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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 Macintosh original game's graphics run (as expected) in black and white and they look really nice. They are mostly based on digitized images of clay models and combine beautiful and evocative still images with detailed and appropriately grim characters. In some cases (i.e. during conversations) simple animations are involved like lips and hands movement. Also the shooting-gallery or the bombing (!) screens are nicely drawn and well animated. One good thing here, compared to the Amiga and Apple IIGS versions, is that the game runs faster (!) especially during loading times. The sound is pretty good and gives a fully convincing 30's atmosphere with a variety of tunes (but unfortunately no sampled sound effects at all).
  • 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
Gameplay 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


MacintoshCPU: Macintosh Classic (1984) and Macintosh Plus (1986), Macintosh SE and SE/30 (1987 and 1991 respectively) with Motorola MC68000 at 7.83 MHz
MEMORY: Macintosh Classic (128k, 512k), Macintosh Plus/SE (1MB expandable to 4MB), Macintosh SE/30 (1MB expandable to 128MB)
GRAPHICS: Macintosh Classic/Plus/SE with Black & White screen, 512x342 pixels
SOUND: Macintosh Classic/Plus/SE (internal speaker). 8-bit mono 22 kHz (support 8-bit sampled monaural sound sampled at the 22.25 kHz horizontal blanking rate)
The Macintosh (default) color palette
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