Nuclear Throne is a top-down 2D action game with a strong emphasis on shooting and positioning created by Vlambeer. It features a roster of mutants with different traits and abilities, randomized levels and a wide assortment of weaponry. Characters can be levelled up by picking up experience from fallen enemies or pick-ups scattered about levels. When a character levels up, an additional trait can be selected – one of four randomly selected options can be picked – to help along the journey to the titular Nuclear Throne.
The game is generally considered quite difficult; characters have little health and enemies can inflict substantial damage. The sheer quantity of enemies and projectiles on some levels has resulted in slight comparisons to games in the bullet hell genre.
Nuclear Throne was originally created for Mojam 2 under the name Wasteland Kings. The name was changed due to worries of confusion between it and the Wasteland series by InXile.
It was released on Steam as an early access title on October 11, 2013 and received weekly updates for over two years until its release in late 2015.
During PlayStation Experience 2015 it was a surprise announcement on the 5th of December during the keynote press event that Nuclear Throne was now released and available on PS4, PS Vita and with PS3 to follow. The game was also now 'released' on Steam out of early access. This was a huge surprise to fans of the game as, although they knew Vlambeer was wrapping up on development, it was not mentioned in any of the livestreams in which they normally so transparent about the development process.
The initial release on PlayStation hardware suffered several technical issues including but not limited to:
- Random crashes
- Crashes on death when certain sprites are present
- Inaccessible character unlocks
- Broken leaderboard functionality
- Broken Trophy data
The game did not receive a single patch until update 1.01 was released on August 25th of 2016. The Vita version currently has not received a patch.
|Character||Primary Trait||Active Ability||Throne Butt||Unlock Method|
|Gets more ammo||Can roll to dodge attacks and provide more movement options.||Water Boost allows Fish to "roll" without stopping, and at faster speeds.||Available from the start.|
|Starts with 10 HP instead of 8||Can shield herself briefly, providing invulnerability to some damage types. For example, explosions penetrate the shield.||Lowers the duration of the shield, however when the shield ends, Crystal will teleport to the location of the crosshair.||Available from the start.|
|Fastest movement speed||Fires seeds that ensnare enemies in place temporarily.||Enemies at 33% health or lower are killed instantly by the snares.||Reach 3-1.|
Higher rate of fire than any other character
|Pop Pop - Fires equipped weapon at an increased damage level, with more shots per use than a regular attack.||Brrrraap - Increases the effects of Pop Pop, including the ammo consumption.||Hit the gold trimmed car in 3-1 with a screwdriver, then "use" the car.|
Starts loaded, Less accurate,
Fully automatic weapons.
|Dual Wielding||Firing one weapon has a chance to generate ammo for the other. Using both weapons at the same time improves the chances.||Reach 6-1.|
|Finds better guns before the other characters.||Eats guns to regain ammo and health.||Increases the ammo and health gained from eating guns.||Reach 5-1.|
|Sees in the Dark||Pulls enemies towards him, pushes projectiles away.||Dramatically increases the effectiveness of his ability, allowing him to even pull pick ups towards him.||Reach 2-1.|
|Starts with only 2 hp, but gets more rads per kill and canister.||Can cause all corpses on screen to explode without causing any damage to himself.||Corpse explosions are tripled in size.||Die.|
|When HP hits zero, Chicken loses her head. Gaining health within 5 seconds will grow her head back, but you'll have reduced maximum HP. Not getting HP back in that time will end the run.||Throw weapons.||Thrown weapons pierce enemies.||Take "Last Wish" as a mutation before you reach 5-1. When you find a weird frozen flower, "use" it until you die. You'll be taken to a secret level. Chicken will unlock at the end of your run.|
|Going through a portal heals you for half health.||Spend 2 hp to spawn an ally.||Allies get better guns.||Destroy the large generators during the fight against the throne. A portal will open, and you'll start yet another fight. Finish that to start a loop. Looping for the first time unlocks Rebel.|
|Extra Mutation Option||Spend rads from your current level up progression to fire a huge beam.||Holding the beam down will start healing you, and the beam is larger.||Completing two levels in a row with the radiation canisters left intact causes Horror to spawn in the third level and attack. Anything that breaks a canister counts against you, be it you, an enemy, or a portal. Kill Horror when he attacks to unlock him.|
|An explosion goes off around you when you take damage. Also, the IDPD will be hunting you from the start of the game.||Portal Strike. Only three can be carried at a time, but you can refill them via pick ups visible when playing as Rogue.||Stronger Portal Strike explosions.||Sit on the throne.|
The Molyjam 2012 version of the game is featured in the 03/01/2013 Unprofessional Fridays, during which Jeff is heard to exclaim "Oh wow!"
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP
- Processor: 1.2Ghz+
- Memory: 1024 MB RAM
- Graphics: 256MB
- Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
- OS: Windows XP
- Processor: 2Ghz
- Memory: 2048 MB RAM
- Graphics: 1GB
- Hard Drive: 500 MB available space