Duke Nukem is a early platforming game for your trusty IBM PC and DOS OS that came out in 1991 from Apogee. Or maybe it counts as shoot'em'up genre game. It sure does both, though more of exploring and platforming.
Since it's the old game, how does Steam version work? Simple. It uses DOSBox, which doesn't suck. Once it launches, you can choose any of the three episodes to launch. Game was using Shareware model after all, back when it was cool. It also supports Steam overlay. At least since 30th April. Yay.
Duke Nukem 1 was made before Duke Nukem found a new identify in Duke Nukem 3D, so you will not any sexual humor there, just good old platforming shooting hero with his lazer zapper, zap zap zap. He jumps, he shoots, he grins all time, he almost got named Duke Nukum.
The game is quite old and presentation isn't on par. It's a pretty EGA game, meaning that it doesn't look too bad on widescreen monitors. Art-style is cool though, not masterpiece, but it's really pretty for what it is. You will even notice, that like most of platformer games on PC it doesn't have smooth scrolling like Commander Keen does, instead skipping whole tile. Somehow it feels cool as well, there is even a weird thing where things will spawn only when their position appears on the screen. You will mostly notice it when you move up and see a few chests suddenly falling from the top, sometimes used as a trap too. The only cool technical thing it got to show are reflections on floor which is sometimes uses, never seen anything like this in other old PC platformers, which is cool but makes screen more confusing. And jolly little details, like awesome-yet-wacky-retro explosions with rainbow pellets.
As for music and sounds... Welp, PC Speaker. Has sounds. Cool walking sound that isn't annoying. No music, just little jingles. Nothing else to say.
In this game you will have to fight Dr. Proton and his army of robots for over 3 episodes, each with 10 levels of quick fun and exploration. You can jump and you can shoot inifnitively. On some levels you have to destroy reactors (It explodes!) and in every level you get to find keys to open doors to find keys. In each episode you will even find useful items, one allowing Duke Nukem to jump higher, randomly doing Strider-like homersaults, while another allows you to hook up and move over metal celling, reminding me Strider once again. As well as powerups that increase amount of shots that you can spew out otno screen at same time. And yes, this game has sewer level. Once. And many, many robots.
The only difference between 3 episodes are backgrounds, some tile sets and levels themselves, yep. Once you get through the first episode, you will learn everything that game got.
A fun little detail is that sometimes you will encounter a screen through which Dr. Proton will taunt you with a single messages, like claiming that you will be stopped by his army of rabbit robot killers after defeating whole wave of those junks.
And well, it's suprisingly fun for what it is. It actually delivers action that doesn't feel cheap or too hard or broken. Exploration is interesting. A bit repetive, yes, but levels are short and thus you feel like progressing through the game. One of the better things in this game got to be enemies and their variety, at least this was better than I expected. Heck, some enemies even give off a smoke once hit, little details. There is even a chopper enemy that tries to smash you with itself. And they explode nicely. Obstacles like jumping mines. And it all controls really well, quite responsible. Duke Nukem has a big health bar so you will not rage as much as in, say, Commander Keen. It's easy to pick up and play, despite not having level selection.
For some reason, I just had a solid fun with this game and was enjoying it, without setting my mind into "hey, these unfair stuff were standards back then, it's old after all too" mode, beat it in one go pretty much.
Also should note on pickups. There are two kind of healths. The one which becomes even useful when shot, that is turkey. And the one which gets destroyed by shot, that is can of soda. Makes it more interesting.
Though, I do have a complain. Each episode has only one boss at the end of the final level and it's same Dr. Proton. Yes, he doesn't learn any new tricks, the only more challenging changes is that there is less of solid ground without spikes. But you can just rush him down, shooting all you got while taking damage, so it's very easy and dissapointing.
So yes, actually fun somewhat easy old DOS platforming-shooting game. Recommended.