Hired Gun iPhone game is a misfire

Sep 10, 2010
Games

Hired Gun (99 cents) is an iPhone game designed to remind of other comic-book inspired games. Unfortunately, it misses its target by quite a lot. The backgrounds remind me of “Sin City.” There’s a dark, comic book feel to the scenes which help to create the mood of the game. The music is seedy and […]

Hired Gun (99 cents) is an iPhone game designed to remind of other comic-book inspired games. Unfortunately, it misses its target by quite a lot.

The backgrounds remind me of “Sin City.” There’s a dark, comic book feel to the scenes which help to create the mood of the game. The music is seedy and the sound effects are realistic, with sniper hits as close to the real thing as you could imagine, including the reloading action on the rifles. The entire game is in black and white, except for hats on the “targets,” the red crosshairs of the scope, and the red blood from a hit. When your “target” is hit, you hear his guttural sounds when he is decapitated.

At your disposal is a scope and a trigger. Once you see your target, you touch the screen and your scope reveals your target. Unfortunately, this is the downfall of the game. The movement of the gun on the target is so lazy and slow, it’s hard to find him on the scope, which is incredibly frustrating. Now, there is a way for you to hold your target, but because the rifle movement is so slow, it’s hard to set up the shot and the target gets away.

The other shortfall is that there are only 60 seconds in which to play the game, but by the time you figure out how to use the gun, you’re frustrated with the game. I asked my 11-year-old son to try out the game, and he handed it back to me after 60 seconds. There’s another free game out right now that does a much better job of allowing you to hone in on your target, and that’s called, “Gun Range.” If “Hired Gun” can eliminate the frustratingly slow gun movement, provide a leaderboard, lose the swanky music and lose some of the guttural sounds, it would be a five-bar game.

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The point structure is pretty basic. If you hit the target, points are added to your score, as are seconds, and if you hit the wrong guy, you lose points and seconds. There is a running score and timer at the top of the screen, but it’s so small you can’t see it. Even after the game, you can’t read the score.

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