Review by KirbySSB

"One of the best DOS games out there."

It's always good to go back and play the old classics: You might find them to be better than the newer games!

GAMEPLAY:

The gameplay is easy to learn... It should not take you that long. You have a pogo stick and a raygun at your disposal. Also, Keen jumps pretty well too. There are no checkpoints (unless you save), and there is no health bar in this game; everything is a one hit kill (which makes it much better), so watch out. There are many enemies with different attacks and ways to kill you. You start in a village and move on to pyramids, caves, etc. in order to save the eight members of the high council. Some levels have them, some don't. Overall there are over fifteen levels, including a very secret hard level that you can only get to in a very unobvious way. There are a few types of items you can get: Candy (points), keys, water drops (collect 100 for an extra life), a jug of water (extra life), ammo (5 raygun bullets each). Jumping is just your standard jumping engine: Hold jump and the longer you hold it the higher you go (up to a certain height of course!). The pogo stick is pretty unique: Hit the key once and you start bouncing, hit it again to stop. If you hold jump while bouncing you do a really big bounce. Now, there are a few tricks with this. If you hit pogo and jump and the same time your first bounce will be a big one. Also, if you are doing a big bounce, hit pogo again to get off the pogo stick and you will still go high, but now that you are off the stick you can grab ledges, getting to really high up places, which is helpful at a few spots. The game has three difficulty settings: Easy, Medium, and Hard. Beating the game is Hard is actually pretty hard (especially that secret level), and the levels are pretty easy in easy. Everything stays as one hit kills, though, no matter what difficulty you're in.

GRAPHICS:

A definite improvement from the older Keen games. Of course nowadays they are outdated but I find sprites more fun anyways. Most levels have a different look and keen moves pretty smoothly. If you stand still long enough he sits down and starts reading a book =). The enemies look good and move smoothly. The font is easy to read. Not much else to say here.

SOUND/MUSIC:

Low quality, but catchy music that will stay in your head for a long time (After downloading this game again after five years I still remembered the tunes). The sounds are ok... not too good but not too bad.

STORY:

You are Billy Blaze, aka Commander Keen when he takes off in his space ship built of random home appliances. Keen makes a radio that can listen to very far away things, and catches a signal from the Shikadi, some aliens planning to destroy the galaxy. You rush to the Shadowlands and find that all the high-council members are gone, and you need to rescue them to start up the Oracle. Many funny things are in the story as well.

REPLAYABILITY:

It's good for a play now and then. The first time you'll love it but after you beat it once or twice you won't play it much. It will still stay in your mind as a good game though. It is pretty short but all of it is fun.

BUY/RENT?

Download ^_^. It's shareware after all.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/28/04


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