Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons: Episode 1: Marooned on Mars (Dec. 14th 1990) Episode 2: The Earth Explodes (1991) Episode 3: Keen Must Die! (1991) Commander Keen's very first adventure, and the debut of id's groundbreaking side-scrolling technology.
I've some issues playing this awesome old-school game in fullscreen, so after changing resolution that I got is a very tiny screen, so it's impossible to play!
But after doing some experiments, I’ve found a solution to fix this. Hope this wi
First off, if I am correct the episodes 1-4 are now freeware. Episode 5, however, is not, plus you save the work of installing dosbox yourself (not a big deal, unless you run into trouble with it's textual interface). And a gimmick that practically doubles the value of this buy is a free fan-made mod "Keen 9" (google to find) which requires Keen 5 to play.
My ingame time in this game is, according to steam, low, but that does not tell the whole truth. I have played this game a lot more outside steam.
Commander Keens are 2d platform games from the time 25 years ago. Keen 1 - Keen 3 are on roughly the same game engine, and keen 4 - 6 run on roughly the same redone game engine, which has a much more modern feeling in it. (Keen 6 is not legally available anywhere, it is so-called "abadonware"). Keen 7 is a fan-made mod of keen 4, keen 8 of keen 4 and keen 9 of keen 5.
The first three keens may be just a bit too simple for many a modern gamer to enjoy. But if that bothers you not, play away! from Keen 4 onwards, however, it is an another story: with AdLib Soundblaster configuration, the sounds and music sound are almost modern, and so are the graphics apart from large pixels.
The true source of enjoyment, however, is the level design. And without a line of script, which means that you always have a change to suspect a trap before walking into it. Each level has an uniform theme, and they are fairly well planned with quite consistent overall difficulty scaling, and a lot of originality in their challeges. They also are full of bonus places, often well hidden. There even is a secret bonus level in all but one of the games, including the fan-mades! Also the monster design shows excellent imagination and sense of humour.
The game has a hardcore treatment of player errors: take a single hit, and the whole level has to be done again, and the whole game if you run out of lives. Only Keen 1, Keen 5 on easy difficulty and Keen 6 on easy or normal difficulty are fit for an average player this way. Instead, I recommend you abuse savegames if you want to play the games trough. Some Keen 3 levels are too hard anyway because you cannot save mid-level in the first three games (but there is a cheat).
The game has a scoring mechanism like minigames, but if you want to use it you have to define a bit of extra rules for that: There are levels wih more than one extra life, and collectibles are restored after restarting the level.
Overall, I recommend if you are more interested in exploring difficult, handcraft-quality levels than the mainline story.
...it crashes with a dosbox error, but I can launch Keen*.bat (which also calls dosbox) directly from the Steam folder without issue. At the end of the day, I can still play the game, but it would be nice if it worked as intended.