Melissa K. and the Heart of Gold Collector’s Edition
Gameplay 7
Graphics 7
Sound 8

If you are not a fan of the genre then Melissa K. And The Heart of Gold is probably not going to change your mind, but it has plenty to offer those that do enjoy these type of games. Considering its mobile origins the visuals are actually pretty good and the gameplay is diverse enough that you are not only spending your time scouring screens for hidden objects. The story didn’t have us complete hooked, but as a whole we can recommend this title to anyone that enjoys a polished casual gaming experience with plenty of replay value and extras.

Gameplay: A nice blend of adventuring, puzzle solving and hidden object scenes.

Graphics: Very detailed and featuring some exotic locations.

Sound: Good music, nice sound effects and solid voice acting overall

Summary 7.3 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Melissa K. and the Heart of Gold Collector’s Edition

Developer: SDP Games | Publisher: KISS ltd |Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Adventure / Casual / Indie | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

When London professor of Archeology, Melissa K, receives a personal letter from the queen prompting her to go to Thailand she is eager to accept. Apparently, she is required to work as a tutor for a young monk, but shortly after her arrival her student disappears. At first Melissa is skeptical about his vanishing, but soon discover that sinister things are afoot and that there might be a lot more at stake than what she ever imagined.

Set in 1947 Thailand, Melissa K. & The Heart of Gold is a title that blends adventuring, puzzle solving and a handful of hidden object scenes with a distinctive Indiana Jones vibe. Although originally a mobile title, its features a very respectable PC conversion that should please fans of the genre. Since there are quite a few of these types of games on the market it can be difficult to stand out from the pack, but Melissa K has a couple of things in her favor.

Visually the game employs a mixture of 3D objects and a hand painted art style to create an interesting look for the more than thirty locations you’ll be visiting. The exotic setting for the game also ensures that most of the locations are quite eye-catching. The game has full support for widescreen resolutions, which is not always a given with casual titles. It is played from a first person perspective, so you never really see Melissa interacting directly with anything except during the cinematic cut-scenes. Instead of completely static screens though you can pan your view in this game which gives each area a more 3D look. There’s no freedom of movement however, so each area has a couple of screens that you click through to explore. With so many hidden object titles on the market that look and feel like they have just been churned out for a quick buck, it’s nice to see the amount of polish and detail that was lavished on this game. The graphics won’t blow away players used to the latest AAA titles, but for casual players this is a step up from the usual fare.

Although the game features plenty of hidden object screens, there are actually plenty of other puzzles as well. Most are of the “find and combine items” type, but sometimes you’ll have to manipulate 3D objects or solve some interesting mini-game style puzzles. We really enjoyed the diversity of the puzzles as it kept things interesting even during parts where it felt like the story was dragging its feet.

During her adventures Melissa will discover items such as spyglass to zoom in on faraway objects, a flashlight to illuminate dark corners and even a little Gecko that she can use to retrieve items from places too small for her to reach. With three difficulty levels, which influence the ease of the puzzles, whether interactive areas are highlighted, how fast hints are recharged and whether or not hidden object scenes have a click penalty, this is a game that players of all skill levels can enjoy. On the easiest setting the hints recharge very quickly, and the game even has a full step by step strategy guide, complete with pictures, included in the package.

Experienced players can opt for the “Expert” setting if they want a challenge and there are also a couple of nice Steam Achievements to aim for. The game even supports Steam Leaderboards and you can replay the puzzles as well as hidden object scenes directly from the main menu. This allows you to aim for better time and accuracy scores which adds some replay value to the game. You can also listen to the soundtrack or check out the artwork and cinematic scenes you’ve unlocked from the main menu, so the game really feels like it offers a complete package with plenty of value for money. Card collectors will be happy to hear that the game supports the Steam Trading Card feature.

The audio of the game is very fitting with some nice relaxing background tunes and tons of sound effects. Some of the spookier locations in the game are made even better by the atmospheric sound effects. We generally enjoyed the voice acting although some of the conversations felt a bit slow and pointless to be honest. Although initially designed for touch screen devices the game works well using a mouse and we never had any issues with the controls.

Some of the story elements in Melissa K. & The Heart of Gold are quite farfetched, but that is the nature of the genre. The supernatural elements such as ghosts and the like allow for some interesting scenarios, but overall the storyline never really had us hooked. The fact that there is so much backtracking between scenes because new items appears after solving certain puzzles also leads to some repetition. However, the detailed art style and diverse puzzles kept us coming back for more and fans of the genre will certainly appreciate what SDP Games accomplished with this title. It has some interesting characters, exotic locations and a challenge that is as hard or easy as you want it to be. If you want something that is a step up from the usual bland hidden object titles then Melissa K. & The Heart of Gold is not a bad option.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP or Newer
  • Processor: 1.5 GHz or More
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
  • OS: Mac OSX 10.6 or Newer
  • Processor: 1.5 GHz or More (Intel Processor)
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space

Related posts

Bioshock 2

Bioshock 2

A great sequel that makes a lot of improvements over the original but at times feels too much like an expansion pack rather than a full fledged title. It is still a blast to play and has some great insights into the world of Rapture but don't expect the plot to be as mind blowing as the first. Things really pick up towards the end so stick with it. Gameplay: All the tweaks and improvements you could ask for. Graphics: Very nice but its clear to see that the PC version is being held back by the games console roots. Sound: Atmospheric and moody.

Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden

Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden

Abyss: Wraiths of Eden is yet another very enjoyable hidden object game from one of the best developers in the genre. The setting might not be that original, but looks great and makes for an interesting story. Since it is a rather easy title it is a good starting point for newcomers, but it is polished enough that even veterans will enjoy the experience. Gameplay: Easy to complete, but remains enjoyable throughout. Graphics: The hand drawn visuals look great, but the close-up character animations are not the best. Sound: Nice music, but the voice acting could have been better.

Queen’s Quest: Tower of Darkness

Queen's Quest: Tower of Darkness

Queen’s Quest: Tower of Darkness is a decent enough hidden object puzzle adventure starring a royal heiress on the trail of an evil sorcerer who kidnapped her infant daughter. The colorful and detailed artwork is certainly very eye-catching, but the animations could have used a bit more work. The story never really takes off either, but there are plenty of hidden object scenes and mini-games to sink your teeth into. While far from the best that the genre has to offer, Queen’s Quest has its heart in the right place and can still provide an entertaining experienced, provided you don’t expect too much from it. Gameplay: The story and puzzles are a little lacking, but there are plenty of hidden object scenes and mini-games. Graphics: Colorful and detailed, but the character animations are a little off. Sound: Decent enough for the most part, but some of the voice overs could have been much better.

Planescape: Torment

Planescape: Torment

You just don't get games like this anymore and it is with good reason that Planescape Torment is constantly rated amongst the best games of all time. It is a nice departure from similar games in the genre but you are going to need patience and perseverance to stick with it. Once you get caught up in the fate of the nameless one however there's no turning back until you have seen all that this game has to offer. Gameplay: Planescape Torment is a solid RPG experience that should please all fans of the genre. Graphics: Showing their age but the story makes up for the lack in visuals. Sound: Excellent voice work and great sound effects not to mention stirring music.

Castle of Illusion

Castle of Illusion

Castle Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is a polished and great looking update of a 16 bit classic but it is not without issues. The controls feel a bit too floaty and the whole experience can be over in one sitting. The updated visuals look fantastic however and fans of the mouse will appreciate the attention to detail that has gone into this game. Gameplay: Captures the spirit of the original bit is a bit on the easy side. Graphics: The highlight of the game. Sound: The ability to switch between the original and remastered soundtrack is great.

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek is definitely starting to show its age in terms of visuals, but the story still remains compelling. The game is also stuffed to the gills with challenging hidden object scenes, although the puzzle scenes are nothing to write home about. The game is still a great example of the genre though, and well worth checking out before moving on to more recent entries. Just be prepared to put up with some annoyances, such as a lack of fast travel option. Gameplay: Plenty of challenging hidden object scenes although the puzzles are a little weak. Graphics: Plenty of varied and well-drawn locations to explore. Sound: The soundtrack and ambient effects are very atmospheric, but the voice acting could have been better.

Leave a comment

16 + 2 =