Clay Hunt (iPhone) Review

On average, I get 5 to 7  requests to review iPhone/iPod Touch games a week. Out of this bunch, almost the number are from independent developers operating from their bedrooms (or garage for that matter) hoping to be the next big thing on  App Store.

Often than not, these are first timers and while you may find gems like Major Warhead or Vernx, there are also diamonds in the rough, like the one I’m playing right now, Clay Hunt.

Clay Hunt is basically a version of Duck Hunt on iPhone, but instead of stirring up the ire of PETA, you are shooting at skeets. How the game is played is that you need to drag your shotgun in place so that the skeet is just right above your targetting bead and then tap (with your other thumb) on the screen to fire.


One problem I noticed is that if you want to move your gun, you might end up firing instead, so don’t lift your thumb after dragging the shotgun. But then, this leads to another problem as you can’t switch thumbs to move the shotgun, and the game isn’t really responsive when you are using your left thumb to move the gun all the way right (and vice versa).

Control problems aside, the game doesn’t show your score while you are shooting the skeets (only at the end of the level), and what’s worse, you can’t pause or exit a level, the only option is to exit the game.

These kinks should have been sorted out with some amount of play-testing and are actually pretty rudimentary. As a software developer myself, it’s not right to leave it to the paying customer to go through this and some measure of quality control would have worked wonders.

Kinks aside, the game does look semi-realistic, the shotgun kinda reminded me of Doom. Looking at the game being played on the YouTube video made me think that wow, it does look somewhat realistic and that impression carries on with the game in my hands.

But anyways, Clay Hunt is available on the App Store for just 99 cents. But with many better games out there at this price point (I blame Apple actually for allowing this precedence to happen), it’s tough to actually recommend Clay Hunt. Perhaps a free trial period would be better, Aleksi?

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  1. December 2, 2009

    Nine Over Ten 9/10 » Clay Hunt (iPhone) Review…

    Clay Hunt is basically a version of Duck Hunt on iPhone, but instead of stirring up the ire of PETA, you are shooting at skeets….

  2. Aleksi Rantonen December 2, 2009

    Thanks for the review! Gave me a proper motivation to start to work on the next version 🙂

    I had quite good testing for the game and some of those things came up. I guess, I’ll have to adjust my vision a bit.

    For example, the pause/restart/scores during the game. I wanted to have the game view without a GUI to enhance the illusion. It seemed to work at least for the You tube 😉 But anyways I have to add those in the next version (trying of course finding a way that goes well with the original vision).

    Another thing I’m going to concentrate next is to have content where it’s easier to start shooting. I found out that to shoot those pigeons on the far edges of the screen, you’ll have to have a right kind of grip from the device. With the new game mode I’ll try to lower that learning curve.