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Doom is out now for Windows Notepad, sort of

It’s just mirrored in Notepad y’see

Defining boomer shooter Doom, like Skyrim, is one of those games that’ll eventually be ported to everything. Microwaves. Checkouts. Voight-Kampff machines maybe, in the years to come. Right dang today though, you can (almost) play Doom in Notepad, or DOOMpad as its creator Samperson calls it. Catch a glimpse of the ripping and tearing in action by watching the video below.

Notepad is ten years older than Doom.

Samperson was a bit taken aback at interest in his video of DOOMpad, which was “a quick joke” he made for himself. “The trickery I was doing ended up straight up not working reliably on other people's machines,” Samperson said on the itch page for the game. “Specifically, certain input keys would get dropped through Notepad. Like the "select option" one, lol.”

“I'm removing all of it and releasing a version with DOOM popped out to another window, visible, behind Notepad, and mirrored in Notepad,” he continued. “Which is disappointing, but a fun magic trick doesn't get less special when you know how it works - it gets more approachable!”

There are some teething troubles with DOOMpad. Samperson warns that Windows recognises the game as the Ulthar malware, for one. He’s promised to release a guide on how to make your own Notepad games to follow the idea through, although he does clarify that DOOMpad contains the worst code he’s ever written. “I’m hype to share it,” he tweeted.

I can see the novelty in this. Vaguely, if I squint and the game isn’t moving too fast. Being both an old man and a rotten spoilsport, I’m just not entirely sure why you’d want to play Doom this way. Because you can, I guess? Ah, the follies of humankind. DOOMpad might not be the weirdest way you can play id Software’s seminal FPS, however.

Back in August, I reported on farm-themed Doom running on the display of a John Deere tractor at the DEF CON hacking conference. AliceO. also spotted the game being played on a pregnancy test in 2020. The It Runs Doom! Tumblr’s home to plenty more oddities, and well worth a look.

You can grab DOOMpad for free on itch.io here. Samperson’s attached an epilepsy warning because, he says, it “flashes a lot”.

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About the Author
CJ Wheeler avatar

CJ Wheeler

Former News Reporter

CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.