Game information

Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle

Game cover
Cover - Front

Submit a cover
Name: Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle
Year: 1991
Publisher: Apogee
Developer: ID Software
Platform: PC
Genre: Action
Total rating: 88.7% - rated 30 times
rate now: please log in to rate
Submitter: Res
Added: May 22 2004
Warez status: Freeware

View more screenshots
Submit a screenshot

Game review

Author: Bokkie
Date: May 17 2005 - 10:34
Score: 90 points
User avatar

The good old days of Shareware. Thanks to ID's generosity in releasing Keen 4 as Shareware, many people will remember the fun they had playing this game. I got it from a friend who assured me it was totally legal for me to have it as the software company gave it away anyway. So I didn't ask too many questions and took it home and spent a couple of weeks just trying to get to everywhere I could and get all the points.
It's graphics looked a whole lot better than the first three keens, it's menu interface was improved and there was even a little mini game of paddle war to amuse you if you got bored of jumping around. Keen 4 is simple to play and highly enjoyable, here's why:

This is a new story after the original keen trilogy. The bad vorticons have been destroyed and Keen is off to new adventures. This time round keen is listening in on his intergalactic radio when he hears something about the shikadis wanting to destroy the universe so he hops in his beans rocket and jets off to chat with the sages of the oracle who can shed some light on the situation. Of course when he gets there he finds that the sages have all been locked away by the bad dudes and he has to free them by avoiding all the treacherous traps and dangerous creatures. Sounds as good an excuse as any to get jumpin' and bouncin' and collectin', right?

Not much has changed in the way of gameplay from the first keen games but what can you expect? They nailed it pretty well the first time round.
Keen moves around a little mini map and then enters an area of play or level. As with the first games, you don't have to finish all the levels to complete the game. You might only do twelve levels and rescue all of the Sages and therefore win. This means the game is really flexible and if you get stuck on a level you can always exit and try another.

The actual levels are well designed. You can finish most of them quite easily but to get certain items takes a lot of precise jumping. There are also secret areas on most levels and even a whole secret bonus level which is insanely difficult and with a good humourous twist when you do finish it. Some areas on the map can only be reached by doing certain things such as finish a level thats blocking the way or else get an item. All of this adds variety and interest that breaks up the level after level monotony of a normal platformer.

Getting around the levels is easy as keys are basic. One key to jump, one to pogo, arrows to move around and you can set wether or not you want the shooting to be old style two button or else assign a separate key for it. There are even a couple of moves keen can bust like instant high jump when you tap both pogo and jump at the same time. Useful for getting to hard to reach places. Easy to control means fun to play.

There are tons of useless items to pick up, to help you get a big score as well as some useful ones like health and ammo. As you move around the levels Keen will also face many hazards from slugs to mushrooms to spikes to fire. Some are easy to get past others require the fine art of exact timing and precision. Not all the creatures are bad, some are totally harmless (such as the small fish) and some even help you (let all the worms gather around you under one of the pyramids and see what happens). Good range of characters and plenty of items to find keep this game up there with the best of platformers.

As I said in my intro, graphics took big step into the future with Keen 4, leaving the dull colours and animations of the first three in the lurch. Here were nicely drawn characters with cartoony animations and vivid colours as opposed to the dull sameness of the likes of keen 1. There are lots of different locations in the game such as deserts, caves, underwater, and effort was made to give all unique aspects to their graphics and backdrops. There are also lots of little animations dotted around that sparkle and add life to the graphics. Even leaving keen doing nothing for too long will make him shrug his shoulders and then read a book. Would you expect anything less than the best from ID in the graphics department?

Sound has finally moved into the adlib/soundblaster zone. No more crazy distorted buzzer tones but nice effects and even a bit of music to add ambience. Give Creative a big hug for making soundblaster or else we would have gone mad by now. The difference between Soundblaster and PC buzzer is like the difference between a philharmonic orchestra and some kid playing a kazoo. Enjoy it, revel in it and then switch your speakers off once you get tired of it. With such an improvement in sound, how can you possibly find anything to fault Keen 4's sound?

Download this game if you love platformers because this is about as good as they got. Frantic action, great graphics, well planned and varied levels, some sort of plot and even soundblaster sound. Who could ever ask for more in a Platform game? (ok well technically I wouldn't mind if the points you earned translated into real money but only Bill gates could fund something like that) Commander Keen 4 won't cost a lot of credits but will keep you highly entertained for quite a while. It is the best of the Keen whatta' ya waitin' for?

Ok so I want you to finish all the levels including the secret one and get all the points you can find. Remember anything you can see you can reach somehow. Have a blast baby... Keen style.

Game files

  Type / Title Downloads / Views Action
Download full game 1221 Download
Cheats 2339 Read
Cheats 2148 Read

Submit content


User avatar
By Dongwoen91 - Dec 05 2015 - 23:20
My first childhood games  :)
User avatar
By Flange9k - May 25 2009 - 15:54
woot! thanks for contributing =)
User avatar
By Tonystark43 - Apr 08 2009 - 03:15
I'm running Keen 4 on Windows XP, but I can't hear any sound from the game. Please help.
User avatar
By Franja - Mar 22 2009 - 05:00
one of my first games.. thanks for the revival pals.
User avatar
By CREF - Mar 26 2006 - 19:35
A great game, I never saw such a good ega-platformer for DOS

Page:    1 2   >>

You need to be logged in to post comments





Members: 530238
Games: 973
Files: 11467
Apps: 50
Members: 2
Veterans: 0
Premium: 0
Mods: 0
Admins: 0
New today:
Games: 0
Files: 0
Apps: 0
News: 0
Members: 50



Abandonware Dos
Computer Emuzone
Free Game Empire
Free Games Blog
Game Reserve
Glenn's Guides
Oldschool Computer
Smush The Cat
The House Of Games
The Joystick