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Game info

The King of Chicago

The King of Chicago
DeveloperMaster Designer Software
Reviewed byndial
The King of Chicago is a game initially developed by Doug Sharp for the Apple Macintosh computers, in black and white visuals. The game was then given a complete redesign by the in-house Cinemaware art team and was published by Master Designer Software for the Amiga in 1987. It was later ported to other systems and was eventually released for the Apple IIGS, Atari ST, PC (DOS) and Sharp X68000 home computers.
The King of ChicagoSTORY / GAMEPLAY
The infamous Al Capone is transferred to Alcatraz leaving his Southside gang in the hands of dangerous Tony Santucci. Pinky Callahan is a rising mug for the Northside organization and he is the second to take the leadership; but he just hates Chicago's bloody civil wars. Ahead of him are the discredited Old Man and his chief advisor Ben both of whom he can be persuaded to stand down...! The action begins somewhere in 1931 and ends in 1934 (the year the leaders of organized crime held a meeting in New York to form the National Syndicate). Pinky has only three years at his disposal to establish such a commanding position in Chicago (where gang wars seem to cease). The game is quite unique for its time, generally divided by still shots containing hints in what will follow or what you will be called to do. Many times, these contain a tinge of irony or some kind of black humor. All scenes involve Pinky and one or more of the other characters he interacts (or sometimes shoot!) with. Pinky's thoughts appear in speech balloons (!) and choosing one translates into appropriate comments; and the game runs automatically again. The interaction involves strategy so any choice can affect the outcome which will have a later or immediate consequence (there are hundreds of different paths to follow). The game's story is not linear so every decision will give a different outcome. Though scenes may re-appear, different actions are required, leading you to a wrong or a right path. The actions are too slow however and the game will make an arbitrary choice for you. King Of Chicago is great, its plot is interesting and I think this is one of the best adventure games released for the 16bit home computers! The only thing that can be frustrating is the disk swapping in some versions.

The Amiga version has better visuals compared to the Apple IIGS and the other available versions (except of the X68000), mainly because it gives more colors on screen (up to 32). Although there are only 32 colors, the game combines beautiful, evocative still images with detailed and appropriately grim characters, similar to the other versions, adding a few extra details that are missing from the original MAC version. In some cases. i.e. during conversations, simple animations are involved such as lips and hands movement. Also the shooting-gallery or the bombing (!) screens are nicely drawn and well animated. The Amiga version runs faster when animated screens come up. The game's sound on the Amiga is also good with convincing 30s style tunes along with some sampled sound effects like gunfire, explosions and screams.
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
  • The King of Chicago
Intro/Menu music:  In-game music sample:
Comparable platforms

16 colors
Apple IIGS

32 colors
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS

4 colors

2 colors
Apple Macintosh 68k

32 colors
Sharp X68000
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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