King Of Chicago


Status: No Download, Findability: 2/5

Yet another Cinemaware game which never quite made it on the C64. This time a mobster game based in Chicago, and following the same style of play as with the other Cinemaware releases.

As with the SDI title, King Of Chicago was advertised in the various computer magazines, and is rumoured to have had a C64 screenshot present. In 2014, site contributor Nate found the magazine advert, which lists the shots as C64 based … so a C64 version DOES exist!

The game was fully completed and released on the Amiga, though the C64 conversion sank without trace. Again, this could have been due to Cinemaware moving away from the 8-bit market and fully into 16bit.

Credits are currently unknown, but it is assumed that the same guys behind Defender Of The Crown and Rocket Ranger would have been behind this too (And SDI). A US Sales catalogue shows the game as for sale too.

More research is needed, but so far Paul Koller has uncovered a rare screenshot of the game on the C64… and it looks as if it would have lived up to the same graphical qualities of the other Cinemaware C64 releases.

Does anyone know any more on this game?…

Contributions: Unknown, Paul Koller, Nate, Retro Piano Guy,

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Extracted from Zzap 64 – December 1987 (Thanks to Andrew)


Although Cinemaware are relative newcomers to the software scene, they’ve already made a big name for themselves. Their three 16-bit games, Sinbad And The Throne Of The Falcon, Defender Of The Crown and SDI have been widely acclaimed, and the Commodore 64 version of Defender Of The Crown has sold a record breaking 10,000 disks! How are they going to follow their successes? Julian Rignal spoke to the enthusiastic President of the Cinemaware Corporation, Bob Jacob, about future presentations.

Cinemaware first launched themselves into the software world with the Amiga version of Defender Of The Crown. The stunning graphics and sampled sound impressed many, and even though the game was a little easy to complete, it instantly became a yardstick for future Amiga software. Shortly after came Sinbad And The Throne Of The Falcon, which although not quite so visually impressive, had more depth in the gameplay. So, what now?

‘We’ve nearly finished our next game,’ reveals Bob, ‘it’s a gangster game called King Of Chicago. The end product will have 20 digitised sound effects and 30 different tunes.’

As a ganster game, would King Of Chicago be violent? ‘ We are programming for an older audience, so there’ll be a lot of romance and a little explicit language, but it’s all mild stuff really. The trouble is that people go totally overboard when anyone mentions sex or violence. If you look around, everything has a sexual element – just look at adverts for example. It shows how immature attitudes are towards computer games – you put a little sex and people go crazy!’

The demo of King Of Chicago that Bob brought along certainly looks very impressive – but the early demos of two releases scheduled for spring next year look even better! The first is Rocket Ranger, ‘a Forties cliffhanger serial featuring Nazi spies, trips to the moon and an unflappable hero’.

Bob expands: ‘The game is split into chapters, each one ending on a cliffhanger. There are pletny of arcade sequences, and the music is – well, it’ll blow you away – it’s being written by the composer of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra!’

Also planned for a Spring release is The Three Stooges, an officially licensed game based on the old American comedy film characters. ‘It’s being written by the same guy who wrote the navigation program for the Space SHuttle.’ Bob says. ‘ The sound is going to be very impressive, with over 900k of compressed digitised sound effects – more than any other computer game. The graphics are a mixture of digitised film as well as computer animation. We feel that this is the first computer program which really takes full advantage of its licence.’

In that case, does he feel that generally licences tend to fall short of their potential? ‘Yes. Look at Laurel And Hardy – it’s terrible, it has nothing to do with the characters.’ And then continuing on the licence theme: ‘The thing is, in Britain people think that they can only succeed if there are 30 sprites on screen. It’s the content that counts. In the UK it’s not economically possible to spend time on anything. Over in America we spend at least a year on a project. We have two artists working for six months, a computer graphics man, a programmer and one person working on sound. We spend a lot of money on talented people…

With all those people working away, do they find that they are at all limited by the machines they work with? ‘The limitation is with disk space,’ Bob admits. ‘At the moment we’re exploring the potential of interactive CD, and with 600Mb of storage there’s plenty of room! We’re just trying to expand our themes. We’re trying to appeal to people who love interactive experience. There are two types of person, one sort who just sits there and likes ot be entertained, and the other type who loves to join in – that’s the type of person we try and attract. We make our games easy to get into, so that the casual gamer can enjoy them.’

With plans for interactive CD, will Cinemaware move away from the humble Commodore 64? ‘No,’ comes the firm answer. ‘SDI is currently being converted to the 64, and that looks really special. If you thought the graphics on Defender Of The Crown were good, wait until you see the ones on SDI – they make Defender’s look like a Spectrum game! We’ve taken the original Atari ST version and completly redesigned it, adding six extra arcade sequences. The gameplay has also been tweaked. After that comes Sinbad…’

There are also plans for Commodore 64 versions of Rocket Ranger and The Three Stooges and, for the summer of 1988, Bushido, a Japanese type of Defender Of The Crown which sounds very promising indeed. It certainly looks like the interactive film genre has a very very bright future ahead…

Update history

  • 19/09/23 – Added Mindscape catalogue pages thanks to Retro Piano Guy and
  • 01/08/14 – Added Cinemaware original advert thanks to Nate.
Posted in: GTW64 archive | Tagged: | 4 Comments

4 Responses to King Of Chicago

  1. The Mindscape catalog from mid 1988 lists King of Chicago on page 27 with the red text below it saying “Available for the Amiga, Apple IIGS, Atari ST, Commodore 64/128, IBM and Macintosh”. The ordering form in the middle of the catalog lists the C64 version of this game as catalog number 85349.

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