Commander Keen IV: Secret of the Oracle

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US box art.

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, originally as shareware. 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 used to own the special Gravis release of Keen IV on 3.5" floppy, but I have no idea where is is. I have beaten every map on easy difficulty, except the secret map.


  • Overall: 5/10
  • Best Version: MS-DOS

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The game is both fun and challenging.
  • The graphics and animation are well-drawn.
  • Bobby Prince's 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  • Like most DOS games, the EGA colors were way out of date compared to the consoles of the day, although the great art style makes up for it.
  • Large sections of several maps, and even a couple of levels entirely, do not need to be entered in order to win the game. This is poor level design.
  • Far too much of the game is based on expecting the player to collect treats to accumulate points for no reason.
  • Movement with the pogo stick is pretty clunky and difficult to control, especially if you're using the keyboard.


  • Nothing.


Box Art





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.


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