Review by MortimerMcMire

Reviewed: 06/15/06

...The End?

Keen Dreams. This name inspires both hate and apprehension to some fans, while to others it remains puzzling. Where does this game fit? This game is supposedly after Keen 3, yet remains separated from the rest. The reasons? It was made after all of them, when the company, id, had created other games. It remains an interesting part of Keen history none the less.

Story: 4/10
This game's story is somewhat lacking, the fact being that 1, it has nothing to do with anything else, nor does it mention any of the other games, and 2, the story is preposterous. "Keen wakes up in a strange land" Yes, promising. "Filled with vegetables." You lost me there. That's right, Keen now has to face vegetables... what will they think of next? It just doesn't appeal to me the way that facing robots or aliens did. It does have a somewhat child-like appeal to it, so I'll give it that for one; it can be understood by all.

Gameplay: 8/10
This is where things start to pick up. This is normally like a standard platformer; get to the exit, don't be touched or else you die; don't fall in pits, etc. But what makes this different is that it does it in a way where it almost feels like you aren't playing one, if that makes any sense. You feel as though you're the one jumping and firing projectiles at enemies. It has a vibe you can only experience by playing it.

Sound: 5/10
Most Keen games have catchy music or sound that makes them fun. Keen Dreams has none of this. Most levels have bland music, and some have none at all. The sounds are what saved this from a 3 though. They seemed to have added more sounds to this game, thus creating more variety.

Controls: 9/10
The controls are the same as always, so at least they didn't change that. They perform well and are well adapted to a game pad or the like. That's pretty much all for that category.

Difficulty: 7/10
Keen Dreams does well in this category; it can be either hard or easy depending on how you play. Unlike other Keen games, the enemies get back up after you "stun" them. They also move much faster on average than most other enemies. Some levels are open, while others are dead shut, leading to many deaths. On the other hand though, the final boss can be very easy just by button mashing the fire button. I would have to say it varies quite well.

Overall: 7/10
Although it has a bad story line and doesn't seem "canon" to the other Keen games, it is worth a try. If this is your first one however, don't be expecting any other Keen games like it; the company id is no longer creating any more. Once more, It'll be hard to find a copy of this relic anywhere. But once you start Keen, you can't get enough...

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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