Lawl Mart’s Duck Hunt, an iPhone and iPod touch game that has been available at the App Store, can’t be found any more. The developer says that the game came down at the request of Nintendo, which alleges copyright infringement.
Released in January, Duck Hunt made it through Apple’s App Store vetting process and was available for purchase for $1.19. The game mirrors a title that Nintendo originally released for the original Nintendo Entertainment System, its 1980s-era video game console, and one of the first to support Nintendo’s Zapper, a light gun peripheral.
The game featured a cartoon hunting dog who would flush out cartoon ducks from rushes; your job was to shoot the ducks as the flew away, before they reached the edge of the screen and out of your range. If you ran out of time or missed three shots, the dog would make fun of you and the game would be over.
Lawl Mart stayed true to the formula, using a graphics motif, sound and music that mirrored the original Nintendo game. And it was this that seemed to run afoul of Nintendo’s legal department, which ordered Apple to take the game down.
Lucas Mansfield, the developer behind the game, confirmed to Macworld in an e-mail that the game had been removed from the App Store at Nintendo’s behest. “It’s an unfortunate situation, but I do understand Nintendo’s position,” he said.
Mansfield indicated that the Duck Hunt game for the iPhone would be reworked and updated to remove the offending graphics and sound, while still trying to take “as much inspiration from the original as possible.”