Monday, 15 March 2010

Retro Mondays: Hunter (Amiga)

Ok, so this is where Nostalgia gets really deep. Back in the golden days of the Amiga, it chose the floppy disk on which to publish it's games. Unfortunatley for any software developers, the medium of the floppy disk was not only an easy thing to copy and reproduce illegally, but also cheap to do, meaning the piracy of games was pretty much standard at the time. Luckily for kids like me, this meant a SHITLOAD of games. I'll never forget my uncle handing me a lock-box full to the brim of games, the titles hurredly written on the office labels. With such a choice of games, and such a young mind, titles were obviously everything. Imagine my intrigue when I found the word 'Hunter' scratched onto a disk in biro. Then I loaded it up...

This game is completely bizzarre. If you wish to be kind, it's an important milestone and inspiration for sand-box games, and has been essential in laying foundations and groundwork for these games to take over the world in future years. In a more cynical light, the game is a confusing, barren landscape, which is either too boring, or too difficult. I'm somewhere in the middle, as I spent hours on it, desperately looking for action, island-to-island, square block to square block.

The basic game consists of going to find the enemy leader, killing him, and coming back to base in a seemingly endless world. The world is a set of islands, that you travel to and traverse by various means, or quite often by foot. FOREVER.

It's such a curious game. The compulsion to keep going is so strong, yet I struggle to recall why. Finding a gun was such a rare occurrance, it was genuinely cause for celebration. The problem is, that with this power-up was the lack of an opponent to use it against. Same with getting in an armoured boat. Fantastic to be so well-prepared, but against what? The only time I ever encountered other people I got killed in seconds. Such an odd game then, that not only I carried on playing, but has stuck with me all this time, and has buried itself so deep in my gaming psyche.

With a box full of games at my fingertips, I still played this. I still gave it my time. Rainbow Road, Lemmings, Dynamite Dux, Xenon, all sat there, and I chose this. And I still bloody loved it. I think it's because of it's direction, it's sheer originality and approach that made it so loveable. It was a choose-your-own-adventure book, for lads. It was a fantasy adventure in fatigues, and precariously introduced people into the world of free-thinking who were told they don't belong there. Hunter proved that you didn't need Goblins and Wizards to enjoy thinking for yourself.

Well, it worked for Tommy Vercetti.

1 comment:

  1. oh god that game hahaha how many nights did i sit in front of that haggard machine playing that game hoping to come across an enemy even if it was just to get killed instantly. good times