Commander Keen in Keen Dreams just appeared on the Switch eShop

by Daniel VuckovicFebruary 7, 2019

During our usual Thursday night ritual of reporting on the week’s eShop releases, we spotted something rather odd – Commander Keen!

The original (from what we can tell) PC games, Commander Keen in Keen Dreams has just appeared on the Switch eShop. It’s $15.00AUD and contains what appears to be the full game, there’s even remastered music and sound effects. (which you can turn off for the originals).

At this point, we’d like to just ask for more 90s PC games. Our full eShop update will be up later tonight.

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Daniel Vuckovic
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  • Silly G
    February 8, 2019 at 1:02 am

    Commander Keen is one of my favourite series of all time. I got the absolute shock of my life when I stumbled across this in the eShop, and I’m so glad to see that you’re a fan too.

    Ironically, Keen Dreams was shareware, so, the full game can be played on PC legally for free. The registered version only had a few superficial differences in the interface (absolutely no new content in the game itself), and was basically a “Thank you for supporting us” courtesy version, as so much paid-for shareware software was.

    The music and sound effects are completely new in this release, which may appease (or annoy) purists. The original Keen Dreams never had music because iD Software wanted to squeeze the game onto a 360kB floppy disc (funny how much and how little things have changed!), leaving no room for music to be added to the game. One of the scrapped tracks, Eat Your Veggies, lived on in Keen 4. The original Sound Blaster sound effects are optional in the Switch version, however, the PC Speaker sound effects have been excluded. This is from the makers of the original DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D for those keen (no pun intended!) on checking out a piece of their history.

    The game is pretty short (it can be completed in as little as a few minutes or about an hour or two), which makes the $15 asking price rather baffling. As a hardcore Keen fan, I couldn’t throw my money at the game fast enough (shareware version on PC be damned), but it is a poor, poor value proposition for the uninitiated majority who may be unfamiliar with the series and not have the same sentimental attachment to the series that I have. Plus, Keen Dreams is far from the best that the series has to offer.

    Nevertheless, it still feels so unreal. I would love to see the rest of the Keen games (yes, even the GBC abomination) on Switch, along with a physical release (please, oh, God, please!!!). Nevertheless, I am so, so, so, so, so grateful. I would love to see Apogee Software’s library on the Switch as well, especially with Duke Nukem and Cosmo (appearing for the first time since Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure in 1992!!!) appearing in Rad Rodgers, which, sadly, is not being issued a physical release locally, but I shall import the US release asap.

    There have already been so many shock throwbacks to my childhood in this year alone, and it’s only February!!!

    And just before I go… KEEEEEEEEENNNNNNN!!!!! 😀

    • James
      February 12, 2019 at 12:44 am

      Thanks for all the info. Really glad you’re hyped about it. I was a fan back in the day, but as you mentioned $15 is steep!

  • DeathScythe
    February 9, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    While i was never really into the Keen series, i think it would be freakin amazing if more DOS era games made a come back in this fashion. I could almost forgive not having a proper VC (as opposed to the subscription based games).

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