I'm not a hunting guy at heart, and since I'm pretty much a city slicker, the great outdoors also don't hold much of an appeal. All that fresh air wrecks my pollution infested body, and the thought of seeing a bear up close isn't exactly on my bucket list. I was expecting a simple aim and shoot experience with Deer Hunter 2014, as this app would be another amusing yet forgettable app that I'd eventually delete. Were my first impressions wrong, or should I really fear the deer?

This app is free to play, and although the developers could have lured players in with a few minutes of addictive hunting and then ask for our money, that doesn't happen. There are tons of animals to shoot and kill in Deer Hunter 2014 without paying a dime, but if you want to spend those extra bucks buying gold bars to purchase upgraded weaponry, that choice is entirely yours. Here is the first rifle you own once you hit the trail.

As for the actual aiming and shooting, it's completely easy to pick up. The left side of your device moves your scope around. To zoom in , just press your fingers apart on the screen, and to shoot, tap on that bullet hole icon on the right. The hollow point power up delivers more damage, and the sports drink feature slows the animal down for hunters to get a cleaner, more accurate shot.

For initiates to the franchise, the Deer Hunter series features an array of animals to track, and each mission will pay you cash which you can use to buy other guns or upgrade your current arsenal. Shooting to kill is usually not the primary way to finish each stage, as certain jobs require a bullet through the animal's lung or heart. If you need to kill several wolverines at once, swap your rifle with a shotgun and blast away. Since I'm gradually developing my hunting instincts, slow and steady wins the race -- which I why I'm aiming at a mountain goat.

Beginners can cut their teeth on the hunting series, but after a few accomplished missions, try your hand at Trophy Hunt mode. After upgrading my rifle's over power, infrared abilities, and stability, I tested my skills against a white stage. A successful completion of a Trophy level will net you considerably more money, so go for the bigger game once your abilities are on point. My recent trophy excursion had me hunting down the black sheep.

I was surprised by the sheer variety of Deer Hunter 2014. Whether it's customizing your weapon or discovering a new animal to track and kill, the game consistently kept me engaged. The title has over 100 animal species that's roaming the Pacific Northwest and the Savannah, and multiple levels into my journey I have yet to even scratch the surface. There is something to be said about innocently killing animals while they are in their habitat, especially when they look so beautiful and serene. That, however, is an issue that may have to be addressed another day.

Deer Hunter 2014 may not be for everyone, especially for detractors who see hunting as a bloodsport. On a purely gaming level, I was more than pleasantly surprised. It could have been a one dimensional shoot and kill title, but it brings much more to the table thanks to its customization options and streamlined game play. Is that Bambi's mom? Ssh...


App Store Link: Deer Hunter 2014 for iPhone & iPad | By Glu Games Inc. | Price: Free | Version: 1.0.2 | 46.1 GB | Rating: 12+

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating