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The King of Chicago
|Developer||Master Designer Software|
|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.|
STORY / 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.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The Apple IIGS version has similar visuals in quality with the Atari ST. Although running with up to 16 colors on screen, the graphics combine beautiful evocative still images with detailed and appropriately grim characters. Some simple animations are involved during conversations like lips and hands movement. Also the shooting-gallery or the bombing (!) screens are nicely drawn and animated. Comparably, the Amiga and the Sharp X68000 versions are superior in terms of graphics as they have 32 colors and a few additional details. The game's sound on the IIGS is good, with some nice 30s style tunes.
|Apple Macintosh (original version)|
|CPU: 16bit WDC 65C816 running at 2.8 MHz|
MEMORY: 256 KB to 1MB RAM built-in, expandable to 8MB, 128 to 256 KB ROM built-in.
GRAPHICS: 12bit RGB palette (4096 colours) supporting 320x200 with 16, 256 colors, 640x200 with 2, 64 colors
SOUND: Ensoniq 5503 Digital Oscillator Chip, 8-bit audio resolution, 64 kB dedicated sound RAM, 32 separate channel (software paired them into 16 stereo voices)
|12bit RGB 4096-colours palette (16 on screen and up to 256)|
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