There's been an abundance of hunting games releases lately, and High Caliber Hunting is EA's attempt to create the most authentic experience possible. Displaying a part of North America that many people aren't familiar with, the game lets you use many weapons and adds some new elements that makes it different from other titles of its genre.
High Caliber Hunting includes 4 locations in which you can play in 3 game modes. Career mode takes you through various missions that require you to kill a number of creatures to advance. Quick play plunges you into a random scenario from a career mission, and pass and play allows you to use one device for local multiplayer. Whether you're in Texas, Alaska, Canada, or Iowa, you'll be able to track down 20 wild animals with 18 weapons and 26 other helpful items. 2 additional locations, Africa and Australia, can be purchased via in-app purchases.
There is no doubt that High Caliber Hunting feels more realistic than games such as Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2011. Each of the available animals must be hunted in a different style, and smaller animals will run away faster than larger ones. Although it'll take a while to get used to, headshots are actually bad and count against your score because they aren't desired in actual hunting. Instead, the game tells you to concentrate on striking the creature in the lungs or heart to take them out in one shot. A variety of scents and calls are available to attract the beasts. When using a bow, you have to aim slightly higher because the arrow will travel downward during its flight.
An extensive RPG-style system adds a lot of fun in career mode. By hunting well in the wilderness, you level up and earn money. There are several types of equipment that can be purchased, including weapons, scopes, and scents. You earn player points when leveling up and use them to improve character skills. At certain skill levels, perks are unlocked that further enhance your performance. There are rare legendary animals for you to shoot that provide score bonuses and improve your grade on a level. High Caliber Hunting includes quite a few achievements and a trophy room as well.
While hunting, you never move around but can explore the environment and aim by using one finger. When doing this, you drag around a reticle with you and can shoot by tapping an additional finger on the screen. There are buttons on the screen that you can press to activate equipped items and scopes. The landscapes in which you hunt your game are impressive and different for each level. Your view of the snowy Alaskan tundra or the forest canopy is also accompanied by refreshing background music.
High Caliber Hunting's shooting accuracy seems to be strange at times. Even when not aiming at the head, you'll get accidental headshots. Bullets that clearly miss the target manage to earn you heartshots every once in a while, and vice versa. When using the vital scope, the game becomes far too easy, as all the hearts and lungs of the beasts glow on the screen.
In other iPhone hunting games, you can move around, whereas your character in High Caliber Hunting stays in one spot. While it's still a lot of fun to aim and shoot, the game would feel better if you could immerse yourself in the beautiful environments and hunt that way, at least in a separate game mode. The app has its occasional freezes and crashes that will get annoying. Pass and play mode is fun but not really practical, especially with 4 players. Each person playing must finish a level in quick play, which takes several minutes. The game then compares scores and announces a winner.
High Caliber Hunting is an exciting adventure that is fueled by its RPG elements and authenticity. Although it does have its glitches, it's a lot of fun and lets you choose how you want to hunt. High Caliber Hunting is a notch above the rest of the iOS hunting titles and is a should buy for $2.99.