Ancient prophecy unfolds in front of Melissa K.
Melissa K. and the Heart of Gold is a truly delightful mysterious adventure, which challenges the player’s creativity and observation skills with marvelous puzzles. Developed by the French studio SDP Games and released less than one year ago, this game is a beautiful flight of imagination, style and inventive puzzles.
In the middle of the previous century, the archaeologist Melissa K. is summoned to Bangkok to become the teacher of a young Thai boy, who is destined since the dawn of time for great and humble deeds. However, before she gets the chance to meet her new disciple the boy disappears without a trace and Melissa starts an arduous search for him. Nothing is unveiled easily but bit by bit she manages to gather enough hints and clues about the fate that has befallen the young lord.
This is the setup of the game, in short, but there is so much more to it than words can describe. From the very beginning it is obvious that the premise of this adventure has been inspired by the Indiana Jones movies and the due tribute is paid to these awesome films. Significant part of the plot in Melissa K. and the Heart of Gold moves through cutscenes, many of which manage to convey the grandeur and awe of the big screen. They create specific atmosphere nicely, taking the player / spectator to the time and place of the events at hand. All scenes are polished and smooth, much like the entire game, which is animated in great style and with stunning attention to detail.
As it should be, when talking about a game full of puzzles and hidden objects, which are set among the beautiful and richly ornamented temples of Bangkok. One is able to see such elements of the temples and Buddhist culture of the place that even a real-life visit might not reveal.
Besides brilliant execution in terms of graphics and voice-acting, Melissa K. and the Heart of Gold excels in the puzzles, which are the main part of the gameplay. There are plenty of hidden objects as well and searching for them is a pleasure, given the beauty of the game, but there are many puzzles too.
They are very diverse and often unexpectedly well intertwined with the Buddhist culture. One’s memory and logic will be challenged time and again, and so will be one’s visual and spatial orientation. Quick reflexes and an observant eye would come in handy as well, especially when it comes down to unlocking the numerous achievements.
Some of the challenges can take quite a while to figure out but one can always skip the current puzzle and continue the adventure. Each and every one of them can be played indipendently, which is truly great because many of them are so ingenious and creative – both as puzzles and in terms of graphics – that it would have been a shame to not be able to appreciate them individually.
All in all, Melissa K. and the Heart of Gold is one of the most refreshing and enticing puzzle-adventures that I have played. Excellent setup, nice story, fantastic puzzles and quite a few funny moments guarantee enjoyable times.
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