Safari Hunt (SMS)

Safari Hunt with its tag team partner Hang-On.

Safari Hunt

System: SMS

Release Date: September 1986

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Genre: Light Gun Shooter

Safari Hunt was a pack in game, along with Hang-On for the Sega Master System. It used the Sega Light Phaser peripheral, which was the answer to Nintendo’s Zapper. This was certainly an early game.

Ducks, fish, and the rabbit are all lakeside targets.

There are three levels in Safari Hunt: The Lake, the Jungle, and the Forest. Each consists of a static background that looks straight out of MSPaint. The lake features three targets, duck, fish, and rabbit. I like that when you shoot your targets, they show they’ve been hit. The duck turns into a roast with a cross bandage on it, the fish turns to bones, and the rabbit gets a bandage, as well as holding up a sign with how many points you earned.

The bear is trying to scare me off from shooting him again.

The forest has a bird that flies off in pain after being shot, an armadillo that rolls of screen with a bandage, and a bear that turns and tries to scare you after being shot. He takes five shots before finally running off and awarding 2000 points. The jungle sports four different targets: a spider, a bat, a monkey, and a panther. The panther is worth the big points on this one, because he pounces, which makes him harder to hit in the background.

The panther just gave me 2000 sweet, sweet points.

At the beginning of each round, you’re given a qualifying score you need to hit to go to the next level. Then you get 30 bullets to use to destroy your prey. You can inflate your score by avoiding the targets worth fewer points. Just focus on fish and foreground rabbits at the lake; focus on bears and armadillos at the forest; focus on monkeys and panthers in the jungle.

I’ve already scored more than enough points to clear the next round.

Research tells me level 69 is the ultimate level, where the qualifying point total becomes 1,000,000. I was at 100,000 points by level 6, so I think I could smash that if I had the patience to keep playing this very limited game. I don’t have that patience, so on to the grading. I’m going to compare to Duck Hunt.

Graphics: 2.0

I was too generous to Duck Hunt. It probably should have got a 2.0. The backgrounds look out of place on a console, but the animals look good.

Sound: 1.5

You get a between round song and gun shots. Nothing special. Another area I rated Duck Hunt too highly.

Gameplay: 3.0

Shoot the gun at the targets, earn points. It doesn’t mess this up.

Difficulty: 1.5

Definitely not hard. The slight speed up I faced wouldn’t have set me back. Maybe it gets really stupid as you get into the higher rounds.

Fun Factor: 2.0

I see myself getting bored with this one way before level 69.

Overall Grade: 2.0

I’ll be honest that I rated Duck Hunt too highly, but Safari Hunt earns its C. As we can tell, I like light gun shooters. This falls in there. Apparently the Master System has 14 light gun shooters released in the West, so that should be fun!

Safari Hunt Video Review on YouTube