Big Buck Hunter

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Big Buck Hunter
Developer(s) Play Mechanix, Inc
Publisher(s) Raw Thrills
Platform(s) Arcade

Big Buck Hunter is an arcade hunting game released by Play Mechanix, Inc. in 2000. The well-received game spawned a series of sequels including Big Buck Hunter: Shooter's Challenge, Big Buck Hunter II: Sportsman's Paradise, Big Buck Hunter: Call of the Wild, Big Buck Hunter Pro (2006), Big Buck Safari (2008), Big Buck Hunter Pro: Open Season, and Big Buck World (2010), which combined the content of Big Buck Hunter Pro: Open Season and the newly updated Big Buck Safari: Outback. In 2012, Big Buck HD was released. This latest installment includes elements from both Big Buck Hunter Pro and Big Buck Safari in high-definition.[1] In Fall of 2009, Play Mechanix partnered with Merge Interactive to release an iOS version of Big Buck Hunter Pro for the iPhone. The success of the app warranted the 2011 release of an iOS version of Big Buck Safari made for both iPhone and iPad. Both of the iOS games allow the user to see where the closest arcade machines are to the users current location. Additionally, the versatile Big Buck Hunter franchise has grown to include "Plug N Play" Games and a Nintendo Wii version published by Jakks Pacific.

The initial series of games from 2000-2006 operated on a single gun platform and allowed four players to compete round robin style through various treks and bonus stages. Big Buck Hunter Pro and Big Buck Safari introduced a two gun platform, allowing head-to-head competition in addition to a variety of new animals and critters to hunt.

No matter the version, the game centers on a player's ability to shoot up to three bucks a stage without shooting a doe or female animal, thus ending the player's turn prematurely. Later versions such as Big Buck Hunter Pro and Big Buck Safari also allow for critter shooting and trophy hunting (Safari only).

Stern Pinball also released a pinball game based on this theme in 2010.

Beginning in 2008, a World Championship Tournament was introduced. Regional Qualifying tournaments occur in August and September, with winners advancing to the World Championship Tournament, which occurs every October in Chicago. On November 10, 2012, the Big Buck Hunter World Tournament was held in the Altman Building in New York City.[2] This marked the first time the tournament was held outside of Chicago. The World Tournament's competition was on Big Buck HD machines.

Big Buck Hunter Pro[edit]

Moose Adventure[edit]

  • Treks: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Woodlands, Manitoba
  • Bonus Rounds: Turkey Hunt, Clockwork, Frog Flip'n
  • Speed: 6th Fastest
  • Comments: Many hunters find Fort McMurray (2nd Trek) extremely difficult due to the terrain (very hilly), cow screens and the exit routes of the grey bulls (over the back hills)

Elk Adventure[edit]

  • Treks: Elkview (Sparwood), British Columbia; Big Sky, Montana; Yorkton, Saskatchewan
  • Bonus Rounds: Pheasant Hunt, Log Yard, Mars Needs Cattle
  • Speed: 4th Fastest
  • Comments: The screens (via close up trees) in Clark County, Nevada (3rd trek) make obtaining a perfect trek difficult.

Whitetail Deer Adventure[edit]

  • Treks: Keyser, West Virginia; Pike County, Illinois; Maple Ridge, Minnesota
  • Bonus Rounds: Duck Hunt, Pappy's Moonshine, Pie In The Sky
  • Speed: 3rd Fastest
  • Comments: Two stages in Maple Ridge, Minnesota (3rd trek) have the possibility to produce some long distance bucks to drop for big pts. One arrangement has the buck running straight on, while the other has the buck running a left-to-right slant down a hill. The slant route seems to net the largest possible score (1,000+)

Big Horn Sheep Adventure[edit]

  • Treks: Riggins, Idaho; Dubois, Wyoming; Clark County, Nevada
  • Bonus Rounds: Dove Hunt, Boars Gone Wild, Mug Shot
  • Speed: 5th Fastest
  • Comments: The biggest opportunity for pts is in Dubois, Wyoming (2nd trek). Idaho and Nevada (1st & 3rd trek) tend to provide less or more difficult opportunities to score large buck or critter pts.

Prong Horn Antelope Adventure[edit]

  • Treks: Hamilton, Colorado; Portales, New Mexico; Marathon, Texas
  • Bonus Rounds: Quail Hunt, Windmill, Gopher Garden
  • Speed: 2nd Fastest
  • Comments: One of the more difficult animals to tackle in Buck Hunter. As one of the fastest and smallest of the hunting animals in Buck Hunter it's definitely not par for the course to break more than 33,000 pts. Adding to the difficulty are the extremely small difference between does and bucks, most notably very small horns on the bucks

Caribou Adventure[edit]

  • Treks: Leaf River, Quebec; Yellow Knife, Northwest Territories; Aniak, Alaska
  • Bonus Rounds: Goose Hunt, Barrel Targets, Meteor Bash
  • Speed: Fastest
  • Comments: Recently added as part of the Big Buck Hunter Tournament Edition, Caribou is the most challenging animal yet. In addition to all new treks in Alaska and Canada, the agility and speed of these animals will even throw Antelope sharpshooters for a curve. The bonus rounds step up the challenge even further.

Bonus and Tricks[edit]

  • Streak Bonus: Once a hunter has completed one perfect stage (dropped all 3 bucks), each subsequent perfect stage adds an additional 100 pts to his score. Example: Perfect stage 1; 0 pts, perfect stage 2; 200 pts, perfect stage 3; 300 pts. Maximum points attainable is a 15-stage perfect streak or 1,500 pts. If a hunter misses a buck on a stage, they must start their streak bonus over. Note: The worst place to drop a streak is in the middle of a tour; Stage 7,8 or 9
  • Marksman Award: This is awarded when a hunter drops all animals with 1 shot kills. Note: This accuracy includes hitting all critters in 1 shot
  • Buck Points: The more a buck weighs and the further away he is the more points he will be worth. Note: Grey coats usually denote older and larger bucks
  • Critter Bonus: Shooting critters is an excellent way to rack up points. Critter bonuses add up as follows; 1 - 50 pts, 2 - 150 pts, 3 - 300 pts, 4 - 500 pts, 5 - 750 pts, 6 - 1,050 pts, 7 - 1,400 pts. Critters include, blue birds, black birds, possums, squirrels, wolves, foxes, cougars, rabbits, owls, armadillos, coyotes, woodpeckers, rattlesnakes, scorpions, vultures, weasels & frogs
  • Bonus Round: A hunter shooting all bonus round items with 100% accuracy will receive Double Bonus worth 2,000 pts. Note: Some bonus rounds add additional pts for time left on the clock (25 pts per second left)
  • Trick: Stage 1 of Elk (upper left corner stage) there is a hidden frog that is accessible for an additional 400 critter bonus pts. As the stage pans left, shoot the right hand corner of the log at the bottom of the screen and a frog will jump up. Shoot him 4x for the 400 critter bonus points

Trophy Club Features[edit]

Starting in September 2007, Big Buck Hunter Pro game cabinets could be modified to be on the CoinUp Network. Being on the CoinUp Network allowed the games to offer a number of extra features, called 'Trophy Club Features'. There are a number of ways to tell if a game cabinet is connected to the CoinUp Network.

  • Tournament Sign Large plexiglass sign above game cabinet is a good indicator that the game is on the CoinUp network.
  • CoinUp Logo The CoinUp logo is the best indicator whether a game has been put on the CoinUp Network. The CoinUp logo appears in the lower left corner of the game screen during attract mode. In order for the logo to display, the game has been updated with the correct software, and the game has been registered to the CoinUp Network. If the CoinUp Logo is displayed in Grey & Red, then the game might be experiencing connection problems. If the CoinUp Logo appears in color, then the game is currently connecting with the CoinUp Network. Additionally, if the game is using a Cell Modem for connection, the number of bars that appear under the CoinUp Logo indicate the strength of the CoinUp connection.

Big Buck Hunter game cabinets that have been connected to the CoinUp Network offer several new kinds of gameplay to the player.

Trophy Club Games[edit]

When starting a Big Buck Hunter game that has been connected to the CoinUp Network, one of the Game Selection Screens will ask the player if they want their game to be a 'Trophy Club' game. This means all the stats of the game will be recorded into the player's permanent player account. Players will also be shown current national high scores, personal bests, as well as scores of their friends (via their Hunting Party). Trophy Club games cost the player an additional $0.50 to play. Once players select to play a Trophy Club game, they will be asked to log into their Player Account. Logging into their player count consists of entering a 10-digit pin (the game suggests using your cellphone number for ease of remembering) and your birthdate (MM/DD). Player's scores, stats, rankings, and other information are available online at


Big Buck Hunter game cabinets that have been connected to the CoinUp Network can support local and national tournaments. If a game cabinet is participating in a current tournament, the 'Tournaments' button will appear on the first Game Selection Screen. After selecting the Tournament button, the player can scroll through all tournaments currently playing on that game cabinet. The Big Buck Hunter National Tournament runs monthly (usually from the 7th to the 27th of each month). Players can find out about current tournament, prizes, participating locations and follow their tournament ranking at the Big Buck Hunter Website.

Hunting Parties[edit]

Big Buck Hunter Players can form groups called 'Hunting Parties' via the Big Buck Hunter website. They can choose a name, slogan, and logo for their Hunting Parties. From then on, anytime they play a Trophy Club or Tournament game, they will be able to view their friends scores while they play. They can compare their scores at each site against their friends (pull the pump on the Site Select screen to view your friends scores).

Hidden Modes[edit]

If playing a Trophy Club game, players can unlock hidden gameplay modes. After registering, at the 'Welcome to Trophy Club' screen that shows your stats and scores, hold the pump + trigger while pointing the gun at the screen. This will bring up an interface to select various player options. Different player options can be unlocked based on number of games played. Current Player Options available: Alternate Does

  • Does become Bears
  • Does become Cows (launch cowpies when shot)
  • Does become UFOs
  • Does become Pappys (launch moonshine jugs when shot)

Buck Poker 1 playing card awarded for every buck shot Tournament game scores and Trophy Club Hunter Hero scores will not be accepted if a hidden mode has been selected.

The Bonus Round in Whitetail Deer Adventure, Duck Hunt, pays homage to the NES game of the same name, including a dog that jumps into the bushes. The dog, however, does not pop up on each duck shot down, and does not laugh at the player when they fail to shoot any ducks.

External links[edit]

Big Buck Player Websites

Social Media Websites

Company Websites

iPhone Versions Websites

Plug N Play Version Website

Unofficial Websites

Game News


  1. ^ "BigBuckHunterHD". Play Mechanix. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Big Buck HD World Tournament Rules" (PDF). PlayMechanix. Retrieved 8 September 2012.