Simply adding physics-based puzzles to the Cthulhu mythology is enough to get me hooked, but the challenging game play in "Magrunner: Dark Pulse" keeps me coming back for more.
'Jack Keane 2: The Fire Within'
ESRB rating: Teen
Review rating: 3.0 stars
Point-and-click games used to be limited to static screens and boring game play, but that has definitely changed in the last few years. Now they have become full-fledged adventures, and "Jack Keane 2: The Fire Within" takes this concept to the next level with Hollywood-style cinematics, an interesting story and plenty of humor!
Set several years after his last adventure, the story takes the incorrigible hero to Shanghai in search of an ancient treasure. While breaking out of prison, Jack meets the shamanic guardian of the treasure who tells him to locate the other half of a secret amulet. Not surprisingly, nothing goes according to plan, and Jack must travel the globe while making friends and thwarting enemies.
Like most adventure games, "Jack Keane 2" focuses on solving puzzles that mostly consist of using certain inventory items to activate environmental objects. For example, Jack must find a cannonball, ramrod, gunpowder, and fuse before he can fire a cannon. Some puzzles may seem difficult at first, but anyone who gets stumped can simply put every inventory item found on every environmental object they can interact with to solve the puzzle. In addition, there are also hints in the description of some items that make their use obvious.It's too bad that the game engine used for this title severely tarnishes the game play. Even on high-end systems the animations are blocky and sometimes they slow down and become stuttered. Even worse is the camera that frequently overlooks the areas where players are supposed to go, forcing them to explore every nook and cranny of every scene.
"Jack Keane 2: The Fire Within" has plenty of potential, but only gamers with the patience to endure technical flaws will see it to the end.