25th anniversary: Five ways to play ‘Wolfenstein 3D’ today

Wolfenstein-3DOn the internet
As well as making “Wolfenstein 3D” available to purchase for Windows PC through Steam, through the PSN Store for PS3, or through the Microsoft Store for Xbox 360 and Xbox One, current rights holder Bethesda Software has a live version playable via 3d.wolfenstein.com. The Internet Archive has also reproduced it as a browser game at archive.org/details/msdos_Wolfenstein_3D_1992.

On a mobile phone
Originating studio Id Software has provided two versions of Wolfenstein 3D to play on iOS devices, “Wolfenstein 3D Classic Lite” (free, itunes.apple.com/app/id313423706) and Wolfenstein 3D Classic Platinum ($1.99 USD, itunes.apple.com/app/id309470478.) Both provide a choice between touch and tilt controls across 6 episodes and 60 levels. An unofficial Android port, ECWolf, is available through maniacsvault.net, whose developer put his skills to work on the Mac, PC, Linux, and Android update of low-violence “Wolf 3D” adaptation and cult curiosity “Super 3D Noah’s Ark” (wisdomtree.itch.io/s3dna.)

In experimental VR
Several options present themselves to those that have access to an Oculus Rift or similarly capable Virtual Reality headset, including DOSCulus, a version of the popular DOSBox wrapper that efficiently enables modern computers to play games from a bygone era — a trailer for the application uses Wolfenstein 3D’s sequel Spear of Destiny as its showreel — as well as MemoRift, which creates a virtual retro games room, and the more focused “Wolfenstein 3D VR,” which requires a motion-sensing Kinect camera as well as a Rift.

As a fully destructible homage
Like its oft-copied Id Software successor, “Doom,” albeit to a lesser extent, “Wolfenstein 3D” has been a proof of concept for programmers’ or designers’ abilities. To that effect, the team at South African studio Free Lives (“BroForce,” “Yojimbrawl”) put together the anarchic and frequently hilarious “Super Wolfenstein HD” using destructible walls and twitchy ragdoll enemies for the Indies vs PewDiePie contest (free for Windows PC through Gamejolt); “Voxelstein 3D” takes the “Minecraft” approach and applies it to a “Wolfenstein” remake in which players can saw and blast their way through an enemy base (Win PC, voxelstein3d.sourceforge.net).

Inside a franchise reboot
Where 2011’s Bethesda-published “Rage” contained a single secret “Wolfenstein Room,” and bold 2014 reboot “Wolfenstein: The New Order” contained the game’s first level tucked away, 2015’s standalone expansion “Wolfenstein: The Old Blood” (for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC) took nine levels from the 1992 classic and recreated them as Nightmare Levels, accessible by making the main character nap in hidden beds.