Switch Release: Commander Genius ported to the Switch – Play the Commander Keen games at native resolution with up to 4 player co-op & touch screen support
Lately, the Nintendo Switch scene has been a tad quieter with the PlayStation 4 taking the spotlight thanks to TheFlow releasing a kernel exploit affecting up to FW 7.02 & SpecterDev developing a jailbreak for FW 6.72. However, homebrew is still being released for the console and today, we have Commander Genius which makes the Commander Keen games much more enjoyable on the console!
What is Commander Genius?
As its title suggests, Commander Genius is an interpreter for the Commander Keen games which aims to improve the gaming experience without drastically changing it.
This is done through the addition of a multitude of features which include:
- First of all, it comes with support Commander Keen 1 to 6 together with Keen Dreams and numerous mods including the highly popular Commander Keen 7-9
- Support for in-game music
- Six difficulty levels for all Commander Keen games
- A multiplayer mode that lets up to 4 people play the campaign simultaneously
- The ability to render at higher resolutions and 2D hardware acceleration support
- Support for high quality texture packs to make the game look less blocky
- The ability to run on modern operating systems including Windows, Linux and macOS together with support for some portable devices including Android smartphones/tablets, OpenPandora and now, the Nintendo Switch
Other than coming with a lot of features, Commander Genius sees regular commits on its GitLab repository fixing issues with new releases becoming available pretty frequently.
What about the Switch port?
While it’s no secret that you can play the Commander Keen games on the Switch through the DosBox core in RetroArch & Keen Dreams through an official port, Elias Önal decided to go ahead and port Commander Genius to the console which will undoubtedly please many Keen fans looking for a nicer experience! The port, which was released yesterday with help from Gerhard Stein who is behind the interpreter itself, is based upon Commander Genius 2.45.2 which is the upcoming version of the interpreter with version 2.45.1 being the current stable version meaning that it contains the latest features and fixes available. Elias Önal states that the most useful features that Commander Genius brings to Nintendo’s current console include:
- The ability to download shareware titles when connected via WiFi
- Support for co-op with up to 4 players
- Touchscreen support
- Rendering at native resolution together with various scaling options
As Commander Genius is simply an interpreter, you must provide game files yourself and these are to be placed in ‘/switch/CommanderGenius/games’. Most Commander Keen games are not shareware so one needs to own the games in order to play them legally.
Conclusion & Other News
You may grab Commander Genius for your Nintendo Switch by following the link below which also provides more information on the port. Other than Commander Genius, the Switch also received Homebrew Details letting you manage NRO homebrew.
Commander Genius Release Post on Elias Önal’s Blog: https://eliasoenal.com/2020/07/12/commander-keen-for-nintendo-switch/