Doom & Doom II for Android review: Glorious retro shooter action on the go

Doom Review
(Image: © Jordan Palmer / Android Central)

Android Central Verdict

Bottom line: Doom and Doom II are classics, no doubt about that, and Bethesda did a pretty good job porting them to Android. With support for 16:9 resolution and 90-120 frames per second, it's never been a better time to pick these up. However, both games are limited by their touch controls, which aren't as awful as they used to be. Playing with a controller is most definitely the way to go, though.


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    Smooth, high framerates

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    Still has the classic charm

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    Gameplay holds up well even today

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    Tons of replay value

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    Easy to pick up and play


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    Meh touch controls

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If you play video games, odds are that you've heard about Doom at some point in your life. For some of us, it was one of the first games we ever played and it represented the peak of what games could be at its time. I was quite young at the time of Doom and Doom II's release, but I can remember loving them, despite how scared I was at points.

Doom has been ubiquitous practically since it came out, being ported to countless systems over the years. In 2019, Bethesda, the owners of id Software and the stewards of Doom, released mobile ports of Doom and Doom II to the Play Store for the billion Android users to try for themselves.

Not all was rainbows and roses, however, as Bethesda had implemented DRM into the venerable games, requiring an online connection and a Bethesda account. This was removed following some serious backlash and it's been quiet until recently. The mobile ports received an update not too long ago that not only added 16:9 support (whereas it was previously limited to 4:3), but it also brought with it support for 90Hz and 120Hz displays. Yep, that means you can play Doom and Doom II at 90 or 120fps. This is why we decided to finally give these games the coverage they deserved.

What I liked about Doom and Doom II

I played both Doom and Doom II on a Pixel 4 XL to test the higher framerate, along with a Razer Kishi for controller purposes. I never experienced any issues during my playtime of either game, only saw smooth, consistent framerates and no noticeable input lag from my controller. 16:9 is a much better experience than 4:3 in my opinion, even if it isn't necessarily "authentic."

For this section, I didn't know where to start. I mean, this is Doom and Doom II we're talking about here, the granddaddies of the first-person shooter! There's a reason these games are held up to the high regard that they are and anything I could possibly say would feel like repeating what years of critics and fans have already said. Both Doom and its sequel are good, very good.


Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Again, there are years of coverage for these two games and I don't want to tread old territory. Rather, it's important to remember what Doom and Doom II mean to some of us, what they represented for gaming at their time (1993 and 1994, respectively), and the impact that they've had on gaming as a whole.

Back when I was a wee lad, Doom was one of the scariest things I experienced. The "violence" and the demons themselves weren't all that frightening (except the spectres), but the enemies appearing in the pitch dark hallways was terrifying. Even now, the hairs on my arms raise when I go through the dark hallways as I wait for the tiny bit of flickering light to illuminate my way.

The Android ports capture the original ambiance very well, and I recommend playing with headphones if you're able — it really adds to the atmosphere, even if the gunshots and demon screams can get repetitive, but they never lose their charm. And that's the magic of Doom and Doom II: they retain their charm, regardless of what you're doing.

What I didn't like about Doom and Doom II


Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Frankly, there's not a whole lot to complain about with these two games. They've survived the test of time for a reason and their gameplay is utterly fantastic, as I'm sure you know. I had to stretch to come up with something to complain about, but here it is: despite some tweaks and adjustments, I'm still not a fan of the touch controls.

At launch, they were god-awful and utterly trash. Not everyone has a controller to play with, which is why touchscreen controls are so important. A developer can't rely on controller support as a crutch. Frankly, I thought both Doom and Doom II were basically unplayable with the original controls.

Luckily, Bethesda tweaked them and they're at least serviceable now. I still think that a controller is the way to go, but I understand that's not an option available to everyone who wants to try out these games. While I was testing and playing these games with the touchscreen controls, I mostly had trouble with shooting accidentally, but I think if I'd given myself enough time, I would have adapted just fine.

Should you buy Doom and Doom II?

You should definitely buy these games. Both titles have aged incredibly well and play great on mobile. Even if you can't take advantage of the higher 90 or 120 framerates, you can still have a jolly good time at 60fps. Both games are priced very fairly at $5 each and they have a ton of replay value with additional content, several difficulty modes, 100% completion rates, and beating par times for each level.

Sure, both Doom and Doom II have been around for a very long time, but they're fantastic nostalgic pieces or opportunities for younger gamers to experience the granddaddy of the first-person shooter. You can go ahead and mark these up as some of the best Android games on the Play Store and rightfully so.

4.5 out of 5

There's not a whole lot truly wrong with the games now that Bethesda has addressed the DRM issue and tweaked the touch controls a bit. I still say they are best played with a controller, hands down, but if you don't have one that you can use, at least there's a fire button now.

Jordan Palmer