Heart of China

Heart of China from Dynamix is the second adventure game from the company which is probably better known for flight sims like A10 Tank Killer and the infamous Red Baron. It puts the player into the boots of ‘Lucky’ Jake Masters, an all-American hero who gets a mission to save a rich man’s kidnapped daughter from the hands of the local villain. It is a point’n’click adventure game which merges a good story with beautiful graphics and stunning music.

Heart of China (HoC) has the same control system Dynamix pioneered in Rise of The Dragon (their first adventure game). HoC can be played either with mouse, keyboard or even with joystick. Only a few actions are available (look, operate, move) but this is supported with some clever inventory manipulation. Most of the scenes are viewed from a first person perspective through your character’s eyes. The first person view means the locations and characters are usually presented with static hand drawn pictures with odd animation sequence here and there. The Amiga version has 32 colour graphics which, despite the low number of colours, manage to look clear and beautiful.

The interactive storyline in Heart of China is not linear – meaning there are several ways to solve problems and that player actions affect the flow and the direction of the adventure. This also means there are several entirely different endings.

There’s very little to fault in this game. Some players might be put off by the fact that unlike in LucasArts adventures, the main character can die or the adventure can otherwise run into a dead end. The control system takes some learning. Also the arcade parts might annoy the adventure game purists.

Without doubt one of the finest adventure games on the Amiga. Heart of China combines quality graphics and sound with a funny and interesting storyline. It contains unique features like plot branches, a totally original control system and deep character interaction. Like ‘Lucky’ Jake Masters likes to think about himself, this one is an Ace.


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