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Jack Keane: A Colonial Era Adventure

Jack Keane has the same cartoony feel that I remember from the old adventure games back in the 90's, where the zany adventure was mixed evenly with odd, but logical puzzles and just fun slapstick, clumsy hero humor. In this particular case, you play the part of Keane, a ship captain who has a few too many debts to pay and is looking for work anywhere. So after escaping the thugs who want to take a few pounds from Jack (whether that is flesh or money is up to interpretation), and the Queen asks him to take a secret agent to the mysterious Tooth Island, what could it hurt right?

Unfortunately for Keane, his ship doesn't survive the trip and he is left stranded on the island full of man-eating plants... and to make matters worse, the agent has disappeared. So now it is up to Jack, and a young American woman he meets along the way, to find out the mysteries of the island and stop the evil character known as Doctor T.

Oddly enough for Keane, while he has never been on this island or known T before, the diabolical Bond-esque villain seems to know him... could Keane's past be somehow tied to this place and he not even know it? The game takes place in three major locations: London, Capetown and Tooth Island, but each location, especially the island, is full of plenty of areas to explore.

Jack Keane has a very light and humorous air to it since Keane himself is a bit of a klutz and the game references and makes fun of tons of movies and games. You really get the idea that the developers, a German studio called Deck 13, had fun with this game and played a lot of Monkey Island back in the day.

This game also makes extensive use of cut scenes, but not in such a way to make you feel like you are just playing an interactive movie. There are plenty of times when you solve a minor puzzle, like cutting yourself out of a chair the aforementioned thugs have tied you to, and you watch a brief cut scene and then quickly go back to the puzzle-solving. These cut scenes seem to more punctuate the game and give it a bit more motion than other games' attempts to tell a lot of the story during the cinematic. Basically, I have found that other games' use of movies are less frequent, but longer, meaning I typically take my hand off the mouse and sit back to watch the story unfold. Here though, there isn't much of a point to let go since these short scenes last only seconds and you are back to normal gameplay.

Jack Keane definitely looks like a game you adventure fans want to keep your eye on. Everything from its locations to its time period to the characters themselves give it a good feel and something that once started, you will be compelled to finish. Heck, the game has monkeys (on bicycles!), pirates and secret agents - who wouldn't want to play that!

Currently the game is rated 12+ by the PEGI: Pan European Game Information rating system for violence and language.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Windows ArmA: Queens Gambit Nintendo DS Naruto: Ninja Destiny

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated