Duke Nukem Mobile Review

It isn't as involved as it could be, but it's still a blast to play and rates as a worthy member of the illustrious Nukem franchise.

Any gamer who has ever attended a LAN party already knows who Duke Nukem is, but I will recapitulate just in case you stopped gaming when Atari went under the first time. Duke's the rootinest, tootinest, oneriest alien exterminator to ever chomp a cigar and wield a firearm called "The Devastator" at the same time. Over the years, the passel of Nukem titles for the consoles and PC has been noted for both its extremely high quotient of "whup-assery" and its wicked sense of humor. I still treasure my memories of using my shrinkgun on assorted goons in Duke Nukem 3D, in addition to squashing them underfoot like dung beetles. Duke Nukem Mobile, from MachineWorks and SK Media, isn't as involved as it could be, but it's still a blast to play and rates as a worthy member of the illustrious Nukem franchise.

Duke Nukem doesn't need a reason to kill aliens. Alien-killing is why he gets up in the morning. So let's assume that, one fine day, Duke wakes up on your cell in the middle of a full-blown Normandy-style alien invasion. Your job is to move him around the pseudo-3D levels to let him do what comes naturally, which is, namely, to turn extraterrestrials into salty green cat food. The controls are simple but intuitive, so you can move in four directions, shoot, and change weapons by using either a hotbutton or a menu. The weapon-changing options are nice, because you're gonna need to switch around a fair amount to conserve ammo. As a result, it's a bad idea to use an RPG when the plain-vanilla pistol will do--especially on the harder difficulty levels.

Nukem looks and sounds absolutely fantastic. The level graphics are bright and beautiful, the slavering hordes of invaders are appropriately monstrous, and Duke looks as hard-bitten and grizzled as ever. When you dispatch a baddie with one of the bigger guns, he'll explode in a cloud of green vapor with a resounding groan that pleases the ear and tickles the adrenal gland. The gameplay also feels like it should by moving along at about the right speed and by providing a reasonable number of targets to shoot at--and even auto-aiming a little, when necessary.

That said, a little more variety in Nukem would have nice. An average level goes as follows: You run left and right for a couple of minutes while shooting ceaselessly and also desperately trying to pick up enough power-ups to survive. You then kill a boss, pick up a key card, and repeat the process. The levels look and play mostly alike; there are only a few different types of enemies to shoot at; and the weapons are identical in all respects except for the amount of damage they do. These are essentially minor blemishes on a truly fantastic mobile action game. However, none of them impact the stellar core gameplay.

In all, Duke Nukem is great download thanks to its action pedigree, gorgeous engine, and replay value (there are five difficulty levels, the last of which is fairly intense). Nukem all, and let your deity(ies) of choice sort 'em out!

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Duke Nukem Mobile More Info

  • First Released Jan 14, 2004
    • Mobile
    • Zodiac
    Machineworks Northwest may have trimmed back a lot of Duke Nukem's scope, but it has made sure that the core strafe-and-shoot gameplay that has propelled Duke into the FPS aristocracy is intact on the Zodiac.
    Average Rating21 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Machineworks Northwest
    Published by:
    SK Media, 3D Realms
    3D, Action, First-Person, Shooter
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Blood, Nudity, Violence