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Moorhuhn 2 (Sony PlayStation & PC)

The reviews on this site are the text versions of the videos on my YouTube channel. The text based reviews use (if at all) very little pictures. Please follow the link to the corresponding video in order to see in game graphics.

Moorhuhn 2 was made by phenomedia in 2000 for the PC. The Sony PlayStation port was made by Similis Software in the same year. Moorhuhn was a very popular brand back in the late nineties and early twothousands. I would explain it to a younger audience by comparing Moorhuhn with Angry Birds of 2009: A free video game which got really popular, spawning commercial versions and lots of merchandise and spin offs. The original game was made in 1998 by Witan for phenomedia as an advertisment for Johnnie Walker. Today Moorhuhn is also known as Moorhen and Crazy Chicken.

The PlayStation version of Moorhuhn 2 supports the Namco G-con 45 as an input device. Sadly the calibration is very badly made and therefore the sights of the gun can't be used to aim. Instead a cross hair is shifted on the display similar as with Philips Air Mouse or Nintendo Wiimote functionalities. Furthermore the brightness of the TV and the in game brightness should be set to their maximum values as the gun tracking is otherwise choppy.

In the game the player has 90 s to make as many points as possible. The obvious thing to do is to shoot the grouse where more distant grouse yield in more points than nearer ones ignoring the special grouse. Additionally to that there are lots of objects which can be shot for bonus points. But the real charm of the Moorhuhn games is to explore hidden actions and easter eggs. Some objects will yield more points when being shot in a special order or at a special time. Some former unbreakable objects can be destroyed if certain actions are performed. Furthermore new objects appear under certain criteria. Usually the highest scores are achieved if the player combines tricks with great shooting skills.

The PlayStation version looks worse than the PC version, but it tries to compensate that by offering 6 additional bonus game modes: In Weidmannshuhn the player replenishes a draining bar by shooting grouse. In Die Spinnen Die Spinnen the player spinns the spiders in order to stun them. If they manage to crawl up the latch the player looses a life. Hau das Moorhuhn Classis is a “Whac-A-Mole” clone. In 98 Moorballons the player replenishes a draining bar by shooting at a special kind of balloon. The required kind of balloon changes randomly over time. In Memoory Huhn the player has to shoot the grouse in the same order as they appeared on the screen. The bonus game Scheuchen scheuchen has to be unlocked by shooting the grouse on the main screen. In it some scare crows have to be shot as quickly as possible.

Personally I dislike the game. The light gun functionality feels plastered in because of the terrible calibration routine. Furthermore I am disappointed that the cross hair can't be hidden. Generally light gun enthusiast are better served playing the PC versions of the Moorhuhn games using a PC light gun mimicking a mouse input device such as Arcade Guns. Sadly Moorhuhn 2 is the only exception as its PC version does not support raw mouse input. Even Moorhuhn Winter Edition which many people see as a stand alone add-on of Moorhuhn 2 supports raw mouse input and thus can be played with PC light guns. Despite its flaws Moorhuhn 2 on the PlayStation is my favorite version of the game as it is the only one that supports light guns. I would have liked if Similis Software included the original Moorhuhn with the game, as I find it strange to start a series of games with part 2.

The cover is intriguing and uses in game graphics. Personally I think it represents the game well.