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, 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- Like most DOS games, the EGA colors were way out of date compared to the consoles of the day, although the great art style makes up for it.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.
Masters of Doom. Describes the development process.
- youtube.com/watch?v=iKHUOKVzo0Q - Longplay.
- youtube.com/watch?v=XUbKZ-xIbqY - Speedrun, hard, any %, no glitches.
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.