sim and arcade style shoot ’em up, and this in turn is reflected by your arsenal. In addition to the usual selection of rifles and shotguns, a nifty compound bow also joins the lineup. Between hunts, back at base camp, you can tinker about with your weaponry and equipment, pore over a map of unlocked areas and plot your next move, and adorn the walls of your log cabin with collected trophies.

There may already be a fair few hunting games to choose from on the App Store, but Hunting Unlimited 2011 still stands out by offering a more action packed and arcade-y alternative to the usual grittily realistic sims. It also brings home the bacon venison with a meaty selection of stages and extra modes. Note: No video footage available at the time of publication.

iFanzine Verdict: This technically impressive hunt ’em up certainly packs in a lot of content for its $1.99 price-tag. The juxtopositioning of realistic animal animations and highly detailed environments with the game’s OTT, arcade style delivery feels slightly off though.

[xrr rating=3/5]