Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein, Duke Nukem. If you know what these names stand for, get into your time machine and follow me back to the 90s!
I will never ever forget the first time I’ve seen Duke Nukem 3D in 1996. After playing the first scene of this phenomenal classic on a friend’s PC, I was like: “Alright, guys. These are the best graphics that I’ve ever seen. It can’t get any better, any more realistic.” Hilarious, right? Compared to Battlefield 1, Duke Nukem 3D looks like Jeff Goldblum’s discovery in Jurassic Park.
Today, however, we’re digging even deeper, back to the big bang of the shooter genre in the early 90’s, where games actually looked even worse. I am talking about Doom, the catalyst for the first-person shooter hype and the role model for “Undoomed – Dungeon Shooter”, by Job van Wijngaarden. But it’s not about resolutions or the quality of sprites or animations. The question is: Is “Undoomed” able to bring back old Childhood memories of entertaining pixel massacres? Let’s give it a shot.
“Undoomed” is heavy. Heavy Metal. These amazing rock songs coming out of your smartphone sound exactly as if they come right out the PC speaker of your Amstrad Mega PC 386SX. What an amazing retro soundscape. How is it even possible to create these tunes nowadays? Simply awesome!
And it’s not only the music giving you flashbacks to the 90s. Also, the graphics and – to a lesser extent – the gameplay feels like a wild trip back to the MS-DOS era. And that’s the purpose of a retro game, isn’t it? Without having the chance to look inside the brain of Job van Wijngaarden, I’ll simply claim that this is the case and he did a great job in creating this special kind of atmosphere.
If the target group consists of gamers over 30 trying to transfer childhood memories from their IBM-PC to their smartphone, I’d say that everything that stands in their way is a downside of “Undoomed”. Like ads: Ad breaks if you die, ad breaks between each and every level and a permanently visible ad banner on top. For a retro shooter like this, I would love to spend, let’s say, 2,99€, for a trip to the past, where nothing distracted you from playing your favorite game.
Secondly, I don’t know how to feel about these randomly generated levels. Every time I restart a level, there’s something different and whereas this might be a good idea for certain casual games, I prefer my FPS straight-forward with a linear gaming experience.
Thirdly, and that’s just a minor thing, the levels could be a bit more generous with ammo. It happened quite often that I had no bullets left and – since there is no foot kick like in Duke Nukem 3D – had to run through the levels without having the chance to fight. So maybe some extra bullets or a melee weapon with infinite ammo would do wonders here.
Job almost did a great … job … to create a perfect retro shooter for your smartphone. If he also manages it to get rid of all the bad influences of the last two decades (like in-game advertisement), “Undoomed” leaves nothing to be desired. Click here to download the game.
All pictures are in-game screenshots.