Not to be confused with Nintendo’s classic Duck Hunt, Catch A Duck is a top down action puzzle game that incorporates some minor strategy along with some light stealth mechanics. Although it doesn’t have much depth or staying power, this is a very casual game that can be mildly enjoyable if keeping expectations low.
Visually, the game looks like a Jr. High student’s notebook, complete with childish doodles. Even though it looks amateurish, that is sort of the point as the visual aesthetic melds with the ridiculous grunts and groans of the sound effects and musical score. It might actually look a little grotesque but there is more animation than expected and gives this game its dumb charm. The few musical tracks available also loop after about 10 seconds but that is actually all that is needed with this quickly played game.
Playing as a fox, the player moves from tile to tile trying to, you guessed it, catch a duck. In some stages, the duck is mindlessly walking back and forth. In other stages, they are hidden in shrubbery. Along the way, the fox has to avoid enemies such as bears, wolves, and hunters. However, instead of just traveling from Point A to Point B while avoiding these hazards, the player can use the enemies to the advantage of the fox by pitting them against one another. Getting a wolf to chase you, then lead him into a bear so they fight, is a strategy to learn. The same goes for the hunters. It is satisfying when a hunter, a ranged attacker, sees his doom via a wild bear attack. The player can also eat bunnies and collect stars for extra points, a critical tactic to earn the highest three star ranking.
The biggest downfall is some level design. Some stages are built around waiting and tedium. Each stage grades the player’s performance out of three stars. If all three stars are earned for each set of stages, then a bonus stage becomes unlocked. It is nice having an incentive to perform well since leaderboards are not a thing, but some stages are way more frustrating than fun or even fair. This is also amplified by the fact that movement is too touchy, often moving the fox to that extra unwanted tile which could very well cause game over.
With the extra unlockable stages, there are only a total of 25 available so players can finish everything within a couple hours. The replay value is limited but the simple gameplay is mildly enjoyable. It of course isn’t going to set the eShop on fire but casual players might appreciate the super simple and slightly humorous gameplay.
Not As Good As: Chip’s Challenge
Also Try: Parachute Panic (mobile)
Wait For It: Drawn To Death 2