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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 PC (MS-DOS) version runs in CGA and has good visuals, although they are with 4 colors only. Graphics combine beautiful evocative still images with detailed and appropriately grim characters similar to the other versions. The game's sound is quite typical since it supports the PC-speaker only.
  • 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

PC (ms-dos based)

PC (ms-dos based)CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site)
MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996)
GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines.
SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!
The PC (ms-dos based) (default) color palette
CGA: 16-color palette (4 on-screen)
EGA: 64-color palette (16 on-screen)
VGA: 256-color palette (256 on-screen)
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