One of the most overlooked CD-ROM adventure games ever made, although mostly due to limited distribution, Jack Orlando is a decent detective game that combines 1930’s storyline with excellent cartoon graphics. You are Jack Orlando, a 30's gumshoe who is out of work and is turning to the typical detective’s best friend: the whiskey bottle. One night while walking home drunk, you came across a gruesome fight scene in which someone gets killed. The police suspect that you are the murderer, and you have 48 hours to find the real killer and prove your innocence. |
Jack Orlando plays like a traditional 2D point-and-click, inventory-based adventure, and a competent one. The game looks and plays like Revolution’s Broken Sword games, although a bit less polished and much more serious. The game takes place in over 200 screens that span dozens of locations, although unfortunately a lot of them are just “fillers” with nobody to talk to and nothing to interact with. Dialogues are uninspired and not even half as witty as Broken Sword games, but they are passable. The game’s strength lies in some interesting plot developments, and a plethora of inventory items (and hence puzzles) you can find and use. The fact that many items are red herrings makes the game more difficult to solve, although there is no puzzle that will give veteran adventurers a hard time. Pixel-hunting is required in some places in the game, but overall it is tolerable. And thankfully, there is no maze or slider puzzle in sight.
There are some annoying glitches in the interface, such as jerky mouse clicks and some bugs. But all in all, the interesting plot, good puzzles, and excellent play value (with over 40 hours worth of gameplay) make Jack Orlando one of the better CD-ROM adventure games in recent memory. Well worth a look, but by all means keep your expectations low – this ain’t no Broken Sword or Grim Fandango.
Reviewed by: Underdogs