Tiger Hunt

By Cosmo

Buy Now!     Tiger Hunt is a budget title tank game that features one tank--the Sherman M4.  It has one campaign, a series of 55 linear missions. And it is a one-player game, it involves  no online battles.  One might think that Tiger Hunt is a one-dimensional game. Good guess. But you may want to give it a second look.

     Tiger Hunt has no aspirations of being a hi-fidelity tanksim. It is an arcade style tank game. The box touts, "Drive... Shoot... Destroy!" That's what it delivers. With an interface described as "pick-up-and-play", the game requires little time to master the fire and maneuver operations. The mouse and keyboard are all you need. You can take your tank into action from a third person viewpoint or first person as the gunner or driver. The turret aim point is marked by a cursor.  This takes a little time to get used to. The gunner view is not impeded by the surrounding tank hull, as you might expect--it's wide open. While this perspective is newbie-friendly, surveying the area around your tank unencumbered does nothing to convey the sense of uncertainly of a vehicle with limited visibility. Switching to the machine gun station puts you in first-person control and is your best place to view your surroundings. The machine gun is used mostly to mow down the infantry and light vehicles. Finally, holding the right mouse button will bring your turret and front together, which is useful when suddenly attacked.

     Your battles take place on a pair of  maps. The first is a swatch of WWII-era terrain that begins at a beachhead, takes you though some fields and hedgerows, and ends up in a little village. After you reach the midpoint in the campaign you switches to a map of a rail station and a larger town by a river. The surroundings are covered with hedges, villas, trees, fields, and troops. Overall, the settings have depth and are well done and the variety has a good covering effect. There are nice touches, such as leave falling when you shoot through trees and buildings which burn and collapse when fired upon. The maps are of moderate size, though it would have been better if there were a few more.

     You will encounter a wide variety of enemy units, from grenade-throwing infantry and panzerfaust teams, to German Panther and Tiger tanks. Each mission will outline your objective and what forces you may encounter. Occasionally you will have to run errands in a jeep or recon in a truck. The jeep missions were pretty funny--"Go make a night patrol, watch out for Tiger tanks". Well--yeah! It makes for a hairy ride as you race through the countryside in the dark, dodging minefields and tank rounds. Tiger Hunt has a simple waypoint system and a compass rose to help you find your way. After the first few missions, you'll wish they had made a couple extra maps--you'll become very familiar with these.

     There are three levels of difficulty and on the expert level the enemy AI is quite good. Enemy tanks will take cover and wait until your are within range. Tanks usually will engage you with precision, although you can minimize their accuracy by staying on the move. Of course, this makes it more difficult for you to range and hit targets. Infantry is a weak spot--soldiers are two-dimensional and shuffle about like zombies. They can cause you concern if you let them get too close but they are easy targets.

    Graphics are one of Tiger Hunt's strong points. The enemy tanks are well done and detailed. The countryside is great, lots of foliage and trees. The physics are nondescript, nothing like Steel Beasts. Tanks move more like trucks than 50 ton armored beasts. The turret movement is better, being somewhat deliberate, but when in the normal mode viewing around you also swings the turret so you have to look quickly unless you want your main gun pointing in a new direction.  The action takes place day or night, with night missions being somewhat spooky and tense. More than once I happened upon an Panther tank rumbling in the dark. Elemental effects include fog and rain, but no mud.

    There appears to be some attention paid to the armor ratings and capabilities of the respective tanks. Your Sherman scoots around swiftly but requires a few shots to knock out a Panther and more to destroy a Tiger. Getting behind the enemy assures a faster kill where the armor is lighter. Your tank has three main type of ammo--AP (armor piercing), HE (high explosive), and phosphorus. Each has its own unique capabilities; AP is great for taking out opposing armor but weak against structures; HE works better for structures and infantry; phosphorus is good on structures and the most fun to watch. We all like to watch stuff burn, don't we? And the fire effects are really good, the best visual in the game. Explosions and destroyed vehicles hold up well, too.

     Sound effect in Tiger Hunt are mediocre. Cannon fire and machine guns sounds are flat and unimpressive. Offsetting this are the varied combat sounds of men shouting and distant gunfire but there isn't enough variety to really make this a plus. After a few missions you have heard it all. Running over fence posts and crates causes little crunching sounds. The music is too new age, it would be better suited for Sim City than Tiger Hunt.

     One feature that cements Tiger Hunt's gameplay as arcadish are the "power-ups". As you drive around the battlefield, defying death and steel, you spot little crates, some with a red cross (repairs tank), some with ammo, others with a fuel logo, and some with air support calls. This could be done a lot better with a garage, ammo dump, or mechanic's post. When you call in air support, immediately four planes fly overhear, wingtip-to-wingtip, and drop a slew of cartoonish bombs on the enemies before you. Not exactly a tanksim's proudest sight. Minefields are depicted as fields with circular humps, easily avoided.

     No multiplayer is featured and there is no scenario editor or mission generator so once you complete the campaign, you are done. We checked the official website and no follow up campaigns are offered. This shortcoming limits Tiger Hunt to nothing more than a brief diversion. A few days of play and you'll finish it. Which is unfortunate because the gameplay, while not sophisticated, is agreeable and overall the game is well-done. A check of the credits reveals that much of the work was done by a few individuals--Pepe Moreno is the Executive Producer, Game Designer, Creative Director, Level Designer, Video Production, Historical Research.... Pepe, if you read this, put together another campaign for us! It would be nice to see Tiger Hunt in Berlin or a Pacific version.

     So where does this leave us? With a playable and enjoyable tank game that is low on simulation and distinguished by a low price, passable gameplay, and gentle learning curve. This will not be suitable for someone who craves a follow up to M1Tank Platoon 2 or Panzer Elite but it could be just the ticket for the first time tank gamer. With better sound and music, a garage instead of power-ups, and a few additional maps and campaigns, Tiger Hunt could have been a treasure hunt. As it stands, it's more of a scavenger hunt.

Rating:  61
Realism Historical Accuracy Graphics Sound/
Game play Repeat Play Stability
Inter-face Multi- play Mission Editor
8/20 5/10 9/10 5/10 15/20 7/10 5/5 4/5 0/5 0/5
BONUS:  +3 value


System Requirements: Operating System: Windows® 98/Me/2000/XP; Processor: Pentium® III 600 MHz (Pentium® III 866 MHz recommended; Memory: 128 MB RAM; Hard Disk Space: 320 MB Free Disk Space; CD-ROM Drive: 8X Speed
Video: 16 MB video card (32 MB video card with Hardware T&L support recommended); Sound: 16-bit sound card*; DirectX®: DirectX® version 8.1 (included) or higher

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