Disco Driscoll

Point and click, retro, music, meh...

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The Jack French trilogy

Wherein our eponymous Detective investigates murders in three separate adventures available to play online at Johnny B Design.

We're in familiar territory here with noir storylines, gruesome murders and a brooding Detective. And that's part of the problem: the characters and locations are both cliched beyond belief, and in some cases laughably unrealistic. For example, one of your female colleagues appears on duty in a tiny skin-tight outfit which forces her chest to protrude dramatically, hardly standard issue in the police force these days.

The nocturnal environs that Jack lives and operates in are quite neatly done, but again the characters are stereotypes: the vamp, the disgruntled singer, the laconic cop. All of these have been seen in a million noir episodes, and maybe we could have done with a few original lines.

Speaking of lines, the game comes with speech. The golden rule of speech in games is that is must be acted to a reasonable standard... unfortunately, Jack French comes about as close to that standard as Eddie the Eagle did to Olympic gold. Would the game have been any poorer without the speech, but with more background music? No. The smatterings of gloomy music serve the game well, and with a more comprehensive soundtrack we could have been going places.

Ok, it's only a bit of fun and the games are free and why complain? Well, it's these small details that spoil what is otherwise quite an enjoyable series. The puzzles can be tricky without being too taxing, and if only our man Jack's graphic wasn't a direct port of a picture of James Dean then we could say that there was a fair amount of realism involved.

You could do worse than try these games out. The first 2 in particular; the third instalment seems rushed and the over-riding story arc is tied-up too quickly and unrealistically. Oh well.


  • At 24 October 2007 at 09:14 , Blogger jkohen said...

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your informative blog! However, it really sounds like you are recommending this game because it's free, since that's all is left after your negative comments have been removed.

    Or did I get the purpose of this blog wrong and you are not recommending the games you play, just criticizing?

    By the way, I really enjoyed MOTAS, Haluz and to some extent Nifflas' games, too, so thanks a lot for those.

  • At 30 October 2007 at 17:15 , Blogger Matt said...


    Yeah, I did kind of think that when I'd written it, but because I've been so busy I haven't updated the blog for a month, so I just spat out my initial thoughts on the game.

    Maybe I'm being a little harsh, as the first 2 episodes in particular I did enjoy. It's just that the final episode left me disappointed, and I guess it highlighted some of the overall problems with the series.

    Hopefully you can tell by my other reviews that I'm usually more objective!



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