From Topware ("D-Info") the gamer may expect more than only the correct telephone number of other manufacturers. For example a smashing graphic adventure in the ambience of the 30's, advertised with a movie spot before the new dinosaur movie "Lost World".
Malposition for Jack: Evidence stands
against the sleazy private eye Chicago 1930
We are in America shortly after the end of the prohibition. Finally alcohol is again legal, Bars, Pubs and similar etablissements have brisk visitation. Private detective Jack Orlando certainly belongs to the losers of the new age, because the lucrative jobs concerning liquor smuggling are missing. The man drowns his grief in objectionable taverns, until he becomes witness of a murder one night. The offender strikes down the drunk private eye, and when he wakes up again, he already looks into the critical eyes of a policeman ... If Orlando does not want to be arrested as a main suspect, 48 hours remain for him, in order to solve the case on his own. Stupidly the victim was a high-ranking officer of the armed forces. And what makes the case not simpler is the fact that a powerful demimonde boss wants to stop our hero from further determinations.
Puzzles all over
The whole story is spread over several main locations, but there are few to no connections between them regarding the puzzles and usable items. For example a conclusive note is missing, why you must drive from Jack's home out into the city center or to the port after solving the first series of puzzles. But now at the destination it turns out that an acquaintance of the detective is living here, who can be helpful with a certain clue. And there is still a lot to do, until one knows that the suspect found accomodation in a ritzy hotel. However you can already enter the bed castle before (and will sure do so), asking yourself frowning what this extensive shed is actually good for now. Apart from such "diligence exercises", the puzzles however are very pleasing: In a time, where logical puzzles became very rare, the classical gameplay of this adventure stands out doing good against the often a bit exaggerated remainders of the genre.
The gentleman behind the counter can tell you something about a certain cigar Colour splendour & ear candy
The fact that TopWare advertised this game in the cinema makes quite sense. And is not because of the pretty TrueColor graphics in comic look (partly created in airbrush technique), as the not very supple animations are not very movie-like. The more for sound and speech: The superbe music in the style of the time is composed by no minor than Harold Faltermeyer, who gained international fame with the sound tracks for movies like "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Top Gun".
An adventure in 65,000 colours: notice the
refexion on the waxed floor
On a similar high level is the german voice output, for which, up to the smallest supporting role, high-professional actors were engaged. Orlando sounds smoky, boozy and like what he is - a wrecked man in middle ages.
Gameplay and controls
Storyline and characters are acting very authentical. Amazing, how well the Polish programmers team SciTech caught the slightly depressive atmosphere of America before the war here. The fact that the cartoon-Bogart may not blend in by hundred percent into those approximately 200 carefully designed 3D-scenes is hardly disturbing. He is controlled by the left mouse-button, while the right mouse-button gets an action menu onto the screen: examine, take up or fight. Here a changeable cursor would have nevertheless better pleased us however. The branched conversations run according to the proven multiple choice principle, whereby you can address the respective interlocutor as often as you want and so cause a different process. That may be not very realistic, lowers however the degree of difficulty.
In short, Jack Orlando is certainly no perfect game. But to the TopWare flatprice of under 50 Marks this interactive gangster film can be indeed recommended despite small weaknesses. (in)
Make one out of two
Jack Orlando fits on a CD, but is delivered on two CD-ROMs: one is reserved for the high performance version tested by us, the other one for players without 16 bit sound card and with fewer RAM - content or graphic differences do not exist. Although Jack doesn't sound bad in the simpler version, we nevertheless would recommend/advise the orchestral version. It almost justifies the purchasing of a new card, which you could already get for 100 Marks...
USK: ages 12 and above
Difficulty: for advanced gamers
Price: ca. 49, DM
PC Joker 11/97