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.
User reviews:
Very Positive (515 reviews) - 93% of the 515 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 14, 1990

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Buy Commander Keen Complete Pack


About This Game

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. In the game you play the role of Commander Keen: the alter-ego of an eight year-old genius by the name of Billy Blaze. When Billy learns that the Earth is in danger, he dons his brother's football helmet and his homemade interstellar spaceship to become Commander Keen -- Defender of the Earth!

Commander Keen in Goodbye Galaxy!:

  • Episode 4: Secret of the Oracle (1991)
  • Episode 5: The Armageddon Machine (1991)

You are eight-year-old Billy Blaze, boy genius to your neighborhood. Commander Keen to the rest of the universe. It's time to grab your trusty pogo stick and neural stunner, climb into the cockpit of your homemade Megarocket and blast off for the Shadowlands. To prevent the obliteration of life as we know it, you'll have to battle your way past deadly hazards and devious creatures, or end up as space toast.

System Requirements

    Minimum: A 100% Windows XP/Vista-compatible computer system

Customer reviews
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Very Positive (515 reviews)
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406 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
This gives you the Commander Keen games in a DOSBOX wrapper.

Commander Keen is great, but he deserves better treatment than he has gotten from id software in the past 15 years. He should have gotten a modern source port. If you get Keen Dreams on Steam then you get a nice modern source port, but this product is just the same old original DOS version.

Despite being a lifelong Commander Keen fan, I'm going to have to not recommend buying Keen again until and unless his games get the update he deserves.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
121 of 127 people (95%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
One of the icons of the DOS era. They label this as the "Complete Pack", but it is missing a few games (Keen Dreams & Aliens Ate My Babysitter).

Dopefish Lives!
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88 of 92 people (96%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 19, 2015
This pack doesn't include Commander Keen 6 and Keen dreams is missing. Some people have been disappointed because those games weren't included, so be aware! Don't get this pack if you’re planning on playing Keen 6 and Keen dreams.

This review is mainly pointed towards Commander Keen 5: The Armageddon Machine, because I played the living ♥♥♥♥ out of it when I was a kid. I remember getting this game from my uncle on a floppy disk, I took the disk home and installed it, with difficulty, back then I didn't knew much about computers. I finally managed to install it and then I started playing, and I was blown away because the game was so ♥♥♥♥ing awesome. I loved messing around in the levels and exploring them, I died a lot because this was the first real game I played on PC, then I discovered this strange option called 'save' and it remembered where I was! English isn't my native language so I had trouble understanding some parts of the game. I still remember the big red guy with the automatic rifle who instantly killed you when you were in his sights, when I first encountered him I literally jumped out of my chair, I had never seen something so frightening.

And eventually I was there, the final level, I remember every second of that remarkable level and when I finished the level and I had beaten Commander Keen 5: The Armageddon Machine, I felt great I had conquered this beast of a game. After beating the game I spent hours upon hours replaying the levels and playing pong. Later I found out that if you pressed F1 (or some other button I don't really remember), the game would load a page with the LORE of Commander Keen 5: The Armageddon Machine, the ♥♥♥♥ing Lore of Commander Keen 5: The Armageddon Machine, holy ♥♥♥♥. And when I found the 'lore' I looked at the pictures of all the enemies I had encountered and I even saw pictures of enemies I didn't encounter, because you could only encounter those on hard mode. (I just looked at the pictures and because at the time I didn't speak a word English.)

Years later I found out Commander Keen was available on steam and I had some money on my steam wallet and I was like: ♥♥♥♥ it I'm buying Commander Keen. And I was able to play my childhood love yet again.

Well enough of MY experiences with the game, lets actually talk about the game. It's a miracle if you actually read my story and made it so far!

Commander keen is simple platformer, it's about a guy, Keen. From my current understanding he is just a dude who travels to random planets and shoots aliens with his little laser gun, he also has a pogo stick which makes him jump higher. This pack included Keen 1,2,3,4 and 5. The first ones look really old, but the fourth and the fifth looked a lot cleaner and a lot newer. All of the games play pretty similarly and have the game character and weapons. But I didn’t really finish any other Keen game except Keen 5, so I might be wrong because some things are different later in game. But in Commander Keen 5 you have to collect four diamonds to open doors to continue within the level, then you have to find a key that opens the door to the end of the level, later you have to destroy something what looks like the power source for the space ship you are stranded on. In the game you will encounter various enemies, some are robots some are 'energy enemies', the robots can be killed the 'energy enemies' can only be stunned or can't get hit at all. You have one life, so if you get hit once you are done for, yet you can save everywhere you want, so that isn't a big problem or a hard part about this game. All in all it’s just an old school platformer, that is as unforgiving as any other old game and needless to say the game is also very fun!

After playing this game again after so many years, it made me realize that Commander Keen 4 is way superior to Commander Keen 5, because the fourth installment had way more variety. And when I look back at the levels of Commander Keen 5 I realized that they game wasn't really that special. It was just the fact that it was the first game I ever played and finished, what made it so great. The nostalgia made me love this game.

Nostalgia is a ♥♥♥♥♥.

Thanks for taking the time to read my game review of Commander Keen, one of my favorite games if not my favorite game of all time!
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106 of 126 people (84%) found this review helpful
202 people found this review funny
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2015

Commander Keen saved Earth a generation before Commander Shepard ever heard of the Reapers. Little dude built his own space ship out of soup cans. Shepard struggled building a fish tank. This 8 year-old kid was clearing out the Vorticon home planet while Shepard was telling everyone what his favorite shop on the Citadel was.

Shepard is a joke. Commander Keen is the real Spectre.
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86 of 99 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 30, 2015
So glad I found this game. Brings me back to my childhood.
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126 of 158 people (80%) found this review helpful
32 people found this review funny
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
It still looks better than Cod Ghosts and it's playable. The best game of my childhood. I would save Gnosticus IV again.
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57 of 63 people (90%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2013
Commander Keen is a super retro game made by the creators of Doom(way before), a kinda cool reminder of how games once were. It's a Mario style platformer where you jump around collecting coins, avoiding/attacking enemies and traps, you also have a gun you can shoot. Commander Keen is not for the impatient gamer, this game is of a different time and needs to be respected. Expect ridged controls and somewhat convoluted menu navigation, and a totally nonsensical narrative plot. I'd give it 6.5/10 today, but 8.5/10 for people who can appreciate how it was in those days.
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42 of 42 people (100%) found this review helpful
13 people found this review funny
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
My thoughts when I saw this on Steam:

"Oh wow Commander Keen! I used to love those games when I was a kid, I bet I can beat them now that I am much older"

"NOPE, still just a F%&*$#ing HARD!"

Classic games, simple games, difficult games. Even after twenty years I still can't solve some of the puzzles thrown at me, but I still enjoy trying!
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38 of 40 people (95%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 26, 2014
This "Complete Pack" contains the first five full Keen titles, excluding Keen Dreams and Aliens Ate My Baby Sitter! probably due to publishing rights issues.

Commander Keen in Marooned on Mars:
The first entry into the series, and a very enjoyable one. The difficulty isn't too high or too low, just about right; it's short and sweet. Even though there is a tad bit of input lag regarding controls, it never really makes you perform pixel-perfect jumps or anything that difficult. And despite the lack of music and somewhat annoying sound FX, the title still retains a lot of its original charm.

Commander Keen in The Earth Explodes:
Out of the original trilogy, this is my least favorite one. Why? Because it's basically the first one, but quickly loses its charm when the unfair gameplay kicks in. And I don't mean "unfair" as in "challenging", I mean unnecessarily aggravating. This is due to the tad bit of input lag, bull**** level design, and annoying enemy AI. Thanks for that John Carmack.

Commander Keen in Keen Must Die!:
This entry is even more unforgiving than the second, and the lack of music and sound FX REALLY wears on you by now. Why isn't it my least favorite? The main antagonist. Without spoiling anything, the main antagonist and his simple (yet relatable) backstory make the game worth seeing through to the end, and you barely even learn anything about him until the boss fight, which luckily, isn't too hard. I'll just say... it shows a lot of humility for id Software, considering how they went on to turn the entire industry upside down multiple times.

Commander Keen in Secret of the Oracle:
This is probably my favorite Keen title, why? Well, one reason is Dopefish's glorious debut. Another is how nearly every aspect of Keen was improved vastly. This is when the Keen series felt much more like a fully-formed franchise rather than a labor of love from a group of eager programmers. The graphics are much more colorful and cartoony, the gameplay is MUCH more fluid and MUCH less aggravating, and there is actual background music that’s catchy and makes the experience more enjoyable. And you can't forget Dopefish, we will never forget Dopefish.

Commander Keen in The Armageddon Machine:
A lot like Secret of the Oracle, except new levels, music, easter eggs, and sadly leaves on a big cliffhanger, and I only mention this because the sixth title is not included leaving you to find it yourself. Still a lot of fun and pretty enjoyable. The only nitpick I really have is how you actually beat the game, as it is very confusing and very hard to actually figure out how to blow the last fuse. Otherwise, a solid Keen title.

Some people complain on how "You're paying for an emulator!" or "It's missing two episodes!” I really don't. This is the bulk of a classic series, and you're paying how much? Five dollars? And you'll probably wait for a sale anyway, won't you. You should be grateful it's even on Steam for legitimate purchase. Also, the games run almost flawlessly in DOSBox for me at least, unlike many other DOS games released on Steam packaged with DOSBox...

If you want to explore id's past, want to dive into another retro platformer, or simply just bored, buy the pack now for five bucks. Don't even wait for a sale, it's not really worth waiting for when you could be playing now.

EDIT: If you would like to see a full release of Keen Dreams on Steam (w/ Achievements, Leaderboards, and other Steam features) running natively on Windows and Linux PC's, click here to check out this new source port:
I even made the trailer on the Steam page you see there.
Maybe this could prompt id Software to do a similar overhaul with this release.
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36 of 37 people (97%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
A game from my childhood. Even now, it is still a great platformer which is totally worth your pennies if you like adventure and a nice childfriendly-ish story.
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Recently Posted
Burnt Toast
6.3 hrs
Posted: October 18
His spaceship is powered by alcohol.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.2 hrs
Posted: October 17
Glad to play again after all these years
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.0 hrs
Posted: October 6
Commander Keen is quite the interesting platformer from the 90's filled with cake, candy, soda, stuffed animals and lots of aliens. Join Billy Blaze boy genius as he travels through space combating alien threats from the vorticons to the shikadi.
Even though the first 3 episodes are pretty dated the goodbye galaxy exspanion pack (the other 2 episodes) are actually really incredible and fun (sidenote episodes 1-3 aren't bad just really dated)

Episodes 1,2,4,5
Some very well designed levels with fun platforming puzzles
Interacive eviorments
A funny and extra chessy 90's sci-fi story
Fun cheats
Simple but fun gamplay and very well refined gamplay for the last 2 episodes
Cool secrets

Episode 3.... It really sucked and I honestly don't feel bad about how many levels I used cheats for
One of the islands in Episode 3 had a phalic shape not really aproriate for a kids game
Sometimes things get a bit to hectic in this game and you may find yourself thinking that you have no choice but to cheat
Dyeing in one hit can get pretty annoying
Episode 3 left me feeling like a monster
Not being able to save in the middle of a level for episodes 1-3
At the end the game promises a sequel that never happens

Overall I'd recommend this game to anyone who likes oldschool platformers but be warned this game can get really rage inducing
Helpful? Yes No Funny
8.8 hrs
Posted: September 1
A love once lost, now found
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Vincent Blond
12.6 hrs
Posted: September 1
A world where Demiurg distributes matter by platforms.
Gods which don't help us at all.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Del Mitri
0.2 hrs
Posted: August 28
spent hundreds of hours on this game in my childhood !!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.0 hrs
Posted: August 24
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. Take note that the "complete pack" title is misleading because Keen 6 is missing. It is not legally available anywhere anymore, making it so-called "abandonware".

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 7 is a fan-made mod of keen 4, keen 8 of keen 6 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 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.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Commander Keen
0.5 hrs
Posted: August 13
Commander Keen is an amazing childhood game anyone could pick up and play. One of the best (and most difficult) platformers that I've ever experienced. Definately wish ID would reboot this.
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0.3 hrs
Posted: August 8
Such a trash game compared to todays standerds, dont buy.
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