Duke Nukem 3D Review

By , on August 11, 2009

Duke Nukem 3D
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • A beautiful port of a great FPS.


  • The controls ruin the experience.


Machineworks tried to create a control scheme for the iPhone that would accommodate one of the great First Person Shooters. Their attempt has fallen short of the mark.

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Duke Nukem 3D, arguably one of the finest first person shooters ever made. Now a port of the game comes to the iPhone with a unique control scheme to compensate for the lack of a mouse and keyboard. The question though is does it deliver the experience we all remember and love.

The game offers two control schemes and both have their problems. The analog setup features two control sticks down the bottom of the screen (one to move, one to shoot), while the digital setup breaks the sticks up into sets of up/down and left/right buttons. Changing weapons, shooting, jumping, using objects and crouching are achieved by buttons or tapping areas on screen, and the game allows you to rearrange these to your liking. The problem arises in that the controls are clunky at their best. Trying to move, look around and shoot is a chore and it breaks all sense of fluidity while playing.

As for visuals and sound, this is a near perfect port. The game runs at a smooth framerate and the levels and secret areas are just as you remember them if you played this game when it first came out.

Having a portable port of Duke Nukem 3D should be a great addition to the iPhone games library. Unfortunately the problematic controls ruin the experience. Fans of Duke might be able to overlook this, but for everyone else, it's probably best to wait till the developers can work these issues out.


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