Psychologists claim that there are six basic emotions all of mankind can relate to: disgust, sadness, happiness, fear, anger, and surprise. If you ask me, one emotion is missing from that list: the deep, sincere hatred for that stupid dog from Nintendo Entertainment System’s “Duck Hunt”.
The damned beast had two things to do: to bark, causing the ducks to rise from the tall grass, and to mock you if you missed them, with a snicker that presumably still haunts anyone who has ever heard it. To avoid hearing that laughter, people have resorted to many different tricks, back in the day: from shooting into a light bulb in an attempt to confuse the NES Zapper, to plugging a controller in the second port and using it to temporarily freeze time (side note: if you do plug a controller in the first port, another player gets to control the ducks if Game A is selected. Yay, another way to ruin friendships).
In Japan, those who were going to the arcades back in the day had a chance to play a series of “Nintendo VS” titles. They were standard NES games with incorporated two-player mode and an increased difficulty. The VS version of “Duck Hunt” had yet another difference: it was possible to shoot the dog. Granted, that would cause you to get an instant Game Over, but I assume it was well worth it.
If you still want to relive the experience of playing “Duck Hunt” after reading all of this, head on over to the Play Store and grab a copy of “Bird Hunt 2”, a game that, let’s say, pays homage to the original. Things are not quite the same, though, if we don’t count that stupid, stupid dog. The birds come in waves, and their number grows exponentially as you progress through the levels. Other differences are more of a cosmetic nature – you have to tap on the birds in order to eliminate them, and there is also the fact that the birds themselves look like they’ve popped up from “Flappy Bird” (hooray for originality!).
The game requires Android 4.1 and newer, so you could install it on an older phone and expose a younger child to the frustration of playing “Duck Hunt”. But, that’s just a suggestion.