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Catacomb 3-D

aka: Catacomb 3-D: The Descent, Catacombs 3
Moby ID: 3120
Included in

Description official descriptions

You are a mage descending into the dungeons of Grelminar the Lich, in order to kill him and save one guy named Nemesis.

Catacomb 3-D is a simple fantasy first-person shooter game. To get to Grelminar, you have to complete several maze-like levels. Your sole weapon is a fireball spell, which can be used an unlimited number of times and can be charged up to cause more damage. You can also find one-time use items: bolts and nukes. A bolt launches several fireballs in a machine-gun fashion, while a nuke launches a ring of fireballs in all directions.

The various enemies (such as orcs or trolls) that you meet while exploring are the main target for those fireballs. However, you can also destroy whole sections of walls, which is often necessary to complete the level.

Items you can find include (apart from bolts and nukes) healing potions, keys to open doors, and scrolls that provide hints.

There isn't an overhead map in the game, but you have a compass to guide you. What's more, various areas of the map have specific names displayed at the bottom of the screen, making it a bit easier to navigate.

Groups +


Credits (DOS version)

6 People



Average score: 72% (based on 2 ratings)


Average score: 2.8 out of 5 (based on 18 ratings with 1 reviews)

If you like Wolf3D give this a try

The Good
I like the "Wolf3D" engine, I know this game came before Wolf3D.
I was surprised by the Access Floor that made me explore 4 paths, to find all the scrolls and final boss.
It's really nice that rooms in the game have names, that is not a feature in Wolf3D.
The secrets in this game are found by shooting a wall so instead of hugging every wall like in Wolf3D you will be shooting all walls, poor walls.

The Bad
Enemies are bullet sponges, and after the first levels you don't get many bolts or nukes so you do have to just spam shoot until they die.
At-least the enemies stagger when hit, but most if not all corridors are 2 blocks wide. That means if you are shooting one enemy another can just walk around the one you are shooting and attack you.
The level The Labyrinth is kind of maddening to play if you don't read the scroll that tells you how to go through it, and maybe even if you do.
Enemies are pretty weak except the final boss.

The Bottom Line
I can't help but compare this game to Wolf3D, which was released a year later. This game has surprised me with its nonlinear design, in Wolf3D you always got level 1-9 with a secret level 10 that you can find in one of the levels.
This game has a "hub" level called Access Floor where the game splits into multiple paths, most of them lead back to Access Floor and help you find scrolls which tell you what to do, I think.
Finding the last level and killing the boss is difficult if you don't read the scrolls, I recommend saving a lot. I played the game in CatacombGL source port.

DOS · by koleq (31) · 2022



What's the difference between the two Catacomb Abyss games? Well, they're very similar, but two different game releases. Catacombs 3-D came first, completed in 1991 and released in 1992, as part of the Gamer's Edge series before id split, including Keen Dreams, Hovertank, Dangerous Dave etc.

The Catacomb Abyss (a 3-episode game, the 1st being shareware) was released later in 1992. It uses the same engine but was NOT developed by the id guys, but rather other Softdisk people after id left.


The engine for this game was later re-used in its sequel, The Catacomb Abyss.


As a time-saver, much of the interface is based on Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy (see screenshots).

Information also contributed by Trixter


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Related Sites +

  • Catacomb Crypt
    Anything and everything you need to know about the Catacomb series.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 3120
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Andy Voss.

Additional contributors: Terok Nor, CheshireCat, Frenkel, CalaisianMindthief, Patrick Bregger.

Game added January 22, 2001. Last modified June 10, 2024.