You would think that it would be difficult to make light entertainment out of something as serious as a nuclear holocaust, but many high-grossing movies of widespread critical acclaim would beg to differ. Terminator 2 managed it perfectly, Dr. Strangelove took an eccentrically comedic stance on the subject, and TV series Jericho even had a go as well. While many flash games may have also attempted to crack the nuclear holocaust market, there aren’t as many notable titles to list here. However, thanks to the sublime, distance-based action game Nuclear Outrun, the term “going nuclear” now has a slightly different meaning for me and perhaps all those who play. Nuclear Outrun takes the despair and desperation of an imminent nuclear attack and makes an incredibly addictive action-driving game out of the whole situation. If you’re prone to stress when presented with some moderate to extreme tension, you may find it difficult to make it through this game, but if you think with confidence that you can out-drive a nuclear missile then feel free to continue to one of the best distance-based games on the World Wide Web.
Leaving the game’s distinctive aesthetic to the side for a minute, it is actually Nuclear Outrun’s gameplay that makes it such a stupidly addictive experience, and one that is far superior to its contemporaries such as Mass Mayhem: Zombie Apocalypse . The idea is that you must take control of an armoured vehicle and guide it across the side-scrolling terrain as a nuclear missile advances across the shortly-to-be-scorched sky in the background. You are given 20 trucks (and therefore 20 separate attempts to escape) with which must try and make it across the challenging terrain as quickly as possible, outrunning the missile before it descends on the city and explodes. Being a game that rewards you with experience points based on the distance that you travel in each run, you are merely aiming to get as far as possible as quickly as possible, but as you will soon discover, it isn’t exactly a straightforward journey.
You will encounter a variety of different obstacles along the way designed to hinder your progress significantly unless you take action against them. In addition to your driving responsibilities (which can be left to the computer if you choose the “automatic drive” drive option), you must lay waste to the various mutants and zombies that stand in your way using the various weapons that you will acquire as you gain experience points and level up. Some standard offerings like pistols, machineguns, and sniper rifles will become available as well as some more eccentric weapons like a fan launcher or a remote-controlled dragon of all things. Upgrades to your vehicle can also be chosen between runs, with the option of upgrading your wheel spikes which crush your enemies with ease, your rate of fire, and the general ability of your truck to get you to the end of the level .
When it comes down to it, Nuclear Outrun is likely to be the best zombie shooting driving game that you will ever play. The graphics are detailed and distinctive with not one hint of amateurish about them whatsoever, and the eerie background music stacks on the tension and instils a sense of impending doom in the whole experience. It would be a mistake not to check out this fantastic distance-based, physics-licked driving game from Nerdook; nuclear attacks are rarely this entertaining.