Duke Nukem 2 Review

By , on April 8, 2013
Last modified 10 years, 11 months ago

Duke Nukem 2
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Save/Load system gives a generous safety net for the (at times) unforgiving difficulty of some stages.
  • Control options help to offset the otherwise clunky movement inherent to the original game.


  • Title has aged poorly over time; stop/start clunky action and maze-like stages may appeal to nostalgic fans, but requires the patience of a saint for those not used to its quirks.
  • Although the visuals remain sharp and as detailed as ever, they can be very difficult to look at on smaller iOS devices.


Duke Nukem 2 may burst with nostalgia, but it was always a fairly clunky side-scrolling shooter and little has changed since its debut in 1993.

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Every now and then you have to give the marketing department of a company their dues. When Interceptor Entertainment decided to bring the PC classic Duke Nukem 2 to the iOS platform, they opted to keep changes to a minimum, and as such their 'Key Features' list amusing entries such as 'insane VGA graphics' and '256 eye popping colors'. However, as amusing as it is, without some sort of attempt to meet modern gamers half way, this old-school side-scrolling shooter/platformer is only really going to click with the nostalgic amongst us.

The Apogee original set the groundwork for the infamous Duke Nukem franchise, packing the game with oodles of powerful, explosive weaponry; ugly monsters; and brutal fire fights. The focus on combat and exploration makes jumping a kind of novelty - as such it would be folly to expect the kind of smooth running and jumping of a traditional platformer. Instead you'll battle your way across each screen, popping chests and filling enemies with laser blasts and explosive charges in an effort to explore the maze-like stages for the exit.

It's not a pretty game, at least by today's standards, but it conveys all you need to know in a simple and efficient manner. The controls also feel horribly stiff, but this is less a problem with the touch interface and more a problem with original title's chunky framerate and limited agility. In the very least it's nice to have fixed and floating d-pad options (as well as the ability to adjust their placement) so you can make the best of a bad situation.

Duke Nukem 2 was an addictive, mindless side-scrolling action title, but we'd be lying if we said it has aged well. If you can look beyond the chunky graphics; the old school soundtrack; and the pedestrian action gameplay, the nostalgia might just be able to keep you interested long enough to complete the game.


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