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- Commander Keen 1 -

In the early days of PC games, the 80's and early 90's, it was pretty rare to have a proper action game because they said it couldn't handle scrolling screens very well so it was a pleasant surprise when a little software company called ID software created a scrolling platform game that not only matched up to console platformers but the first part of the trilogy was released as shareware meaning you didn't even have to pay for it! Yes this game came from the makers of doom and quake and altough it wasn't their first game I knew them long before wolfenstein or doom became well known. You are a 9-year old who sneaks into the garage when nobody is looking and when you put on your brothers football helmet you become: Commander Keen! defender of the galaxy. After you land on mars and you leave your ship for a short while the Vorticons have stolen parts of your ship and scatter them across the planet. Your job is to find the four parts and try to stop the invasion before it's too late.

Command Keen plays like pretty much any platform game with enemies running around many of which can kill you with a single touch. You can find a raygun to take out enemies and a pogostick which you can use to jump higher and reach places you normally aren't able to. There are plenty of items to pick up whose main purpose is for points because you gain an extra life after you get 20.000 points. Unlike other platformers though you move on an overhead map and you can select levels you want to play by walking up to them and pressing the button, it then switches to the normal sideview. Not all levels are required to complete but some block your path and must be played as well as the large city levels where your items are hidden. The larger levels require more effort because some items are locked behind doors and you have to find the correct keycards to unlock them.

Commander Keen: Marooned on mars is an excellent platform game and the fact that this part was shareware only increased it's value. The game plays fast and most of the time when you die it is because you move too fast or are careless. The second and third parts are called 'the earth explodes' and 'Keen must die!' and they were sold seperately but they are directly related to this game and there are several more sequels. The graphics may look a bit dated but back in 1990 it wasn't bad and especially the smooth scrolling was something rarely seen in a PC game. Sound and music are limited to PC speaker so don't expect anything special, most of the sounds are adequate though. I found the game fun to play after all these years and it doesn't surprise me that ID software became such a huge company by releasing the first parts of their games as shareware and if you liked it you were far more likely to buy the rest of the game. You should definately check this game out and if you like it there are plenty of sequels to keep you happy as well.

Overal rating: 8/10

Erde Kaiser

This game was released for one system here are some notes:
DOS Released in 1990.
Game has been tested but not completed on a DOS PC.
You can press F1 during the game to get general hints and to view the keyboard configuration.

Date added Jan-15-2005 10:25
Name Commander Keen 1
Developer ID software
Publisher Apogee
First released 1990
Genre Action
Sponsored links  
Download MS-DOS, filesize: 199 Kb
Manual No manual available
Solve / Docs No solve available
No extra docs available

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