3D Realms Anthology- A Review

When you were a kid did you like playing computer games? Was grabbing your joystick a very serious thing and not just a sophomoric joke? Did you enjoy dying over and over and over again in the name of saving Earth from violent, vicious aliens of some variety? Were you pretty awful at math or spelling (and if you were, did your parents buy you an educational game to help you get better)? Well, friends, have I got a treat for you! You can relive every single one of those experiences RIGHT NOW!

you can remember your earliest gaming experiences fondly....or you can relive them RIGHT NOW!

You can remember your earliest gaming experiences fondly….or you can relive them.

Apogee has recently released a 3D Realms Anthology chock full of nostalgia and Duke Nukem (No, not the Forever kind). That’s pretty much it, as far as good news goes. You’re getting 32 DOS games for $39.99, and they control just as poorly as you remember. No, you weren’t just a clumsy kid with awful coordination, the games helped you to die pretty frequently by skipping jumps or not firing lightning bolts, arrows, bullets, lasers, or whatever else you were telling it to shoot. In the interest of being thorough, I played at least one level of each game, and it was the least fun I’ve ever had playing games.

Kind of like how this slide sucks for this giraffe.

Kind of like how this slide sucks for this giraffe.

To be totally fair, these are not the type of games I usually play; I like to have big, open worlds with lots of choices to make and fairly nebulous goals and timelines. I’ll play Sims until my eyes bleed, and for a while Fallout 3 and Skyrim were my go-to time sinks, so short levels and old-timey graphics really suck the fun out of gaming for me. However, if these games really were your childhood, then you are in for a true nostalgia trip. Each game is booted up through DOSBox, except with Duke Nukem 3D where you can choose the DOS version or modern PC version (though really, you probably already have the Megaton edition). Don’t forget that Duke Nukem is absolutely packed to the gills with easter eggs and pop-culture references (and naked ladies) to hunt for too! You not only get to go back to one of the earliest popular FPS series, there are lots of side-scrolling, treasure collecting, princess rescuing adventures to be had. Add to that the family friendly appeal of many of the games and you’ve got an alright bundle of fun to while away a rainy weekend (or a lonely Tuesday, if that’s more your jam).

duke nukem

The most family-friendly image ever produced in a Duke Nukem game.

The main sticking point for me here is price. It’s not worth forty dollars. Not in any way. If it were twenty, I’d maybe buy it for a friend who is into retro gaming, or even just for Duke Nukem, but I’m going to go ahead and suggest that nobody pay full price for this game. Ever. You can get tons of PC games for forty dollars and, in my opinion, you can get much better, more enjoyable games and still come out with some cash left over.