Duke Nukem 2 has been ported to iOS by Interceptor Entertainment and is now available from the app store. While some of our nostalgic faves have made a great impression when brought to the mobile screen, Duke Nukem 2 was probably better left in the past.
Duke Nukem 2 Pros:
- Early ’90s era graphics and soundtrack
- Nostalgic offering for older gamers
- Variety of weapons, craft, and baddies to blast
Duke Nukem 2 Cons:
- Controls leave something to be desired
- Busy graphics make it difficult to distinguish background from foreground
- Wonky save system can lose your saved game progress
Prior to receiving the FPS treatment, Duke Nukem was a 2D side-scroller. At the time, it was an exciting and enjoyable experience, as you controlled a tough-as-nails space marine battling aliens in multi-leveled locales. There are ladders to climb, boxes to explode, baddies to blast, hovercraft to pilot, items to collect, and more. Duke comes with 32 levels spread across 4 sections, and you can choose from 3 difficulty levels. Though it may have been innovative a couple of decades ago, it just has a very dated feeling today. The gaming area is surrounded by an overlay that makes it feel like you are watching the action take place through an alternative monitor, rather than filling your screen area. The environments show some variation, though we had a good deal of trouble getting a good sense of what dangers were present in our environment, as the graphics were very busy and the reduced screen real estate hampered anticipation. If you look up or down, the viewpoint shifts a bit and remains locked in the most recent position, which means that you may not notice a trap door or item overhead unless you recently looked in that same direction.
The controls themselves weren’t all that great. A joypad allows you to move left and right, as well as look up and crouch. Perhaps it was the positioning of the joypad or something, but we spent a lot of time fighting with it. For instance, we would attempt to move right and Duke would crouch. If we could customize the position, things might have clicked a little better. There is a separate button for firing your weapon, though the hit area for this seemed a little small, causing us to miss from time to time. Jumping is handled by tapping on the screen. The lack of a dedicated button for this was very disappointing. The soundtrack remains good, however. The save system is a bit wonky, causing you to lose your progress if you don’t follow explicit instructions. Despite following these to a T and ensuring that our game save was preserved, we found nothing when we returned to restore our game later in the evening. Replay value is good for gamers who fondly remember this offering and enjoy occasionally setting aside their games with bleeding-edge graphics for something a little less eye-popping. A universal app for $1.99, Duke Nukem 2 only manages a 3-Dimple score.
Duke Nukem 2 Review,