Hunter Hunted (PC, 1996)

INFO: My “Retro Vault” reviews are not scored. Instead, I just talk about why I have fond memories of whichever game I’m writing about at the time. Generally, I won’t pick out any bad games for the Retro Vault feature, so scoring them is essentially useless anyway. Enjoy the read.

About twelve or thirteen years ago (or perhaps more), I remember having a Sierra game that came bundled with a few demos. One of the demos was for a game called Hunter Hunted. Ever hear of it? Back then, neither had I. Today, I look back on the game with very fond memories.

Hunter Hunted was a 2D platformer that contained a whopping 65 levels, a number that we never see in the current generation of gaming.

The missions were all pretty straight forward, and just involved completing miniscule objectives so that the player could reach the exit. Levels were full of all sorts of dangerous obstacles such as mechs and turrets.

The two playable characters, Jake the human and Garathe Den the alien-minotaur-thing, handled very differently. Jake, being a weak little man with guns, required a more conservative approach to clearing levels, while Garathe Den was all about just beating the hell out of everything in sight.

The singleplayer campaign was not the best part of this game and I won’t deny that I never finished the missions. Instead, I was drawn to the multiplayer aspect of the game.

Hunter Hunted was one of those rare PC games that had a split-screen two player mode of play, and along with a friend, I played the hell out of the multiplayer.

In multiplayer, you can either play co-op with a friend which, admittedly, kind of sucked… Or you could play, you guessed it, DEATHMATCH!

More 2D platformers need deathmatch, I say! In Hunter Hunted, one player played as Jake while the other was privileged enough to use Garathe Den. Now, I know what it sounds like, a little tiny man with guns versus a huge minotaur-alien that pulvervizes everything with frightening efficiency. Sounds uneven, yeah? Well, it surpisingly wasn’t.

Jake had a whole arsenal of guns at his disposal. His default guns were pretty crappy against Garathe Den, but there were some pretty awesome weapons littered throughout the levels such (like the rocket launcher) that could really punish Garathe Den. Garathe, on the other hand, didn’t get any power-ups that I can recall. He had everything he needed without having to get powered up, so as soon as a match began, Garathe would have a huge advantage over Jake. The player who would control Jake would then have to find sufficient tools to deal with the Garathe player, which was a lot of fun and really helped give this game it’s name – Hunter Hunted. Deathmatch was a huge cat and mouse game, where the roles of cat and mouse quickly alternated between Garathe and Jack. Lots of fun.

I can’t recall how many hours my friend and I sank into deathmatch, which really was awesome in it’s day. I don’t know how well this game would run today since it was released in 1996, so it might require a DOS emulator to even work properly. However, if this game sounds at all appealing to you, then definitely try to find a copy or a download, especially if you have a friend who wouldn’t mind checking out the deathmatch feature with you.

Hunter Hunted was, without a doubt, one of the coolest obscure games I have ever played on the PC. I have some very fond memories with this game, so thanks for giving them to me Sierra!

Click here to listen to a fantastic stage theme from Hunter Hunted!