Thursday, 20 February 2014

King of Chicago - a GYL Review

Experience the new game released by Cinemaware in the words of a Chicago Crime Lord - or the nearest we can get to it - GYL Guest Reviewer, Andy Pryer @ClammyLizard

To maximize your reading pleasure, please read this paragraph aloud, in a gruff voice and out of the corner of your mouth:  Tired of bein’ a two-bit hood pullin’ nickle ‘n dime capers?  You’ve bin payin‘ your dues lang enough.  With Capone, the old Chicago boss in da big house,  dis town is wide open for a change a management an’ it’s time for da cream to rise to-da tap.

Indeed.  Al ‘Scarface’ Capone is in chokey and the underworld of Chicago has been shaken to it’s foundations.  This is the moment you’ve been waiting for; now’s the time to take over the ‘family’ business and expand it’s territory.

You’d better have a brain to back up that roscoe, or you ambitions will be cut pretty short.  Skill with a heater won’t get you far if you can’t trust anyone in your own organization after all.

If you’re going to be a successful head of the family, you’ve got to earn the respect of the existing crew, choose you friends and who you can trust wisely, make allegiances and show the other outfits you mean business. And if that isn’t enough, your moll certainly isn’t content to play second fiddle to your racket and has some demands of her own.

KOC is presented as what used used to be called an ‘Interactive Movie’, but not one of those full of FMV and dodgy acting, here we have soulful graphics drawn with an attention to period details which really help to set the mood. Honkey-tonk piano music and spinning newspaper headlines abound. 

The story is a complex and engrossing one and there are many, many paths though the game. The gameplay, which chiefly involves selecting a course of action in a timely manner throughout a series of well scripted conversations and encounters, is well suited to phones and is perfectly playable with one finger - ideal for a little incognito gaming.  Occasionally you may need to swing your gat around and burn some powder, but this too makes efficient use of the touch screen.

I must admit that I’d never played this game before, despite being a huge fan of some other Cinemaware releases, so I can say without the burden of nostalgia that the game holds up extremely well today, with Cinemaware doing what they do so well in setting the mood as perfectly as ever. 

The snappy dialogue is cliche, but in the best possible way.  While not a comedy game, it is amusing for the dialogs accuracy to the source material even when it’s not cracking one of it’s fairly frequent jokes. Opening the app transports you instantly and completely into the pin-stripe world of the 30s gangster movies, and whether you’re a fan of the genre or not, you’d find it hard to resist pull of an underworld that’s this fully realised.  

I thoroughly recommend King of Chicago as a first class piece of portable escapism, which is as relevant now as it was when it was first released, perhaps it’s even found the ideal home on smartphones?  It certainly makes my commute pass much more quickly.

Review by Andy Pryer for GamesYouLoved

You can buy the King of Chicago on:

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