Well, 2020 is shaping up to be quite the year for Doom fans: not only is Doom Eternal still going strong, but recently added a brand new (and free) Master Level, 7DFPS 2020 – which is still ongoing – has already breathed life into an absolutely brilliant DOOM (1993) demake in the form of freds72 and ParanoidCactus’s POOM, powered by PICO-8, of all things. So cool!
Okay so it’s obviously not a complete 1:1 demake as that would be an absolutely gargantuan task for a project like this, but that doesn’t really detract from the awesomeness that is POOM. They’re not done yet either, as a note on the game’s itch.io page claims that “binaries + standalone versions will be provided later (with a nice surprise!)”. Needless to say, I am definitely looking forward to that. Especially the surprise.
Anyway, back to what’s there right now: DOOM (1993) (in some form) running on PICO-8, complete with key cards, secrets, fireball-flinging imps, shotgun guys, flickering lights, a handful of (original) levels, and multiple difficulties. Wow. Best of all, it genuinely feels like the original classic, right down to the catchy music, even if texture resolution and sound quality took a hit; likely because of PICO-8 limitations. POOM is after all quite a behemoth on something with 128×128/16 colours, “4 channel chip blerps”, and other technical limitations.
I’m honestly surprised they managed to pull off anything resembling what’s portrayed here, and hopefully, it’ll encourage other aspiring game dev folks to experiment with PICO-8, really pushing what can be done with it. For now… go ahead and treat the classic shooter fan in you to some POOM. Rip and tear!