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Combine superbly crafted animation and graphics with a somewhat appealing lead character, and you've got one heck of a great adventure from Dynamix.
Ultimately it's going to be the price that harms Heart of China most, which is a shame as it is one of those games that has to be played to be believed. Until the high production costs can be overcome, or the public starts to take more notice of the games and the companies start making as much money from them as from a film, the price is going to stay high.
Mein Fazit, eines der besten, wenn nicht gar das beste Adventure, das zur Zeit auf dem Markt erhältlich ist. Dieses Software-Juwel hat den Titel “Hit des Monats“ mehr als verdient.
Abgebrühten Kennern mag die Lösung zu einfach sein, doch alle anderen werden ihre helle Freude haben: Selten vereinte ein Adventure die Redaktion so einträchtig vor dem Bildschirm Dynamix' Jüngstes ist ideal zum Eingewöhnen und Süchtigwerden!
Heart of China is not your run-of-the-mill adventure game. For one thing, there are no spaceships and not even the a slightest hint of Atlantis or Knights Templar. The story in fact takes place in the "real" world (but I use quotation marks because it is not a true story, or at least I think it isn't) around the year 1930, although the "Heart of China" thing is a lie for the most part (I'll explain later). Since 1930 is technically the last millennium and China is distant from the intended target audience, I suppose this qualifies as "long ago and far away", which is always a good setting for an adventure.
In most respects, this game was just one hair away from being as good as Rise of the Dragon, and ergo, just one hair away from being eligible for Techtite.com's infamous list of Top 50 Game Classics. For one thing it's too short, even by floppy disk adventure gaming standards. Second; at a time just shy of the jump to CD-ROM gaming, this really should've been updated to be a CD-ROM game in 1992, much like other Sierra or LucasArts adventures that made such a CD-ROM leap (Space Quest IV, King's Quest V, and even Dynamix's other 1991 game release, the animated Adventures of Willy Beamish). If anything; as a disk game this live-actor-comic-book adventure game was a treat. However, there's no denying how much more of a treat it could've been, had they made the jump to CD-ROM gaming like most people were. It was just too ahead of its time.
Hüben wie drüben gilt also, daß Einsteiger auf der Suche nach einem bedienungsfreundlichen und nicht übermäßig strapaziösen Krimi-Adventure bestens bedient werden - erfahrene Abenteurer, die auf Knoten in den Gehirnwindungen bestehen, werden von Heart of China jedoch ebenso enttäuscht sein wie vom anderen Dynamix-Movie zum Mitmachen.
Si se hubiese tomado con el diseño un camino menos pedregoso quizá, Heart of China se hubiese perfilado como firme candidata para ser una aventura de culto, ya que el resto de los elementos tienen una factura bastante limpia. Pero en su lugar y gracias a un desarrollo poco afortunado, ha pasado a engrosar esas listas de "aventuras desconocidas".
Following the success of Rise of the Dragon, arguably Dynamix’s best known adventure game to date, Heart of China is the second adventure game title released shortly after by the developer. The game also represents the continuing effort by lead designer Jeff Tunnell to move onto a new direction to develop games that create a cinematic experience. Technically, Heart of China uses the same game engine as Rise of the Dragon. Inspired by movies such as Romancing the Stone and Raiders of the Lost Ark, the game takes the player on an adventure to many different exotic locales in the orients after World War I. Though commonly seen as being overshadowed by its predecessor, Heart of China is not a game that is to be forgotten by fans familiar with the history of the adventure genre. In fact, this game is a perfect example of how detailed and ambitious an adventure game can be made out to be.
Heart of China, then, is certainly not without its flaws. It can be a deeply frustrating game, but when it gets things right, it gets them very right indeed. The story may be clichéd B-movie fare, but it still manages to create a very real sense of excitement. The game may be full of dead-ends, but these do give a sense that your actions and choices really do matter; it's not just a case of finding the correct gameplay trigger in order to move onto the next section. Its problems are obvious, but so is its greatest success: it's a game that really does encourage you to replay it; to try different ways of approaching a situation to see what effects they might have. It certainly isn't a classic, but it does deserve to be recognised for achieving something that few other adventures even attempt, and, despite its problems, managing to be a fun game to play. It may not be perfect, but a journey into the Heart of China still manages to be a memorable one.
Keine Frage, Heart of China verwöhnt mit tadelloser Grafik und narrensicherer Steuerung, doch wo bitte ist das Spiel? Die wenigen Rätsel sind so fadenscheinig, daß selbst ein ungeübter Adventure-Laie alle Gefahren in (gestoppten und verbürgten) zwei Stunden überwunden hat. 120 Mark für 120 Minuten gebremsten Adventure-Spaß; eine hochinflationäre Tendenz, die Dynamix nicht weiter verfolgen sollte. Die "Rauhbein trifft Traumfrau"-Geschichte hätte weitaus mehr Aufregung hergeben können, so bleibt leider nur ein farbenprächtiges Nichts. Beim nächsten Abenteuer bitte mindestens 2 MByte für Rätsel reservieren und nicht alles für Grafiken verplempern.