Magmic continues to twang away on strings of nostalgia, now with their new game Duckshot. Think back long and hard to the last time you shot a pixellated duck. That’s right, you probably had a bright orange Zapper attached to a little gray box that you unloaded every time that damned dog laughed at you for running out of bullets. What kind of gun has three shots in it, anyway? Well, now that the dawn of mobile is upon us, we can be frustrated by evasive mallards while on the go.
The premise is fairly simple. You’re a run-of-the-mill, shotgun-toting huntsman, and you’re out to bag some game. An array of ducks continuously fly across the screen through your field of vision. Your shotgun has a certain area of affect, and will take out similar nearby ducks as the one selected when you fire. If you can hit three ducks in one go, you’ll gain a letter on your Quack meter, bumping up overall scoring. A swan will pop up and obstruct your shot from time to time, and nailing the elusive Golden Snipe takes out all the ducks on screen.
You change your target using the scrollball (or wheel, or keypad, as the case may be), making your gun float towards it, and eventually lock on. The delay in itself poses a bit of a challenge in that you need to time your target changes so that they reach what you’re aiming for quickly enough; if you try for something at the other end of the screen, by the time you lock on, juicy nearby targets may be out of range. I see the necessity of auto-locking for making the game accessible on multiple devices, but at some point, a free-aim shooter using the scrollball would make for something a little more fast-paced.
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