Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hunter Hunted

One of my favorite childhood computer games was a Sierra platformer adventure game called Hunter Hunted.

My best friend from 4th-6th grade was his wealthy grandparents favorite grandchild.

We would get to spend weekends at their high-end, lake front condo, playing on their ultra powerful PC, powered by the ultra fast Pentium 2 processor. And since he was their favorite, they were always buying whatever the new PC game at Wal Mart was just for our pleasure.

Most of these games were installed and forgotten, but Hunter Hunted was one that stuck. It quickly earned a spot in our regular rotation.

It was a side scrolling game where you played as the strongest human on the planet, Jake, where you have to run from a beast hunting you, rebuild your car, and dodge the security bots on each level.

It was such a simple game, but addictive. Each level was a new puzzle.  Each weapon had its own weight. And for a computer platformer, it was incredibly polished.

And the graphics, my were they beautiful. The art design looked like Killer Instinct or Donkey Kong Country with a steam punk twist.

And being a 90s computer game, the soundtrack was mostly Metal. It was everything you could want in a game from 1996.

The best part of the game was the local multiplayer. My buddy would plug in his joystick and I would jam on the keyboard as we played an incredibly frantic game of cat and mouse.

Jake and the beast, Garathe Den, each had their own stats and unique weapons. Jake had the more powerful weapons whereas Garathe had a few more hit points and could navigate the levels with greater speed. As always, there were ways to cheese the game, certain areas where the opponent's weapons couldn't touch you but you were free to rain grenades down on them.

Unfortunately, this was one of those games that never got much traction on the playground. No matter how many times Spencer or I brought up how great it was, we just couldn't get anyone else to bite. In a way, I'm happy. It's my own private little game that not many people have heard of.

Around 1997,  Spencer moved away and thus my way to play Hunter Hunted.

I begged my dad to get a copy of Hunter Hunted for our own computer. He delivered a copy only weeks later (thanks to a buddy at work) on a burned CD. (Way ahead of our time, I know) Unfortunately, our computer was only half the power of Spencer's grandparents. The frame rate came to a crawl anytime anyone attacked. The game would simply crash if my brother and I tried to boot up the multiplayer.

A few years ago I purchased a copy of Hunter Hunted off of eBay. Surprisingly, it worked without much prodding on my current generation hardware. I played through the 65 single player missions with a smile on my face, eventually giving the CD ROM its home on my permanent game shelf.

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