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“Dumbphone” exclusive Doom RPG has been reverse-engineered by fans

A seemingly lost turn-based version of <em>Doom RPG</em> is now fully playable on modern Windows PCs, thanks to efforts from the <em>Doom</em> reverse-engineering community.

Enlarge / A seemingly lost turn-based version of Doom RPG is now fully playable on modern Windows PCs, thanks to efforts from the Doom reverse-engineering community. (credit: id Software)

The creators of the Doom series have presented plenty of official and unofficial historical retrospectives, but these often leave out the weirdest official Doom game ever made: Doom RPG.

Even id Software’s official “Year of Doom” museum at E3 2019 left this 2005 game unchronicled. That’s a shame, because it was a phenomenal example of id once again proving itself a master of technically impressive gaming on a power-limited platform. And platforms don’t get more limited on a power or compatibility basis than the pre-iPhone wave of candy bar handsets, which Doom RPG has been locked to since its original mid-’00s launch. You may think that “turn-based Doom” sounds weird, but Doom RPG stood out as a clever and fun series twist to the first-person shooter formula.

Its abandonment to ancient phones changes today thanks to the reverse-engineering efforts of GEC.inc, a Costa Rica-based collective of at least three developers. On Wednesday, the group released a Windows port of the game based on their work on the original game’s BREW version (a Qualcomm-developed API meant for its wave of mobile phones from 2001 and beyond).

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