While there have been many new games on the Apple iPhone which are conversions of an arcade game in some form or another, we have not seen many modern arcade ports to the platform. That is about to change with the release of Big Buck Hunter Pro for the iPhone by developer Super Happy Fun Fun. In this handheld iteration of the coin-op title, you take your shots by simply touching the screen and the rules work out just like the arcade version by shooting three bucks while avoiding the does. It also includes some of the mini-game bonus rounds where players can practice their skills.
UPDATE: Super Happy Fun Fun elaborates on the similarties and differences between this and the arcade version in how the game plays:
“The big difference is the controls but beyond that Play Mechanix provided SHFF the actual assets from BBHP arcade game. All of the models, voice and music is exactly the same. The 30 different sites were custom edited to better fit the pacing of the finger shooting style of the iPhone/touch.
The iPhone/touch version features the Whitetail Adventure and 3 of the arcade version’s bonus games but we have plans for releasing additional content.”
One very interesting aspect of this game that will set it apart from other arcade ports is the Arcade Finder function. By using the GPS capabilities of the iPhone, players will be able to find a Big Buck Hunter Pro Online unit near them, which could potentially lead to new players finding their way to the full-sized coin-op version. It also will allow players to create or update their BBH online account and they can even track their standings on both the iPhone and arcade leaderboards. As far as I know, this is the first time such functionality has been featured in an iPhone app (or at the very least, within a game) and I am trying to find out if this feature will be expanded to include Big Buck Safari and Open Season online units as well. The potential for this reaching new demographics via the iPhone user base is pretty high and on top of that the online features could prove to be a popular thing with BBH fans who may want an easier way to keep track of their online standings and that is a great thing for arcade operators.
UPDATE: Super Happy Fun Fun confirmed to me today that the Arcade Finder feature is actually capable of finding all Big Buck units connected to the Coin-Up network, so yes, that will include online versions of Big Buck Safari and Big Buck Hunter Pro: Open Season. Also, the game is now available on the iTunes store today, so you can pick it up and see for yourself.
For a few more details on the game, including in-game screen shots, hit the link below.