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  • Like most DOS games, the EGA colors were way out of date compared to the consoles of the day.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


  • Nothing.

Box Art