Duke Nukem 3D

Posted by Richard Martin on August 11th, 2009
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Developer: MachineWorks Northwest
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar


You youngsters who are not quite brushed up on your video game history may only know Duke Nukem by name; a legend who once ruled the video game industry with his slick 3d graphics and sassy catchphrases. More experienced gamers have much more fond memories of Mr. Nukem as the baddest dude around. I remember giving my lunch away for a week for a copy of Duke Nukem on PC because my mom wouldn't buy it for me. That's how awesome Duke Nukem was back in his heyday. He made children forsake their mothers for a few hours of bloody fun. He saved the world from alien invasions AND got a ton of tail in the process... like Bruce Willis in Die Hard, except way cooler... and with hair.

Duke Nukem 3D is MachineWorks Northwest LLC's nearly flawless port of Duke's first PC outing brought to you by 3D Realms. All of the little things are there, including the right of passage for every child to discover the little Easter egg in the original Duke Nukem where you could hand dollars to a stripper for an amazing pixelated show, and now you get to live this all over again.

Why this game kicks serious tail
It's Duke Nukem just as you remember him. Graphically, this game is just as you remember it in its' PC days, if not better. The game plays great. On my 3GS the game runs oh so smoothly, and from talking to a couple of homies operating on the 3G, it plays just as nicely. MachineWorks definitely did a good job in bringing over the original look and feel of the original Duke Nukem. The sound is just as good as well. Most, if not all of Duke's original catchphrases are there and the quirky little interactions with the environments that made the game so funny back in the day are also still there.

The controls are a plus and a minus for me. MachineWorks made a great effort at making DN3D as easy to control as possible. There are two different control schemes for you to take advantage of and I can't truly say which one is better, because they both have their advantages and disadvantages. The classic analog controls give you two virtual joysticks which work well once you get used to them, but are still a little buggy. The digital controls are a little odd at first as well but if you take the time to learn them they may be a little bit more convenient to use than the analog controls. Like I said before, different gamers will find different value in each of these control schemes.

The firing system was well thought out for this game, and like your control system there are two options to choose from, but you're only going to use one. There is the lesser crosshair system in which Duke will fire where the crosshair is aimed, but this one is a little bit difficult to use. While the controls may work well enough, they aren't refined enough to be able to accurately aim with them. The alternative touch to shoot system works really well in this game, and does exactly what it says. You touch where you want to shoot and Duke shoots there. This system works really well in situations where you will encounter a ton of enemies and I found the system accurate enough to use to fire at enemies who were only small blips on the screen.

Not much needs to be said about the gameplay besides this. You know what you're getting with Duke Nukem... pure shooter with tons of bad guys, blood, and boobies. If you were a fan of the original Duke Nukem, then you will like this iteration. Besides the controls, it's exactly the same game as it was before. Duke Nukem 3D was one of the most popular games of its' generation because of its' great gameplay and this definitely carries over.

Why this game falls flat on its' face.
It doesn't, but honestly it comes really really close...

The controls are just good enough for this game to be passable. That's really one of the only bad things I can say about this game. It's a bit tough to shoot and strafe out of the way of incoming fire at the same time but it can defintely be done after a bit of practice. One of the nice things that MachineWorks did was make the placement of the controls 100% customizeable. This is one of the saving graces of Duke Nukem 3D. The analog control scheme, as I stated before, still seems really buggy. You can't drag your finger around the joysticks, you kind of have to lift your finger off before you can change directions, which is annoying, and for anybody who plays any console games whatsoever, it's a completely unnatural motion to make.
This being said, there aren't really any more negatives I can come up with... Sooooo... I guess this is where we chew the bubblegum since I'm all out of ass kickings to give out.

The final verdict
Duke Nukem 3D is definitely the port classic fans of the game were looking for. The controls are little bit shoddy but I would guess that fans of the original game wouldn't mind this for a chance to play one of the greatest PC games of all time, on the go. For newcomers to the series, if you can pick up a game with great gameplay but lacking controls and get around it then it will absolutely be worth your 3 bucks (which is a bargain for a big name franchise like this.) If dealing with frustrating controls could ruin your gaming experience then you may want to think twice about this purchase, but I would highly reccomend that you give it a chance.

Duke Nukem 3D helped raise me into the fine young gentleman that I am, and hopefully it can do the same for preteens and young adults wielding iPhones in this generation.

That was a lie, don't buy this game for your kids. It'll mess them up.

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Duke Nukem 3D screenshot 1 Duke Nukem 3D screenshot 2 Duke Nukem 3D screenshot 3 Duke Nukem 3D screenshot 4
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