Gloom Deluxe Retro Review

Gloom Deluxe

Transparent gothic ghosts in Gloom Deluxe that can move thru walls and shoot at you!…

One of the most discussed games on the Amiga which came out after the very first Doom release for PC, is Gloom. People claiming that it is a Doom clone (even described as it on Wikipedia) because of the name, but in reality it is Breathless and Alien Breed 3D that should have that title instead of Gloom! In fact, Gloom have more similarities to an advanced version of Wolfenstein 3D rather than Doom and it is here where the similarities ends also.

Created by the fantastic developer Mark Sibly. The nicely graphics were done by Kurt Butler and Hans Butler, additional artwork was done by Laki Schuster and the fantastic menu and introduction music for each levels was done by Kev Stanard. The Gloom came itself came out in 1995 for the Amiga, while the Gloom Deluxe version came out in 1996. Later, Gloom 3 was also released. The game itself was published by Guildhall Leisure Services Ltd. which was one of the most active and most noticeable publishers of Amiga software after the demise of Commodore and the miniature survival breath by Escom and Amiga Technologies. The team that made Gloom and Gloom Deluxe, called themselves Black Magic Software.

So!… Let’s try to kill that Doom myth a little! Because! After our retro review and info article of the game. We hope that You will understand more, we hope! Gloom was ranked as the 18th best game of all time for the Amiga by Amiga Power also! But if rated by Amitopia, I would for sure rate it 5th or 6th! So, Read on!…

Unlimited Fire all the Time and 3D platformer Feel to it

Except for a name that got close similarities to the Doom name, Gloom is a completely different game from Doom. There is actually NO SIMILARITIES in the gameplay, except for that you walk in a 3D textured world that have more similarities to Wolfenstein 3D than to Doom.

In Gloom Deluxe you only walk forward, backward or you can do sidesteps either with keyboard or a Amiga CD32 pad. Yes, Gloom Deluxe does have sidestep support. So, there are many YouTube Retro gamers that have given out incorrect info about the game. You just hold Alt key why using the direction keys left or right and your character does sidestep in the direction you want to sidestep. Very easy, really! Another key feature, which is pretty much different from Wolfenstein 3D and Doom is that you do have Unlimited fire. There is no chance in this game that you get out of ammo at all. The only feature is that you can upgrade your weapon pretty much or add boost fire to it. However, when you die you will always start with basic fire.

Here is a Fantastic gameplay showcase of Gloom Deluxe example on YouTube, showing it’s Gameplay

Gameplay of Gloom Deluxe is quite different from Doom and Wolfenstein 3D

Once you start the game, you actually play the game like an platformer. You have stages to finish and then you get transfered to another theme and need to continue there. Every stages have their bosses at each of their theme and then in the end you will meet your final boss also. Gloom Deluxe is way more of a 3D platformer than a Doom or Wolfenstein 3D game, really! You won’t meet any Nazi soldiers and you won’t meet any characters on different height levels like in Doom, Alien Breed 3D or Breathless. There is also no lifts to take, but instead you have mini games inside of Gloom Deluxe that is way more unique than you think. Yes, Gloom Deluxe offers several mini-games inside its 3D enviroment, which was pretty unique where you can play a Defenders alike game to get extra life.

The enemies in Gloom Deluxe, compared to the limited list of enemies in Wolfenstein 3D and the enemies in Doom, Alien Breed 3D and Breathless is totally different. For the fun of it, the enemies you shoot in Gloom Deluxe just explodes. You can choose in the menus of the game if you want the parts to stay on the floor or not after you have blasted them to pieces. Gloom Deluxe is really a much different game itself. So, stop comparing it to Doom because it is not a Doom clone like Alien Breed 3D or even Breathless is. It’s just the name that got similarities. Even it’s competitor at the same time with the title Fears is more alike Doom! Gloom is not Doom at all!

The upgrades in the game in Gloom Deluxe is also quite different. The game tend to have lot’s of humor, so a child milk bottle restores your life. The bouncing balls that you find in the game is your weapon upgrades. In the very first levels they are green, but once you progress to other stages of the game. Then you can upgrade to yellow ish bouncing balls that is more powerful. If you have upgraded you weapon to the max. You see the upgrade stages at the bottom left of the information bar at the bottom. Once these round dots is filled, your weapon is at its strongest. However, if you keep collecting the bouncing balls. There is a progress bar on the left side, that will appear for a short time. When this is activated, then your weapon can shoot two or even three bullets at the same time. Making killing really fun for sure! But this will only happen for a limited time! Remember. There is also a big Eye that you can collect, which makes you invisible for the enemies or if you play the multiplayer deathmatch game, then the other player can’t see you etc.

Gloom Deluxe

Gloom Deluxe in-game mini Defender game

Fantastic Multiplayer Support in Gloom Deluxe makes it Extravaganza

Gloom Deluxe added 1×1 graphics to the game, Virtual Reality glasses from Escom support, Different 3D software chunky mode support, Window mode gameplay and it also contains a fantastic multiplayer support. However, the original Gloom game which got the exact same gameplay let’s you play the game on Amiga 500 with 1MB of RAM even. But you are limited to 2×2, which is I have to admit not to nice at all.

There is two types of multiplayer possibilities. Either you can play against a friend in deathmatch specific levels. Or! You can actually play the whole game together with a friend. Now, that’s what I call socialize gameplay. You can play the whole game with a friend and with just 68030 50MHz CPU powered Amiga or higher, this is very much playable even! The other way is to connect two Amiga 1200 together and you can have a nice time also. Maybe this mode should have been tried more at Amiga parties or meetings? A good tip for sure.

Keeps a very good game quality even in 2017

Released back in 1995, this game got a revival in 1996 and since then this game simply is a game that shows that gameplay means more than graphics. It is still fun to play and I would recommend anyone coming back to the Amiga for nostalgia or for trying something different to play this game. It is for sure one of the best Amiga games ever created. It got Action, Fun and Speed for sure still in 2017. Just make sure that you play it on an Amiga with 68030 or higher. The new Vampire accelerator cards are also very nice to use for playing this game. Gloom Deluxe also supports to be played on graphics card screenmodes as well as on AGA screenmode. This means that OCS and ECS Amigas can play the game if you have a Vampire or a graphics card inserted.

So, if you think that this is a Doom clone. Then it’s wrong! Even the developers said many thanks for Doom to give shoot’em ups a good vibe again. The Gloom name that they choose wasn’t the name they wanted to call it in the end. At first they thought of Gorefest ’95 or Bloodbath even. Gloom name was only a name that they used during the development of the game. The name Gloom was chosen in the end as a punch to the Doom name only. Most of PC users and even the Amiga media in 1995 couldn’t see the beauty of what Gloom was. Instead they pushed the Doom clone words out to the public, which became its destiny and rumour all the way until today even. However, the developers did thank ID Software for the Doom game in The One Amiga magazube. But that is actually the only similarities. The name was only used as a joke. Also the fact that this games core was developed using Aseembler for Amiga is also an achievement! The source code can be found Github. BlitzBasic was only used for the map editor of the game that was released later on, but the core game of Gloom Deluxe is made in pure Assembler. Thanks to Erik Hogan for this additional informations!

Thanks to all that made this game possible. It is one of the best Amiga games ever made! The whole atmosphere of the game is just brilliant and the fact that it’s multiplayer choices plays so well is yet another thing. I just wish that more would understand how great it is and not just see it as a Doom clone, because it is not.

  • Graphics
  • Gameplay
  • Playability
  • Lastability
  • Music
  • Sound Effects

Final Verdict of Gloom Deluxe

Gloom and Gloom Deluxe is quite different games. The gameplay is the same, but the atmosphere that you get when playing it in 1×1 instead of 2×2 is for me a big difference. You notice more details and the enemies gets clearer. So, Amiga 3D FPS games works fine in 1×1 once you have a Amiga machine with enough power. The bigbox Amigas had CPUs upto 68040, while the low-end Amigas upto 68020. You can however add better CPUs and Graphics cards to every Amiga home computer that is released. Even the Amiga CD32 can be upgraded and then it becomes a quite nice Amiga also.

So! We do recommend You to get a Amiga with 68030 or higher now in 2017 for experiencing Amiga gaming! Also if you go for Amiga 1200, Amiga 4000 or Amiga CD32 then you have full backward compatibility thru WHDload and can also play AGA Amiga games.

Gloom Deluxe is one of those Amiga games that does requires more and because of that it can deliver more. A fantastic game that everyone using an Amiga and like 3D FPS games should have. This is an awesome 3D shooter for sure and it is Only Available for Amiga!

Amitopia own Experience
The One Amiga

One Response

  1. JMA June 22, 2017
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