| |

Jack Keane Review

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

Developer: Deck 13 Publisher: Strategy First
Release Date: April 15, 2008 Also On: None

Point and click adventure games seem to be on the rebound. The Broken Swords series has had a long time running on multiple platforms (including PC, handheld and consoles). Then there was Sam and Max making a triumphant return. It was just announced that the duo would be making their way to Wii this fall. Now we have a game from the fine folks at Deck 13 who are billing the release of their game, Jack Keane, as the spiritual successor to the old but notable Monkey Island game for PC.

You play as, you guessed it, Jack Keane. Jack is a bit of an adventurer. He’s also a bit in debt and needs to pay it back if he doesn’t want to suffer bodily harm. Thankfully for him, his speed on the seas as the captain of the Charming Princess has earned him an esteemed reputation, at least sort of. He gets commissioned by Queen Elizabeth of England to sail a British spy to India to investigate a tea crisis. It turns out that a Doctor T is being accused of manufacturing a pest to tea harvesting, rendering the Indian tea useless. Jack, along with his crew, will sail to the uncharted Tooth Island, where Dr. T calls home.

Jack Keane (pronounced keen, not cane) plays a lot like any other point-and-click adventure game. You do a lot of collecting of items, mixing of items and talking. In many instances the dialogue that you select does nothing more than give you background information into the storyline and will not affect the gameplay at all. In any case, you will never get in a situation where you are irreversibly stuck based on a decision you make in the game. The developers wanted gamers to be creative in how they went about the game.

That said, for the most part this game is pretty straight forward. There are a limited number of items to interact with and as such, a limited number of potential things for you to do. Eventually it is a process of elimination that will lead you to the right solution. For instance, without giving too much away, you start off the game on Big Ben. You find a rag and a sand bag. There’s a bucket for of water, bird droppings that you are afraid to slip on and bad guys below you that you need to incapacitate somehow. What do you do with them? I think you can figure it out easy enough.

At times, I had an exceedingly difficult time getting the game to work. This is simply not acceptable for a PC game these days. I would get an error message when trying to open the program (although I think it is more of a problem if you are running Vista like I am). I often have to start the game on the “minimum settings” mode just to get it to work, even though my computer is top-of-the-line with 4 GB of RAM, a 3.5 ghz processor and a 512mb Nvidia graphics card.

If you are a fan of adventure games, Jack Keane is a welcome addition to the genre. With a colorful set of characters (although the voice-acting is somewhat dull), an intriguing storyline and interesting adventure elements, Jack Keane delivers more than he disappoints. The fact that I had difficulty starting the game is troubling, although it should still play on most PCs (particularly Windows XP). I recommend a buy for anyone that liked games such as Monkey Island or the Broken Sword series.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 6.8
Written by Kyle Review Guide