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Nuclear Throne is an action roguelike game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland filled with mutants. The game was initially started as Wasteland Kings, a prototype created for the 2013 Mojam game jam. The developers then started work on a full version and took it to Steam's Early Access. Typical for the genre the game is meant to be played in multiple runs, with randomized environments, and weapon and monster placement for each session. It consists of several levels played in succession, each with a different theme, until the character gets a shot to claim the nuclear throne and become the new king. Many levels contain bosses with a brief introduction.

There is permadeath and up to twelve different playable characters can be unlocked, representing different playing styles. Next to the basic attack each character has a unique secondary action such as a roll or forming a shield, along with a general perk. The game is played as a twin-stick shooter where both movement and firing in any direction can be independently combined. Levels are short and always consist of a single, scrolling room. When all enemies are defeated a vortex appears that sucks the character into the next level. Levels contain random chests with weapons such as a revolver, machinegun, smart gun, minigun, shotgun, rifles, an incinerator, sluggers, bows, grenade launchers and bazookas, but also melee weapons such as a wrench or a screwdriver. Ranged weapons usually have a limited amount of ammo and require ammo pick-ups to keep using them. Up to two weapons can be carried and they can be swapped when a new one is encountered.

Enemies leave behind radioactive fragments known as rads. These can also be found as pick-ups. They fill a meter in the top left corner and when a sufficient amount has been collected the character levels up and a mutation is offered after completing a level. Mutations are perks permanent for that run and include a larger bullet capacity, less damage, more health, better range, better movement speed, slower enemy bullets, increased drops etc. The game supports cooperative offline games for up to two players. Next to the main game there are daily and weekly runs.


Nuclear Throne Windows Playing as Eyes.
Nuclear Throne Windows Plant is unlocked as a new, playable character.
Nuclear Throne Windows There is always a lot of mayhem.
Nuclear Throne Windows There is a chest and a health pick-up above.

Promo Images

Nuclear Throne Screenshot
Nuclear Throne Screenshot
Nuclear Throne Screenshot
Nuclear Throne Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "废土之王" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "Wasteland Kings" -- working title

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

DarkZero Windows Jan 27, 2016 9 out of 10 90
Vandal Online PlayStation 4 Dec 10, 2015 9 out of 10 90
IGN Windows Dec 16, 2015 9 out of 10 90
Vandal Online Windows Dec 10, 2015 9 out of 10 90
Games Finder Windows Jul 28, 2014 9 out of 10 90
Bit Cultures Windows Dec 16, 2015 83 out of 100 83
GameStar (Germany) Windows Jan 18, 2016 80 out of 100 80
Video Chums PlayStation 4 Feb 09, 2016 7.6 out of 10 76
Nintendo Life Nintendo Switch Apr 09, 2019 7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars 70
GameStar (Germany) Windows May, 2014 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60


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The game was originally called Wasteland Kings just like the first prototype, but after the game was officially announced at Sony's press conference at Gamescom in August 2013, the team was contacted by a Dutch employee of InXile Entertainment, the studio behind the 1988 title Wasteland and the more recent Wasteland 2. They explained that InXile CEO Brian Fargo and some of the team were worried about possible brand confusion and argued that Wasteland Kings could be misinterpreted as a title in the Wasteland franchise. Tentative titles were Genetic Miracles Fish & The Gang Vault Runners, Trash Monarchs, Kingstarter and GUN GODZ: Legend of Yung Venuz: Originz until they settled on the title Nuclear Throne.

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Contributed to by Kam1Kaz3NL77 (306945) and Sciere (690362)