Commander Keen IV: Secret of the Oracle
Commander Keen IV: Secret of the Oracle is an action platformer game developed by id Software and published by Apogee Software for MS-DOS in 1991. Although it is numbered as the fourth game, it's actually the fifth game in the series.
I first encountered this game because a special shareware version was included with the Gravis GamePad I bought around 1992. It had added support for the four-button controller making the game much easier to play than with the keyboard or a two-button controller.
I own the special Gravis release of Keen IV on 3.5" floppy, and have beaten every map on easy difficulty, except the secret map.
- Overall: 5/10
- Best Version: MS-DOS
- The game is both fun and challenging.
- The graphics and animation are well-drawn and the music and sound effects are great.
- The story is pretty funny.
- The game is quite large with a lot of levels to play.
- Like most DOS games, the EGA colors were way out of date compared to the consoles of the day.
- Large sections of the maps, indeed a couple of the levels entirely, are not needed to win the game and only exist for increasing the player's score. This was poor design.
- Movement with the pogo stick is pretty clunky and difficult to control, especially if you're using the keyboard.
Commander Keen is still being sold, but this episode is a shareware release. This archive contains shareware and demo releases for versions 1.0 to 1.4 for both EGA and CGA graphics.