A little-known gem from the days when platformers were still big on the PC, '''''Abuse''''' is a dark (both literally and figuratively) platform shooter created by Crack Dot Com, co-founded by former Creator/IdSoftware programmers Dave Taylor and Jonathan Clark, and published by Origin Systems, by then a division of Creator/ElectronicArts, in 1996.

Set in the year [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture 2009]], ''Abuse'' puts players in the shoes of Nick Vrenna, a man unjustly incarcerated in a maximum-security prison that is being used for [[PlayingWithSyringes ethically-questionable experiments]]. Predictably, all hell breaks loose when inmates and staff get transformed into monsters by a biological agent called [[TitleDrop Abuse]]. Only Nick is [[TheImmune immune]], so he decides to take advantage of the chaos by stealing a suit of PoweredArmor and making good his escape.

The player must guide Nick through a series of increasingly difficult, sometimes maze-like levels while shooting {{Mutants}}, [[MechaMooks robots]] and [[SentryGun turrets]] with eight distinct weapons. The game was known for its convincing atmosphere and silky-smooth controls which included a unique mouse-aiming system, an unprecedented feature that earned it the moniker of "''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' in 2D." The game shipped in a very mod-friendly state, with a fully functional map editor and a rudimentary sprite/texture editing program. The source code has been freely available since the late 90s.

It was also distributed to the [[MacOS Macintosh]] via [[{{Creator/Bungie}} Bungie Studios]] ([[VideoGame/{{Marathon}} yes]], ''[[VideoGame/{{Myth}} that]]'' [[{{Franchise/Halo}} Bungie]]) and was a game in the Mac Action Sack. It later received an [[{{Amiga}} Amiga OS 4]] port in 2009, and an {{iOS|Games}} port titled ''Abuse Classic''. The game is also being freely distributed through {{Desura}} for Windows, Mac, and Linux, thanks to DOSBox.

!!Tropes this game displays include:
* AWinnerIsYou: [[spoiler:After the end of the last level the game just states matter-of-factly that Nick has escaped from the prison. That's all the ending you get.]]
* BadassNormal: Nick takes a high-tech battle armor along some weapons to take on the hoards of mutants and make his escape.
* BottomlessMagazines: Your basic rifle can still fire without any ammo, but it will shoot at a slower rate while empty.
* ContinuingIsPainful: Restarting a level after being killed instead of loading your previous save strips you of your weapons.
* CriticalAnnoyance: Low health results in a constantly faster and louder heartbeat.
* CriticalExistenceFailure: Both Nick and the enemies explode upon death, no matter what the cause.
* DeathTrap: Many examples, including automated turrets, lava pits, SpikesOfDoom, [[AdvancingWallOfDoom Advancing Drills of Doom]].
* DenialOfDiagonalAttack: Averted. Nick can aim anywhere the mouse is pointing at.
* DifficultyLevels: [[EasierThanEasy Wimp]], Easy, Normal, and [[HarderThanHard Extreme]].
* DoomDoors: The garden-variety {{mook}}s use the "Hell Knight Death" sound from ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' when they spawn.
* EverythingFades
* {{Expy}}: Most of the mutants bear a suspicious resemblance to [[Franchise/{{Alien}} xenomorphs]], and Nick's armor contains some obvious design DNA from [[Film/{{Predator}} another sci-fi classic]].
* HyperspaceArsenal: Many of Nick's weapons are large enough that he should only be able to carry one or two.
* LevelEditor: [=fRaBs=] (Free Abuse) includes one so you can create your own custom levels.
* {{Metroidvania}}: The original game isn't like this, but the free version (fRaBs) is structured like one.
* NintendoHard: The game delights in dropping Nick into monster-filled pits which are also in the firing lines of multiple turrets. Luckily friendly fire is in full effect even among enemies.
* NothingIsScarier: Unintentionally done if the PC lacks MIDI playback or deliberately if the music was turned down ([=fRaBs=] removed the music altogether). The game can be a bit more atmospheric hearing the ambient sounds and screams of mutants more clearly.
* OneWordTitle
* PowerUp: Nick can find enhancement power-ups that grant him special abilities for the duration of the level or until you switch them out for another. The enhancements are...
** HeartContainer: The Ultra Health power-up boost your maximum health by 100.
** {{Invisibility}}: The multi-player only Cloak power-up makes you nearly invisible to other players.
** SuperSpeed: The Flash Speed power-up that allows Nick to run at break-neck speed.
** VideoGameFlight: The Anti-Grav Boots power-up that gives Nick flight jets to fly around the area.
* SavePoint: Save consoles records your progress so you can pick up from where you last left off.
* SpikeBallsOfDoom: Boulders, which are also {{Asteroids Monster}}s.
* TeleportingKeycardSquad / CatScare / VideoGameSetpiece: Most of the enemies are dormant, and burst out of the walls/ceiling/floor in ambushes. The levels are packed with low growls and lighting scares to keep you on your toes.
* TheVirus: The Abuse virus.