Posted: August 28, 2014
This game isn't much to look at, but in terms of game play it is solid.
Duke Nukem begins life here with this 1991 action platformer. It was originally released under an old-fashioned concept called Shareware. For games the concept was pretty good; Apogee would release the first episode absolutely free, no obligation. After playing it you could order the game and get all three episodes. Believe it or not the original DOOM was marketed this way too.
The experience of playing through 30 levels of Duke Nukem is a good one. As you can see from all the screen shots on the store page, the player has a health gauge so you won't die from touching the wrong thing only once. The challenge is decent because you can't quick save, you have to do the whole level in one go; saving is only possible between levels. The levels can be long and a bit confusing, but since there are so many goodies hidden all over it really isn't a bother to go exploring if you're lost. At the end of every level it is possible to score up to 7 bonuses. Some examples are: 1) shooting all the cameras in the level, 2) finishing the level without taking damage, and/or 3) picking up the letters D,U,K,E in the correct order. This makes for additional game play challenges if one is so inclined.
The only real problem with this game is that it was originally created for MS-DOS, so Interceptor packaged the game with DOSBox. GOG has been doing this successfully for many years, so it isn't really a problem, but you do have to be prepared for a truly old-school game; no mouse, no joypad, crude sound.
At a time when so many are trying to develop appealing retro-style games, here is a solid game from the era they are trying to capture. I can recommend it based on the fun factor alone.