Duck Hunt
Image: Nintendo

For the month before the 3DS and Wii U eShops close for new purchases on 27th March, each day we're going to highlight a specific eShop game for one of those consoles and give a short pitch as to why we think it deserves your love and attention — before it's too late. The chance to add these to your library will be gone for good soon and, for one reason or another, these eShop-exclusives are close to our hearts.

Today, Gavin highlights the only official way to play a retro classic on modern TVs...

So, what's it called again?

Duck Hunt, innit. It's a light gun classic.

Who made it?

Nintendo R&D1 and Intelligent Systems.

What's the premise?

Originally, you would use the NES Zapper to shoot 8-bit ducks on your CRT television set as they flee from your hound.

It was a pack-in title for many a NES console, and would get some callbacks in pointer-based shooting minigames in Wii Play — and the dog/duck duo would turn up in Smash Ultimate, of course — but Duck Hunt was officially re-released just once on non-8-bit hardware, for reasons we'll get into below.

Why should you play it?

Because outside of OG NES/Famicom hardware connected to a CRT TV, this is the only official way to play it. The NES Zapper worked in tandem only with a cathode-ray tube screen, and doesn't function on modern displays.

The Wii U VC release converts Duck Hunt to work with a Wii Remote's pointer, with a cursor displayed to help you aim. It's a compromise, sure — having the cursor constantly visible makes shooting ducks much easier than it was with the Zapper — but for a game that is otherwise not only 'stuck' on original hardware, but also reliant on display tech which the vast majority of gamers don't have access to anymore, this release is, for many, the easiest way to play Duck Hunt in the 21st century.

How much is it?

$4.99 / £3.49 / €4,99.

We'll be back soon with another 3DS or Wii U eShop recommendation as part of this 'Countdown' series. Let us know below if you've already got this in your collection and share your thoughts.