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Sounds easy? If you can get your chosen comic to appear at the Improv, presumably they'll be good enough to appear on the Johnny K. Show. If you can manage that, your job is safe and your comic is on the road to success! Everyone you meet is an aspiring comic, the doorman, the waitress, the bartender, even the limo driver. Be prepared to listen to much stand-up comedy.
You start out by meeting the producer for the Johnny K. Show. He introduces what you need to be doing and sends you off to the Improv to find some talent for the show. Keep your ears pealed as everything people say could be important. Next you find yourself in the limo with a briefcase, a tape recorder, a telephone, two folders and a cranky limo driver. You'll have to review what the guy before you left behind and pick from the two featured comics. This done, you'll be using one of the two CD's included in the game depending on which comic you've picked.
Once inside the Improv, you're free to look around and talk to anyone you meet. Like comedy, you'll have to time things right, or you'll be sent to Hell's Basement. Could be worse. There you'll meet Budd Friedman's silent partner, Mark Lonow and have an opportunity to play one of many games in an effort to get back up to the club. The inside of the club is rich in full crisp photography mixed with some computer graphics. The sounds are those of a busy club or bar with background music and many people talking, laughing and having fun.
As you tour the club, you'll be able to click on a variety of items including pictures on the wall which present the player with a stand up routine for that comic. You'll also find a few clues as to what to do next up in Budd's office. Just make sure you don't get caught up there... You can also listen in on conversations in the upstairs dining room as well as in the washrooms. Don't worry, you finally get to see what the inside of the "other" bathroom looks like without running the risk of being arrested. For a laugh, try the telephone in the lobby. Or try using the elevator. Don't forget to click on Budd's computer and answering machine. They'll provide clues as well as entertain.
If you like stand-up comedy, you'll love this game. It features plenty of genuinely good talent presented in a way that lets you enjoy as much or as little as you want. If you were looking for a challenging game, better to go find something different. You'll find yourself listening to what people have to say more than anything else and some of the characters are long winded with nothing much to say. It is a wonderful way to present up and coming comics, but could have been a little better. If what Philips and/or the Improv wanted was a forum for presenting new talent, they should have presented it as such. When you get right down to it, there really isn't much for a player to do except watch and listen. Movement in the club is blocky and can be tiresome. Although you can turn full circle and see the whole room, there is little or nothing to do in most of those rooms. Though visually impressive, it leaves you wanting more to do. The interactivity could have received a little more attention with more things to click on and more ways for you to reach the end.
Written by Glenn Soucy
486 33MHz or faster,
Min 8Mb memory,
Windows 3.1, 3.11 or Windows 95,
Hard drive required with 2Mb free,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
MSCDEX version 2.2 or higher,
640x480 256-color SVGA graphic card,
Microsoft compatible mouse.
MPC compliant sound card.
60840 processor at 25MHz or higher,
Color Macintosh with 256 color display or better,
CD-ROM drive (double speed or better recommended),
6MB of RAM (8MB recommended),
System 7.0 or later,
2.5MB free hard disk space.
Philips Media Inc.,
10960 Wilshire Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90024.
Web site: Philips Media
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