When 10Tacle first announced their “back to basics” point and click adventure game Jack Keane I was a bit skeptical: the developers were saying that the genre will be revived by this game, which will bring us the classic Monkey Island-like quests and fun, but in full 3D. Larry failed, Lula failed (not that anybody was expecting otherwise), other “full 3D” adventure games failed… why would this one succeed? So you can understand why I was pretty skeptical.
However, 10Tacle proved me wrong: Jack Keane is a quality game and represents a real revival of the genre which, since 1995 of so doesn’t get too much attention from the media or public. But let’s leave that alone and let’s find out why is Jack Keane that good!
The story itself is quite silly but pretty funny nevertheless: en evil Doctor T living on Tooth Island is planning to destroy the world’s balance by making it impossible for the Queen of England to drink her five o’clock tea. The doctor has an army of trained apes to help him succeed and apparently, the only one who can save the day and restore the tea to peoples’ cups is you, a miserable lad, an unlucky and broke ship captain, Jack Keane.
Don’t get fooled by such a premise – the story gets very complicated along the way and, even though it seems very childish at first, you’ll notice that, just like the classic games in the Monkey Island series it has lots of humorous references to today’s world (like the Nigerian banking scam, video games violence, Star Wars references and many, many more).
For most of your playing time you will control Jack, but there will be quite some moments when you’ll be controlling beautiful Amanda – I can’t talk too much about her unless if I want to place a big “spoilers” sign over this review (and I don’t). All I can say is that, just like most of the things in Jack Keane, she’s not what she seems to be and she’s the one responsible for most of the twists in the story. Oh, yes, and she’s always incredibly beautiful.
Regarding the gameplay, I must admit that there are no real problems and everything runs smooth and easy: we have a pretty easy to use inventory and everything is just one click away. The camera might prove a bit problematic every now and then since it moves in real time, changing the perspective and making it a bit more difficult to flawlessly run from a point to another. But if we have in mind that, unlike other adventure titles (Sokal’s masterpieces come into my mind now) you won’t have to run thousands of miles to get an item and solve a puzzle, that’s not really a huge problem.
The puzzles are also very nice, even though at the beginning they are pretty easy. But they’re just getting you prepared for the experience and, during the later stages of the game, you will certainly get blocked a few times. But that’s exactly what we love about point and click adventures, right?