**PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THIS WAS WRITTEN 10/26/13 AND AS THIS GAME IS IN BETA IT IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING SO THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE GAME AS IT WAS AT THE TIME**
Yet another addicting roguelike from Vlambeer and friends, Nuclear Throne is the cooler older brother of Super Crate Box. This time around there are more crazy monsters to kill with another massive arsenal and seven new playable characters to do it with. When I first saw previews for the game, I recognized the work immediately as Vlambeer, as I was a huge fan of Super Crate Box. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this game is being able to move freely through an open level, opposed to the single screen of SCB as well as the option to choose from multiple characters with different stats and special abilities.
After a few failed attempts at trying to reach out to Vlambeer via Twitter for a possible copy to review I just decided to buy it. Supporting indie developers like Vlambeer who have provided us gamers with awesome free games like Super Crate Box doesn’t bother me, I just didn’t want to wait till my next payday to be able to play this game, AND coincidentally Nuclear Throne happened to come out on my birthday. Anyway, I digress… Nuclear Throne is more fun than playing Mario 3 christmas morning 1988 and manages to keep you on your toes while you battle through each level where your goal is to clear it of all enemies. Loaded with upgrades, tons of different weapons and ammo, a boat load of monsters that came off a zombie infected Noah’s Ark of doom, and a cast of characters resembling the Garbage Pail Kids, Nuclear Throne is sure to turn you into the next Toxic Avenger.
Nuclear Throne is Vlambeers latest action roguelike-like about mutants fighting their way through a post-apocalyptic world. The radioactive waste in the world allows mutants to get ahead by mutating new limbs on the fly, the abundant availability of powerful weaponry makes the quest to become ruler of the Wasteland one fraught with peril. At this point in development, Nuclear Throne consists of 7 playable characters and has 4 worlds, each containing 3 sub levels that you must complete before moving on to the next. Your ultimate goal is to clear the map, collect ammo, build your arsenal and gather nuclear waste to gain levels.
To gain levels you must collect the nuclear waste capsules that enemies drop after you kill them. After collecting so many of these you gain your next level and given the opportunity to upgrade your character. Some of these upgrades include “Lucky Shot” that when added allows some shots to regenerate ammo. “Blood Lust” gives you the ability where some kills may regenerate your HP, or “Rhino Skin” which gives you an added +4HP. These upgrades are essential to your gameplay, and if you choose wisely you can get further and further every time you play.
The gameplay of Nuclear Throne is genius and compelling, keeping you glued to your computer making every last bullet a battle cry at redemption. Each character has its own special ability and varied stats, for example, “Fish” gets more ammo than most other characters, and his special ability is the doge roll. Whereas “Crystal” gets more HP, and has the crystal shield as a special ability. Right now my favorite character is “Plant.” He moves around faster, and has the ability to throw seeds out and snare enemies making it easier to kill them. This helps greatly when trying to move around enemies that are shooting at you as well, not to mention snaring larger enemies allowing for an easier target to move around.
Weaponry isn’t an issue when it comes to Nuclear Throne. Everything from a screwdriver to a grenade launcher, Vlambeer certainly didn’t leave anything out of this one. The shooting dynamics when using a mouse and keyboard are flawless, and put the power from your current weapon at your finger tips. Extra ammunition is found from killing enemies and dropped randomly, usually when you’re running low. Like many roguelikes, ammo is essential and there usually isn’t that much of it readily available, especially when using the triple machine gun.You can also find ammo and extra weapons from the chests scattered throughout each level, and health is also dropped this way as well.
The music in Nuclear Throne blends perfectly with gameplay and isn’t overly annoying like in most other games. I liked that each level had its own unique and distinct music that was congruent to its surroundings. Graphicly, Nuclear Throne is a step up from Super Crate Box and adds more shading while adding more characteristics to the enemies and playable characters. Overall, Nuclear Throne is an awesome game, tons of fun to play, and leaves you wanting more. Anytime that I find myself thinking about a video game outside of my house I know that its a hit. Needless to say this game is incredible, and even in early development shows promise. I highly suggest this one, its bound to be another classic.
Replay Value: 7/10
Posted: November 28th, 2013