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. [[note]]The original story, from the very first release, was actually a throwaway one where Earth is invaded by the mutants and Nick is the only one who can stop them. [[/note]]

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 [[UsefulNotes/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 [[UsefulNotes/{{Amiga}} Amiga OS 4]] port in 2009, and an {{iOS|Games}} port titled ''Abuse Classic''. The game is also being freely distributed through UsefulNotes/{{Desura}} for Windows, Mac, and Linux, with the help of UsefulNotes/DOSBox. For those looking to play the game on modern systems without [=DOSBox=], a fan-made SDL port can be found [[http://antonior-software.blogspot.com/2016/05/abuse-1996-sdl-port-09a.html here]]. Definitely not to be confused with AbuseTropes or [[UsefulNotes/{{Abuse}} Useful Notes: Abuse]].

!!Tropes this game displays include:
* BodyHorror: Implied in the game's opening text. The victims of the virus suffered through a horrible transformation as they became rabidness mutants.
* 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 without saving 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.
* EmptyRoomUntilTheTrap: The game loves to put the player in seemingly empty rooms until a horde of mutants jump out and ambush you from nowhere, especially when you flip a switch in an attempt to access new areas.
* ExcusePlot: The only plot provided are quick text dumps at the beginning and end of the game.
* {{Expy}}: Most of the mutants bear a suspicious resemblance to [[Franchise/{{Alien}} xenomorphs]], and Nick's armor contains some obvious design DNA from [[Franchise/{{Predator}} another sci-fi classic]].
* TheFaceless: Nick's PowerArmor, judging by the single piece of art for it.
* HyperspaceArsenal: Many of Nick's weapons are large enough that he should only be able to carry one or two.
* JumpScare: The mutant screams make a pretty effective one, especially if 10 or so happen at once and blow out your speakers.
* LaserBlade: One weapon is functionally this; A beam weapon that fires continuously with extremely limited range, though the fact that it still comes from a gun makes it more akin to a laser bayonet.
* LevelEditor: The original game and [=fRaBs=] (Free Abuse) features one where you create your own custom levels. The level editor can be accessed by using the [-ABUSE.EXE -edit-] command in DOS.
* {{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: Reflecting on the virus that mutated the prison inmates and staff.
* 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 stations 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.
* UselessUsefulStealth: The Invisibility power-up is completely useless in single-player, as enemies still know where you are.
* VideoGameFlamethrowersSuck: Not in this game. The Firebomb is one of the most devastating weapons in the game (though it more just chucks flaming napalm projectiles at enemies rather than behaving like a proper flamethrower.)
* TheVirus: The Abuse virus.
* AWinnerIsYou: [[spoiler:"You've survived impossible odds and made it to the Control Room. By pulling the switch, you've diverted the water supply and stopped the spread of Abuse! CONGRATULATIONS! YOU'RE HOWLING!!!"]]