Doom RPG: Doom for Phones is Now on PC
Feature phone goodness on your PC
Doom is one of the most well-known games of all time. Not only was it a smash hit at release - inspiring many games which would become known as "Doom clones" - but with the release of its source code, the community kept working on it, adding new features, and porting it to a myriad of devices including:
McDonald's kiosks*, Casio calculators, pregnancy tests, and many more.
What if you wanted to play Doom on your feature phone (non-smartphone)? If you have a Symbian phone, your options might include Doom 9210, CDoom, and C2Doom. Otherwise there's Doom RPG, an official release that runs on a wider range of devices (and which has been reverse-engineered by Erick194 to be playable on Windows machines).
Strictly speaking, there are two versions of the game. One is aimed at mobile Java devices (and can be played with emulators). There's also a BREW port for higher-end phones, which features higher-quality assets.
You might be wondering: why would anyone play a mobile port of a PC game...on a PC. The thing is, Doom RPG doesn't actually play anything like Doom. Although the graphics are similar, and game is presented in a first-person perspective, this is actually a turn-based game.
Released in October 2005, Doom RPG sends us to the UAC's Mars outpost in order to help them deal with a small demon invasion problem. As we play, we learn that a disgruntled ex-employee (who was working on a teleportation device) is to blame for this mess.
The graphics look pretty good considering the technical limitations, but the interface doesn't play so nice with higher resolutions (which is to be expected, considering they were made for old phones). Doom RPG only has music in specific situations (like leveling up or finishing a sector); the rest of the game is silent except for sound effects.
The objective is simple: get through each sector and kill any enemies we encounter. Talking with NPCs and checking computer terminals is mandatory, as they'll often dispense critical information (like passcodes needed to progress, or even secrets on the map). Thankfully, our protagonist takes notes automatically, so you never need to worry about forgetting a code.
There are some other interesting quirks that change up the Doom formula quite a bit. For example, you can only shoot when an enemy's in sight (and in range). There's no actual aiming involved though; the greater the distance between you and the enemy, the higher the odds your attacks will miss. You gain experience by killing enemies and finding secrets. You'll level up automatically, which increases your stats, but you can also use the credits you find lying around to buy supplies or improve some of your stats.
Every time you perform an action (or skip a turn), your enemies will move. But some enemies are faster than others and may move several spaces at once. If you are patient, you can wait for them in a corner (where you can attack them with an axe). Of course, just like regular Doom, you can fire at explosive barrels which do powerful area-of-effect damage. Bear in mind though that enemies can set them off too!
Thankfully, you can both save and load at any point, though you only get a single save file. Also, whenever you die, you get the option to load your save file or be sent to the game's hub area. This means your progress isn't going to be blocked by a single tough encounter, nor will you have to start the game over from scratch.
Because Doom RPG was originally built for phones, it's really designed to be played in short bursts. The ability to save anywhere, the generous ammo, more stats than you actually need, and an automated notebook are all tools that support more casual play. Having said that, you can certainly play this in a single sitting on PC if you like!
Doom is a testament to longevity, especially when there is a strong community surrounding the franchise, who continuously add features to games and who even offer their own online infrastructure for multiplayer. In this case, the Doom community enables greater accessibility by releasing Doom RPG on a more widely-used modern platform where more fans can play it.
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