For many of us, the light gun was a part of our childhood. Whether it was grabbing your NES Zapper only to be mocked by a dog in Duck Hunt, or heading to the arcade and spending those few pennies of pocket money you saved up every week for a quick blast of Time Crisis, it captured the imagination and excitement of kids all over.
The retro community has long been working on getting light guns such as the Zapper, the Super Scope, and even Sony-compatible products like the Namco GunCon (G-Con) family of peripherals, working on our incompatible modern day TVs.
One such fan, Andrew Sinden, is at the forefront of this effort. His Sinden Lightgun, which was funded via Kickstarter back in 2019, has shipped over 10,000 units as of the end of 2021 through Indiegogo. And in a recent interview with The Guardian's Lewis Packwood, Sinden talks about the drive behind making his very own light gun.
Inspired by his love of Duck Hunt growing up and his desire to play the wildfowl-hunting game with his kids, Sinden used his background as a software developer to create a code to make a modern day equivalent to the Zapper or similar.
The full article goes in more depth about the turmoil that Sinden went through to get production of the light gun funded, as well as how light guns work — both traditional console ones and the various types Sinden created over the years.
The Sinden Lightgun will set up back £80 for a basic model, or you can get a recoil-ready version for £135. While that might sound a little steep, the cost of goods and materials over the course of the pandemic has forced the price up. But really, you can't deny how beautiful these models are. They look exactly like something you'd pick up at an arcade 20 years ago.
As of now, the gun is only compatible with PC and the Raspberry Pi. Sinden is working on a plug-in-and-play version, but those are coming later down the line. And Sinden has worked with the Polymega team to create that console's lightgun, too.
You can check out Sinden's website for more details on the gun, including where you can order your own. The next batch is due to ship this March/April.
What's your favourite memory of the light gun era? And what was your go-to light gun game? Share your fondest ones down below!
Oh God, arcade machine guns, this just reminded me of a core memorie.
Was I the only one who never had money and just took the gun and started watching the animation pretending to play?
Hm... the light(gun) in darkness...
I had been debating dropping the cash on one of these (and they're not exactly cheap) but I've seen several reviews recently that said the lag is an issue. If you make the reticle visible and can see it moving across the screen after you've pointed the gun at the opposite side of the TV then it's closer to a Wiimote than an original light gun. For £85 I think I'd like to try before I buy, but no one I know other than me will ever buy one!
Playing Time Crisis, Time Crisis 2, and House of the Dead 2 were among the best experiences I had with gaming growing up, and one of the things I miss the most about the old analog era. I would totally buy one of these.
The time crisis series was my jam! The pedal to peek out of cover, changed everything. Can't forget silent scope. Sniping felt fun.
@JayJ dual wielding the house of the dead games was fun.
Used to love playing Point Blank and Time Crisis on the PS1!
@lolwhatno This is exactly the type of stuff I mean when I say, “I know I’m not the only one, I’m NEVER the only one.”
Hyperkin makes one for the toploader NES but it sucks. I wish I could play Wild Gunman and Hogan;s Alley again.
I find it interesting that the text says this works on only PS1/PS2 --and that with a hardware mod. This despite the games listed/shown.
Am I missing something?
It's 5 bucks on Wii U, wonder how that fares in pointer accuracy.
Though I guess if you really wanted that pointing experience you'd have already tried Wii+FCEUGX.
Didn't the Wii U had a modern version of Duck Hunt for VC where you could use a modern gun accessory to play it with?
I know some of these light gun games wouldn’t be the same with a controller. But I’d happily play Jurassic park at home given a chance. And some Luigi’s mansion. And some rabbids.
Ahh, memories of playing Time Crisis in the arcade in my college years, with the satisfying as heck "KLAK KLAK KLAK" of the gun's recoil.
Man, I'm old.
@AlienX I bought the Wii U port of Duck Hunt years ago, and I thought it played very well. Definitely worth it, especially since it'll be gone soon.
@cartunecartune lol! really weird how all children are alike, I was living in the middle east watching arabic cartoons, yet my experience was the same as others. Really interesting stuff.
@Specter_of-the_OLED I believe you could use a Wiimote (in a gun peripheral) on both Wii and Wii U.
Seeing as this isn't compatible with NES - is he still dreaming of playing Duck Hunt?
Gives me the desire to play some Time Crisis
I solved this problem in a much more expensive way- I just bought the arcade cabs. 😂
Played a ton of Duck hunt and shooting range on the NES. T2 and Mad Dog McCree on Genesis and Sega CD. And of course the Arcade greats of Area 51, house of the dead, Time crisis. Still my favorite is Battle Clash for the SNES. Something cool about it feeling like a one on one battle.
Just searched and yes, it really does.
But 5 Bucks for such a simple Game and a nearly dead Store hmm
Lightgun games are probably the only things that have survived in arcades in my personal experience. Maybe a dance game or two.
My local(ish) arcade has Jurassic Park, Terminator and used to have a couple more but since been set aside for more...you guessed it, pay to win gambling machines for kids!
@mike_intv It works on Windows and Linux, so I assume most of his videos and screenshots are of games running in emulators on a PC.
Back in the day I played it so much, that I memorized every set piece from the original Time Crisis on Arcade. I even helped out a girl player once, telling her exactly what would happen and how to act at any given moment lol probably spent way too much time and money on this game.
Cool! As a kid it was my dream having these machines at home.
Nintendo, hire this man. NOW!!! I wanna play Duck Hunt and Hogan's Alley again too.
I can't wait to see what he does for a Sega Menacer and SNES Super Scope.
These were always my favorite games. When the wii was coming out I dreamed it would be like lightguns mixed with fps. I was sadly disappointed when I played red steel how clumsy it all was. The Occulus seems the best route for these games now, I played a shooter on there that made me feel like I was at an actual range.
I loved playing Ghost Squad, HoTD 2+3 and HoTD Overkill on Wii. Yes it was not as accurate as a light gun, but I still had fun.
@JayJ get yourself an oculus Quest
@YANDMAN No thanks, VR gives me nausea.
Oh my. Light guns on modern displays have been my classic gaming white whale for years. We can't say we've preserved the NES until future generations can play Duck Hunt as it should be played.
Lag is always going to be an issue with anything that isn't a CRT though. Some plasma screens are fast enough for the Zapper to sometimes register a hit (I've tried it) but I've never found a TFT TV that does. There are very fast TFTs but they rarely make it into consumer tellies, unfortunately.
@JayJ It's a learning curve, and aside from it being the evolution of classic light gun games, you can also play most of those classic arcade shooters on it.
@BionicDodo True. Except their page shows a Saturn box.
@mike_intv Their marketing has confused me from the start. Are they showing that just to remind people of the games that used light guns and that can be played in emulators? Or because you can put that game disc in a PC and play it on an emulator using the gun? Because they're going to add support for Polymega? Who knows?!
@YANDMAN I have played VR and the two feel like completely different concepts to me.
@JayJ As I said 'evolutuion' playing games like Dead Second, which is essentially time crisis, in VR is amazing. Just feels exactly the same only with the extra immersion.
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