Is it worth $129 to relive your NES Duck Hunt glory days?

Finally, that dusty old Zapper has a purpose again.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read

Here's your chance to beat that old high score.


The classic NES game Duck Hunt may be getting a second life. Right now, Duck Hunt doesn't work on modern LCD or OLED TVs, so you can't play the game unless you have an old-school tube (CRT) TV.

That's because the Duck Hunt game and Zapper gun are calibrated to scan rates of tube TVs, so the Zapper can't "see" the screen of modern TVs and due to a difference in input lag, the game will register most shots as misses.

But the folks behind the Modern Mallard Kickstarter campaign figured out a way to overcome this problem -- by using a speedy processor to rewrite the game's code in real time, counteracting the lag. The project includes a hardware mod for both the original Duck Hunt game cartridge and Zapper that makes it compatible with LCD, LED and OLED TVs. Note that the campaign doesn't include the game cartridge or Zapper, so you'll have to use your own.

You can read more about how the mods work at the bottom of the Kickstarter page.


You'll have to install the Zapper mod for it to work.

Modern Mallard

As of writing this, the Kickstarter campaign hasn't reached its goal of $125,000 and has until July 19 to be funded. According to the page, if you pledge $129 you'll get the game cartridge mod, the Zapper mod and a game cartridge screwdriver (you have to install the mods yourself). The page also offers bulk packs (enough mods for five games and five Zappers) if you pledge $550 or more.

Is it worth it to pay $129 to play your old Duck Hunt game? That's up to you. But old-school video games are still popular: just look at the releases (and subsequent rereleases) of the NES Classic and SNES Classic.