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Grouse hunt 2 - The hunt goes on
Grouse hunt 2On August 20th, 2000, the free downloadable version of Moorhuhn 2 (Grouse Hunt 2) was released, and since then Germany has been gripped by a euphoric hunting fever. The unparalleled download numbers prove beyond doubt that also the second Moorhuhn from the Bochum-based Phenomedia AG enjoys an incredible popularity. After only one day, the game had been downloaded one million times, after two days 2.5 million times, on the third day the number rocketed to 4.5 million, and right now far more than 5 million copies can be found on German hard drives. In other words: Germany's in a state of emergency, not only because of the jeopardized grouses but also because employees fear a loss of working hours.
 
What it has to offer:
Triple HitRight from the beginning, the game caused some astonishment due to the considerably increased system requirements. While the downloadable file requires 4.5 MB of disk space, the unpacked game occupies 16 MB of your hard drive. Moreover, without 32 MB of RAM and DirectX 7 you don't have to start playing. That in itself wouldn't be all to bad, but once you've studied the game more closely you wonder why such requirements are necessary. Of course, there are plenty of novelties that await to be discovered. For example, you can shoot more things and stumble upon more hidden extra points than before, whether in form of spider, boat, church steeple, scare crow, or even by rapidly shooting several grouses in a row. Therefore, you can earn more points than in the first installment, a highscore chart keeps track of your feats. The picturesque Scottish landscape has been modelled more beautifully and the grouses themselves have been nicely animated and rendered.
 
Why it's so popular:
Moorhuhn close-upHowever, there's still only one level to conquer, the gameplay has been left untouched (never change a winning team), and the graphics doesn't look that stunning that it wouldn't work without DirectX. But all of that has done no harm to the game's success, if numbers alone are an indicator. Despite all the criticism it cannot be denied and talked away that Moorhuhn 2 is quite a lot of fun and keeps you glued to the screen for some time. One reason may be that it is provided free of charge. For some days, the game develops addictive powers, making you hunt for ever more points and ever quicker shooting manoeuvres. But once you've played the game more than you actually intended to and have disclosed all secrets, you'll gradually lose your interest in playing the game.
To most employees, however, this fact can only offer a minor solace, since the nice game keeps the majority of employers once more from going about their daily work. According to newspaper reports, the download as well as the loss of work caused by Moorhuhn 2 will eventually amount to an econmic loss of approximately 135 million marks.
The hype:
Scottish landscapeFor employers, at least, Moorhuhn 2 promises a more relaxed diversion due to the so-called "boss key" that has been implemented into the latest version. By pressing the "B" key, the game pauses immediately and switches to an image that resembles the surface of Microsoft's WordPad. However, the poor image quality as well as the telltale heading "BOSS" will give away the idle employer at once. So you'd rather keep your wits about you when playing Moorhuhn 2 at work...
Over the course of time, the whole hype about the game might lose its momentum. Wherever you go and look, you are virtually surrounded by grouses, be it on the carnival, on magazine covers, or even on abominable CDs of German comedians. Similar to the fate of lovely Miss Croft, the grouses might become the victim of their own success. But then Lara didn't make it into Germany's most acknowledged dictionary, the Duden, as did the word "Moorhuhnjagd" (grouse hunt). Right now, the Moorhuhn machinery is running smoothly and helps Phenomedia's stock price to rocket skywards. But let's wait and see how things will be faring when the probably inevitable Moorhuhn 3 will be released.
© 2000 by CE

 
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