Duck Game

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Duck Game
Duck Game Logo.jpg
Steam release logo
Developer(s)Landon Podbielski
Publisher(s)Adult Swim Games
Platform(s)Ouya, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • WW: May 13, 2014
  • WW: June 4, 2015
  • WW: August 22, 2017
Nintendo Switch
  • WW: May 2, 2019
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Duck Game is a 2D action game developed by Landon Podbielski and published by Adult Swim Games. The game was released for the Ouya in 2014, and for Microsoft Windows in 2015. A PlayStation 4 version was released in August 2017,[1] and a Nintendo Switch version was released in May 2019.[2][3] A major update was released in November 2020 on PC, with an upcoming release on the Switch.[4]


Duck Game is a 2D video game that features primarily shooting and platforming mechanics. The game has a single-player arcade mode where the user can complete challenges to get tickets, which can be used to unlock in-game hats and game modifiers (such as Moon gravity or explosive props), as well as local or online multiplayer with up to four other players.[5][6] Duck Game has a simple premise: players die in one hit, and last player standing wins the round.[7][8] The game features a simple control scheme: beyond basic movement controls, the player can pick up/throw a weapon, use their equipped weapon, strafe (walk backwards), quack, and ragdoll. Similar to fighting games, angled shots and some other maneuvers require precisely timed input combinations.

Duck Game has several unique elements, including multiple hats, a quack button, and a ragdoll button.[6][9]


Duck Game was developed by Vancouver-based developer Landon Podbielski. Podbielski originally planned to make a 2D platformer inspired by James Pond 3. A friend suggested adding a local multiplayer mode with guns and other weapons.[10] The game was released for the Ouya on May 13, 2014.[11] At launch, the game only featured a multiplayer mode, however in November 2014, single-player modes were added.[12]

The game was released for Microsoft Windows on June 4, 2015, published by Adult Swim Games.[6] Podbielski previously composed the music for Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe, a game developed by his friend, Andrew Morrish and published by Adult Swim Games on May 24, 2013.[13] The company offered to publish Duck Game if Podbielski implemented an online multiplayer mode. After struggling to develop a client-server based networking model, Adult Swim Games extended their deadline and allowed Podbielski to use a peer-to-peer system instead.[10] At the 2015 PlayStation Experience, a PlayStation 4 version of the game was announced,[3] with its release following on August 22, 2017.[1] On May 1, 2019 it was released on the Nintendo Switch.


Duck Game received generally positive reviews from critics and players. The game received an average Metacritic score of 82 based on six reviews.[15] Critics cite the multiplayer as driving the game's appeal.[6][16] Reviewers likened the game to other successful 2D brawlers, including Super Smash Bros. Brawl, TowerFall, and Samurai Gunn.[6][9][17][18] Chris Compendio of DualShockers enjoyed the humorous aspects of the game, stating that "it just tickles your brain and finds a sweet spot of sense underneath the surrealism.”[17] Otto Kratky appreciated the game's depth, praising the nuances of the game's combat and controls.[18]

Sean Flint was critical of the name choice, saying "it describes absolutely nothing about it other than the fact that it may contain ducks".[8] Opinions on the game's learning curve were mixed; Chris Compendio found the fast-paced multiplayer mode and a lack of helpful tutorials to be disorienting.[17] Steven Hanson enjoyed the frenetic moments of the multiplayer, stating that "It’s not the assortment of weapons that is fun, it’s the quick reflexes — and their funny failures — needed to remember how they all work, despite the simple two button layout."[6] Several reviewers have complained about the inconsistent level design, and lack of an engaging single player experience.[7][8]

The game has had a small but committed competitive scene since launch, with gameplay mostly consisting of exploits to elevate the skill ceiling.[19]


  1. ^ a b "Adult Swim Games Brings Duck Game to PS4 Next Week". PlayStation Lifestyle. August 18, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  2. ^ "Nintendo Switch Games - Nintendo Switch Wiki Guide - IGN". IGN. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Sanchez, Miranda (December 5, 2015). "PSX 2015: Adult Swim Bringing Headlander and More to PS4". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  4. ^ "WELCOME TO DUCK GAME 1.5!!!". Steam. November 13, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  5. ^ Priestman, Chris (June 24, 2015). "Duck Game Might Be The Only Platform Brawler With A Quack Button". Siliconera. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Hansen, Steven (July 10, 2015). "Review: Duck Game". Destructoid. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Molyneux, Harry (June 3, 2015). "'Duck Game' offers multiplayer over both online and local but has a basic single player mode. - PopOptiq". PopOptiq. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c " Review: Duck Game is Sure to...Quack You Up". Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Smith, Adam (June 11, 2015). "The Absolute Joy Of Duck Game". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Podbielski, Landon (January 21, 2022). "Duck Game Developer QA". Retrieved February 25, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (April 29, 2014). "Duck Game has four-player local multiplayer and releases on Ouya next month". VG247. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  12. ^ Peeples, Jeremy (November 25, 2014). "Massive Duck Game Upgrade Now Available". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  13. ^ Wilde, Tyler (May 24, 2013). "Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe comes to Steam". PC Gamer. Retrieved February 25, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "DUCK GAME for PC reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  15. ^ "DUCK GAME". Metacritic. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
  16. ^ Jordan, Ned (June 25, 2015). "Duck Game Review". The Gamers' Temple. Soltar Enterprises. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c Compendio, Chris (May 3, 2019). "Duck Game Review — A Fun and Absurd Playable Joke of a Game". DualShockers. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  18. ^ a b Kratky, Otto. "Duck Game is My New Favorite Hyper-Competitive Quarantine Game". DualShockers.
  19. ^ "Quarantined 3 - Duck Game - Challonge". Retrieved February 25, 2022.