Wolfenstein 3-D

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Original North American box art.

Wolfenstein 3-D is a World War II themed first-person shooter developed by id Software and published by Apogee for MS-DOS in 1992 and then ported to several other platforms. The game is based on a much older game, Escape From Castle Wolfenstein, and, like the original, you play a prisoner of war who must escape from a Nazi dungeon. Additional episodes were added where you infiltrate Nazi strongholds and kill Hitler and other Nazi leaders. Wolfenstein 3-D is a video game milestone being one of the first hugely popular FPSs.

I first played Wolfenstein 3D in the early 1990s and was really impressed, not just by the 3D perspective, but also the gratuitous violence and digital speech. I rarely played the game fairly, usually relying on cheats to skip through most of the game, but I did play a few of the episodes properly.

This was also one of the first games I spent a lot of time trying to modify. I was able to get my hands on a map editor, and I made several custom maps for the game.


I do not own Wolfenstein 3D, but have beaten the first three episodes at Bring 'Em On difficulty.


  • Overall: 5/10
  • Best Version: DOS


  • The game, for its time, is a beautiful example of a first-person shooter done right.
  • Though cartoonish, the graphics are well-drawn and attractive.
  • The enemy AI is pretty dumb, but it does sometimes cause some rather shocking results when they inadvertently sneak up on you from behind and strafe to avoid your gun fire.
  • Bobby Prince's incorporation of Nazi and American political music was a nice touch.
  • The sliding secret doors is a really cool addition.
  • The addition of a secret 3-D Pac-Man level was pretty cool.


  • The game tends to become monotonous. After the third episode, you've seen nearly everything the game has to offer save the remaining bosses.
  • The use of lives and points doesn't really fit the game's theme.
  • Many of the levels have a ridiculous layout. While this makes the game more playable (a realistic map would be dull), it also hurts immersion.
  • In several levels NPCs will open a locked door long before you can get the key short-cutting large sections of the map.
  • NPCs are able to shoot around corners even when their guns are clearly behind the wall.
  • Being able to save the game whenever you want kind of defeats the difficulty, but, if you try to play without saving, the game is ridiculously hard.


  • Nothing.


Due to the Nazi imagery, Apogee used their logo as the cover art in several European countries.