Jack Keane
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2008-06-18 PC Adventure T (Teen) Strategy First / Deck 13 / 10tacle Studios

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Even after a series of problems and errors trying to run Jack Keane on Vista (seriously, the system doesn't seem to like games in general), I didn't give up. There was something very Monkey Island-ish about it that I just had to see. Eventually, and after much contact back and forth with tech support trying to figure out what the error was, a second reinstall process finally fixed everything.

Jack Keane is a cartoonish point and click adventure game taking place in the 19th century, a time of pirates, ships and treasure maps. You play as Jack, the captain of the Charming Princess, on a mission to Tooth Island, to discover why Doctor T is planning to destroy tea plants... by using some tea-eating plants. Obviously, the threat of no tea makes the British people panic, so it's up to you to travel to this island and find out what is going on and put an end to it.

There is also a second playable character, Amanda, the girl who comes along for a ride on Jack's ship and whose intentions I won't really talk about as not to spoil the game. But you as the player will be witnessing some interesting events, as the two characters stay unaware of them.

The controls are very simple: left click to walk somewhere, double click to run, left click an object to check it out, right click to use it. Pressing X will show you everything in an area that can be interacted with.

As in any traditional adventure game, the puzzles are for the most part inventory-based. Any items you are carrying are displayed on the top of the screen. and they can be combined with each other, with other scenery objects or with characters. That is, if you got the right "combination", and most of the puzzles just need a little logic thinking. Adventure game logic thinking though, so you need to be creative with what you have, and sometimes there is more than one way to solve a particular puzzle.

The plot keeps getting stranger and sillier as you progress, and even the puzzles seem to start making less and less sense. Not necessarily a bad thing, since this makes room for more humor. And although the humor is much more "light" than Monkey Island's, there are still plenty of funny jokes and dialogs throughout and they could be best described as family-friendly. You will find references to The Godfather, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and even how videogames seem to make people violent.

The game also includes a few bonus features that are unlocked by completing puzzles that have nothing to do with the story. These extras are actually the different characters, which will then be displayed in a wax museum of sorts, where Jack can roam around and admire them, and some concept art.

Graphicwise, I like the bright, colorful and cartoony look of the game. The characters and environments are rendered in 3D, and there are plenty of little details to look at all around.

The music is pleasant and never intrusive, and the voice acting adds to the whole cartoony amusing environment with the characters' over-the-top British accents and general overacting. However, Jack's voice actor seems a bit... uninterested.

My only true complaint is the loading time. It took a while to start up the game, and whenever there is a cutscene, the game will load the scene, play it, and then load back the area you are in. It doesn't let the action and the story flow properly.

Other than that, Jack Keane is a fun game for those who like the adventure genre. It's not too complex, it's cleverly done, may be absurd at times, but is always amusing.


Special thanks to Kate Lollar and Strategy First for providing a copy of this title.