Nuclear Throne

Good
  • Fast paced core gameplay that feels satisfying when mastered
  • Variety and random elements ensure plenty of varied challenge
Bad
  • Limited content for players who don't seek victory with each character option
9

Nuclear Throne is an intense top down shooter that uses roguelike elements to deliver a fast paced game that offers plenty of difficulty along the way. With many paths to reach the end game and even loop the gameplay on itself you’ll be encouraged to experiment with different blends of characters, items and other mechanics to find something that is your own.

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Nuclear Throne takes place in a dark world in which humanity has been obliterated by nuclear events which in turn has heavily altered the life on the planet. The reasons behind the apocalypse have long been lost but the new inhabitants that find themselves calling this home do know about an ancient legend based on the Nuclear Throne which is said to be able to restore the world to order.

In Nuclear Throne your objective is to advance through the randomised levels to reach this final throne that is told in legend while fighting back against against waves of opponents. This requires players to make use of the weapons they can find, unlock unique mutations, obtain rare Nuclear Throne crowns and also combat a wide array of enemies. While this sounds like a simple goal players will have to adventure into this randomised world many times to succeed with each run being uniquely different.

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Your first step in each Nuclear Throne adventure is to choose your character from the dozen options which offer their own unique playstyles and designs. This array of options include fast moving, durable, multi-weapons and loot based modifiers to ensure all styles are accounted for while also offering great variety for those that want to try them all. Players won’t have all of these potential heroes available to them in their first attempt though with each unlocked by completing specific in game tasks or achievements. In addition to offering an alternative playstyle these character options also serve as a potential achievement in themselves as players try to unlock them all and beat the game with each of them by utilising their specific combat strengths.

With your Nuclear Throne character selected you’ll jump into your first random world which will contain different enemies and loot from the pool available in that biome. Enemies have vastly different attack patterns while weapons are equally vast with each changing as you progress through several of the game biomes. Weapons broadly range from bullet, shell, bolt, explosive, energy and melee weapons that each use their own limited ammo pool. With players restricted to only carrying two such weapons at any time you’ll need to make various trade off decisions for what your character specialises in.

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Controlling each weapon and your character is provided through a simplified WASD and mouse control scheme that keeps gameplay in Nuclear Throne fast paced as you dodge enemies and fire your own weapon at the same time and often a critical element in your pass or fail on each level. Importantly levels in Nuclear Throne are generally only finished once all enemies are dead which will then automatically push players to the next level at which point any character levels obtained can be spent on mutations to improve your strength or alter gameplay.

These mutation choices range from ways to gain back lost HP, improve damage with certain weapon types, slow down enemy projectiles and countless others which are all randomised in appearance and thus require you to alter your plan each game attempt.

Summary:

  • Large number of characters with unique abilities and playstyles that define how you play.
  • Great range of weaponry which players need to manage carefully with the ability to equip two at a time.
  • Use mutations to add powers to your character that are randomly offered to you with each level up.
  • Advance through randomised levels to reach the Nuclear Throne with each area having different enemy threats.
  • High difficultly level offered at a fast pace of gameplay where failure is part of the gameplay loop.

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Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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