Growing up I played a ton of flash games chiefly about angling the trajectory of one thing and sending it sailing toward other things. Whether it was a man being launched from a cannon on to a safe landing zone, monkeys throwing explosive bananas at eachother, or the classic tanks-shooting-other-tanks premise that basically kickstarted the genre, I always had a measure of appreciation for the good judgement and exactitude required to succeed in games like this.
Games like Worms and Angry Birds continue to champion these mechanics to this day, building full games around the act of arcing one’s shots. But what if that’s too much drama for you? What if you just want to sit back, sling some spears at some mammoths, and go on with your day? If that sounds like your jam, Big Hunter is here for you.
The most significant advantage of games like these is that they don’t need to be big or complicated; it’s all about smoothness of play. This is why Big Hunter can afford to stay so simple stylistically, only ever featuring your tribal warrior and the mammoth he’s pitted against in front of an orange backdrop – because it plays smoothly and intuitively, requiring only that you tap to back your warrior up, and swipe back away from the mammoth to ready a spear throw. Those are the fundamentals, and though it feels a little morally wrong to stick all these cute mammoths with your sharp spears, boy does it feel good to pull off a solid throw!
The game has no extra content or modes to speak of, but manages to justify its long-term value on your phone by offering three separate conditions for victory; time trial hunts, limited spear hunts, and weak point hunts, (which require you to strike specific weak points on the mammoth before the hunt is over). As these requirements ramp up, so does mammoth health and aggression, so your spear-slinging prowess is constantly pushed to achieve new heights.
Big Hunter is a free and simple spear-slinging good time with an unobtrusive ad strategy and a good understanding of how to get the most out of its strong gameplay foundation. Games of its ilk are fairly common on the AppStore, but ease of play and well-tuned progression set it apart from other free offerings in the genre.