Catch a Duck
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Catch a Duck puts you in control of a crafty Fox looking to catch his lunch, which in this case is an unfortunate duck. Set across twenty-five levels you must avoid becoming the hunted as wolves, bears and poachers are all out to get you but beware, they will also be after the duck too!
Using a real-time grid movement system you traverse the woodlands in each level, obviously catching your feathered foe isn’t going to be a walk in the park. Various obstacles litter your path in the form of tree and hedgerows, marshland, rivers and so on as well as a series of man-made traps. Taking a moment to get a lay of the land will be key to plotting your path, especially if you want to grab the three stars on each level for maximum points.
Luckily you have a few tricks up your sleeve to help you, although larger animals will chase and eat you, they will also attack each other, using this to your advantage can cause a welcomed distraction and thin the heard of foes on the map. Rabbits will also pop out on occasion, you can eat these for extra points or try and flush them towards traps and enemies to give yourself the advantage. There will be times you may get caught out in the open or chased through some rough terrain slowing you down, you’ll want to look out for burrow holes and damaged logs to hide in lest you end up on the menu yourself.
Although the premise and presentation are simple, the design of the levels soon become surprisingly intricate. It won’t be long before you will have to start planning out your strategy if you aim to gather all three stars and the duck per level. There is no time limit on the core levels so you can find a hiding place to lay low and take a look at the surrounding areas to plan your next move. Bonus levels will unlock along the way and consist of catching as many rabbits as you can within a time limit. This was a nice addition and broke the pace up a bit but with no unlockables, there was little need to focus on them.
Controls are simple, left stick moves the Fox while holding down Y will allow you to move the camera to get a look at the full map. The movement is very sensitive and I died a frustrating number of times by running into a trap due to misjudging the number of grid spaces I was running across. Releasing the stick seemed to have a slight delay in registering. This was something that after a while I did get to grips with but still felt like it should have been better implemented.
Graphics have a very humorous hand-drawn style with equally amusing and low budget sound effects all adding to the sense that Catch a Duck is not meant to be taken too seriously despite the challenge involved. This itself does pose the question of who the target audience is, on first glance, it looks like an ideal title for the youngsters but the tougher later levels may not go down well with that particular age group, or maybe I’m just getting too old for puzzlers (hope not).
Catch a Duck is a deceptively challenging puzzler and one that I did find myself getting engrossed in towards the second half. Though a short experience unless you really want to collect all three stars in each level this is one I would suggest picking up in a sale, credit where it’s due for presenting a good challenge but this feels like only half a game and more like it belongs on mobile than a full handheld system and just doesn’t stand out from the competition.
TBG Score: 6/10
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 29/07/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: Puzzle, Arcade, Action
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Download link: eShop