MiniDoom V1.3 is a re-imagining of the classic FPS Doom made into a 2D Action Platformer. It was made as a course to show people how to make a game using GameMaker Studio and released as a free product. Upon starting MiniDoom you will have two difficulty modes and three control schemes to choose from. Once you have chosen the settings you’ll be set loose to wreak havoc on the demons of Doom 1, nearly all of which have been recreated with new sprite-work to fit the 2D nature of the game. Your first weapon will be a pistol that is just as underwhelming as ever but you’ll soon run across the shotgun. Unfortunately, the shotgun is nowhere near as effective as in Doom since it has very short range and dishes out an unimpressive amount of damage upon your foes.
The weird thing about the shotgun is that it uses pistol ammo so if you are fond of the chaingun you’ll be very pressed for ammunition. Your pistol while near useless has infinite ammo so it will be your go to weapon if you completely run out on other weapons. There are no forms of melee like the chainsaw or fist so having your close ranged weapon be handicapped in such a way is not ideal. Scattered around the levels are health packs and armor pick-ups to keep you on your feet after a tough battle. There are no sound effects played when picking them up oddly enough.
It is quite interesting to see the transition to 2D platformer and how everything has been tweaked such as Doom guy now being able to jump & duck out of harm’s way. In true 2D fashion you will take damage if you touch an enemy so no stomping on a Pinky’s head sadly. That ties into another problem in that you cannot shoot or otherwise damage an enemy if it is diagonal to you as you can only shoot from side to side and up & down. Many enemies are placed in such a way as to be out of harm’s way so you’ll occasionally be forced to take a hit as you jump down to confront them. The Plasma gun has been tweaked so that it’s projectiles will home in on a target but with the chaingun and shotgun being tied down with the ammo problem and the other weapon being a rocket launcher that you definitely don’t want to fire when an enemy is near you it is better used as a backup weapon.
Imps can fire diagonally and with how tight the areas are combined with the number of enemies and the large size of the sprites you will be hard pressed not to take damage. Pinkies are the biggest threat because of the lack of flinching in this game, meaning that even if you unload a shotgun shell right in its face, it will not affect his behavior in the slightest and you will not have that vital split second to escape him. It becomes noticeably ridiculous when there are multiple Pinkies after you and is a gameplay mechanic that should have been retained from Doom. If you take enough damage and succumb to your wounds you will be brought back to the start of the level with all keycards & weapons but lacking all the ammunition you had. It is a constant struggle with managing your ammunition, further amplified with the design decision to have enemies respawn when you leave the room.
This review has been rather negative so far but it is important to remember that MiniDoom was made in only a few weeks as a course on making a game so it being a bit rough around the edges isn’t unexpected. One thing that I must deeply praise is the amazing sprite-work that is both kind of cute and perfectly captures the Doom feel as weird as that sounds. Enemies are nicely animated and them exploding into gibs never get old. The good old green explosives barrels are back and are just as fun as ever to lure enemies into. Secrets are included though they don’t require you to slide your face across a corridor in the hopes of finding something instead they are found in easily spotted invisible walls or out of place platforms.
Music is entirely composed of a few Doom tracks throughout and it works well enough. All of the levels are reimaginings of the Knee Deep in the Dead episode. There are only a few levels however and it will take about 20-30 minutes to complete them all. It’s short enough that you don’t really mind any of the flaws present. The developers are aware of many of the major issues I have with the game and will be remedying them in MiniDoom 2. It will be exciting to see what they can accomplish when they have more than a few weeks to create their game but as it stands on the subject of MiniDoom it is a neat project I can only recommend to fans of Doom as it is more of a curiosity than something you should go out of your way to play.