The King of Chicago

DOS game, 1986


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King of Chicago stands out as one of Cinemaware's most celebrated titles, capturing the essence of the Roaring Twenties with its rich atmosphere and engaging gameplay. In this game, players step into the shoes of Pinky, a small-time criminal with grand ambitions in the tumultuous underworld of Chicago. With the incarceration of Al Capone leaving a power vacuum in the city, Pinky sees an opportunity to ascend to the pinnacle of the criminal hierarchy. The journey to becoming the King of Chicago begins with consolidating power within your own gang. However, with the Old Man still leading the gang, Pinky must devise a strategy to take control.

The game presents players with critical decisions: Should Pinky try to persuade the Old Man to step aside, intimidate him into leaving, or resort to violence? The choices made by players have significant consequences, leading to scenes where they must execute their plans with precision and tact. King of Chicago excels in its narrative depth, challenging players to navigate the intricacies of gang leadership, from expanding their territory to managing relationships with corrupt politicians, speakeasies, and bootleggers. The financial aspect of running a criminal empire is crucial, requiring players to secure funds for bribes, pay off their thugs, and satisfy the demands of Pinky's capricious partner.

While the game is lauded for its immersive gangster storyline and strategic gameplay, it also incorporates arcade elements that add an extra layer of challenge. Some of these segments can be quite difficult, providing a hurdle that might not appeal to all players. However, these moments of action and tension contribute to the overall experience, making King of Chicago a comprehensive gangster simulation.

King of Chicago is celebrated not only for its authentic portrayal of 1920s Chicago but also for the freedom it offers players in shaping their path through the criminal underworld. The game's blend of strategy, decision-making, and action elements makes it a standout title in the genre of gangster games.

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