Welcome to the Slaughter –
Even though it is a little uncomfortable to slaughter throngs on endangered animals, Outdoors Unleashed Africa 3D is a mindlessly fun on-rails light gun shooter that is easy to play and actually has quite a bit of content and replayablity.
Like Pokemon Snap, the game controls the player’s path and camera movement so the player just has to worry about lining up kill shots with the stylus on the touch screen. The premise behind the game is simple – shoot African animals to increase your point total in attempts to earn that 3 star ranking. Bonus points are awarding for combos (shooting without missing), headshots, and shooting animals from long range. On the other hand, shooting females will reduce scores; this feature was most likely implemented to make the player think a little bit instead of just blasting anything that moves. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish a female animal at long distances due to muddy textures and poor draw distance.
Unlike other 3DS light gun shooters, Outdoors Unleashed provides ample incentive to keep playing thanks to a wealth of unlockables and the trophy system. Finishing a level usually rewards the player with some type of new gun or attachment and there is always at least one secretive target to shoot in each stage that releases bonus coins like water from a geyser. Although the player will never know what will be unlocked next, being constantly rewarded at the conclusion of each stage prevents the game from being mindlessly grindy. On a rare occasion, some animals will attempt to fight back but this is few and far between. I never once saw a game over screen as most animals can be taken down with a single shot.
The game is never challenging but overall revolves around a controversial topic. It is kind of strange though because the game is awkwardly placed between something serious and something arcadey. For a game that hits such a serious topic, it is so carefree and easy going. I felt bad ruthlessly murdering entire packs of defenseless animals but the game encourages it with easy take downs, unlockables, and high scores. Some portions even place the player in a moving vehicle to increase the slaughter rate. It is just kind of strange to be encouraged and congratulated for shooting an elephant or meerkat directly in the face. Within just a few minutes, the player will have killed enough animals to start a global taxidermy business.
For a downloadable 3DS eShop game, Africa 3D is a pretty good looking despite having issues distinguishing animals from greater distances. In fact, you might even want to turn up the 3D slider. The Jamaican announcer is annoying as all hell though, narrating everything constantly. Yes, I know I got a headshot and accidentally shot a female, you don’t have to remind me every three seconds.
For just a couple of bucks, Outdoors Unleashed is one of Teyon’s better eShop games thanks to the fine development house at Mastiff*. There really isn’t anything fancy about it but that is also one of its best features. Sometimes you just want to mindlessly kill entire genomes of endangered animals on an African safari.
Not As Good As: Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (Wii)
Better Than: Crazy Chicken Pirates 3D (3DS eShop)
Wait For It: Link’s Crossbow Training 2
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
*Correction: Teyon actually developed this game while Mastiff published it.