Published January 15, 2014
If Duck Dynasty’s long-awaited return to TV screens this week isn’t enough for you, a new video game may help you get an even bigger fix of the Robertsons and their shenanigans. The question is, is it any good?
“Duck Commander Plug N Play Hunting Video Game” doesn’t require a console or computer. No PlayStation? No Xbox? No worry. Just plug the plastic gun into the A/V jacks of your television, place the sensor on top of the TV and you’re all set.
The gun, and the game as a whole, is reminiscent of “Duck Hunt” -- the classic 1985 title for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The gun itself is a peculiar green and orange piece of plastic, complete with pump action. Shaping itself as a decent rifle, it feels oddly satisfying to shoot at targets, as long as you can ignore the colors.
Having plugged in the gun, the game offers three modes of gameplay, all complete with highly questionable graphics.
The first mode is the traditional duck game: Ducks fly across the screen and you shoot at them as the timer ticks down; extra points are awarded for the rare, harder-to-shoot ducks.
The second mode involves shooting frogs three times before they enter a hole on a golf course. Shoot once to hurl them in the air; shoot a second and a third time to store them in the nearby cooler. It’s an odd mode, but it just may be the most fun of the three.
The final option involves shooting hoards of beavers that are racing toward you before they can get close enough to catch you. This mode is worth playing just to hear the Robertsons moan about those pesky beavers.
If these options sound ridiculous, it’s because they are -- something that’s exacerbated by the occasional appearances of the “Duck Dynasty” cast, who pop up and make various comments about your shooting.
The graphics are very poor, barely acceptable by even 1990s standards. The sound and voice effects are good, with real voice acting from the Robertsons, but the gameplay is extremely two-dimensional.
Yet, like Duck Hunt, the game is strangely addictive. Gather a group of friends and a six-pack of beer, and this rather flimsy title can become a crowd-pleaser.
Ultimately, “Duck Commander” requires you to be a fan of the series. If you’ve never been a believer in the bearded group, then this is one to avoid. But if you’re a Duck Dynasty devotee, you’ll be delighted by the Robertsons’ brief appearances and commentary on your shooting.
Considering that the game is significantly cheaper than most games out there (it sells for about $30 on Amazon.com), and that it doesn’t require a console or PC, just a television, this is definitely one to consider if you’re itching for more Dynasty action.