No one knows what to expect when you hear the name “Nuclear Throne” as a game title and,to be honest, neither did I. When I first took a look at the screenshots saying, “Wow another 2D shoot- em- up game….,” boy was I right but was completely wrong at the same time. Nuclear Throne is different. I was thinking I would play a human as my character, but no… you play as mutated fish creature in the apocalypse with no remaining human left alive on earth (or whatever these mutants call it.) The goal in the game is reach the nuclear throne hence the name of the game. It is really quite simple in terms of the goals and story.
As far as the game play goes, it’s shooting and melee…. a lot of it. I found myself finding crossbows, rocket launchers, shotguns, wrenches and screwdrivers everywhere. This game shines in the controls as they are very easy to pick up and play but hard to master and takes some extreme skill to go through a stage and not be hurt. The controls are basic with the mouse controlling the cross-hair on screen and ‘WASD’ being movement.
The enemies in this game vary from Tusken raider type people with guns to big grub worms, scorpions, rats and frogs, and vultures who explode… yea, the last one scared me a bit. Each one of them has a unique attack with a stage “boss”(just a bigger and tougher enemy) possibly spawning in from time to time. From what I can tell, each stage is randomly generated, (although I could be wrong about that) with the enemy count being randomly generated as well. Each kill is satisfying, and I see myself pushing forward to the next stage or dying and restarting to try again with no heated emotions.
The character development is more or less just upgrades within the particular run through. You earn radiation or “Rad” for each kill and by collecting bottles full of the goo-like substance on the map. Each time you level up, you gain access to 4 upgrades which you can choose one or none at all. The upgrades range from increasing carry weight for ammo or gaining more loot to upgrading your max health or lowering the enemy health.
Overall the game is awesome. The execution was done admirably, and I can’t stop playing. If I had six hands, I would give 12 thumbs up and would highly recommend it to anyone interested. The only complaint about this game I would have is there not being a version for android smartphones. However, Nuclear Throne is available on PC, Mac and Linux, Playstation 4 and the Vita.