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 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.

Status

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.

Review

  • Overall: 5/10
  • Best Version: DOS

Good

  • 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.

Bad

  • Like most DOS games, the EGA colors were way out of date compared to the consoles of the day.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.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Box Art

Maps

Links