You hear that sentence a lot, about all kinds of things, but in the case of video games - and in particular 1991 adventure game Heart of China - it's true!
The 1990s were a bizarre time for PC gaming. As the format embraced the CD-ROM, and began to hit truly mass-market levels of awareness, many developers released games with settings and storylines that you just don't see as much of today.
I always put Heart of China in the same basket as The Last Express, a game released six years later, in that they shared the timeframe of the early 20th century, and just seemed so...pedestrian. There weren't any soldiers, or space soldiers, or cops, or athletes, or aliens, or gods, or anything else extraordinary.
You just controlled a regular guy, in a pulpy story set in a historical location. Sort of like Indiana Jones, only with more walking, less whipping. Which I appreciate!
The video up top is a complete playthrough of the game, showing off not only its attractive (for the time!) visuals, but also a cast that, due to penny-pinching, was mostly comprised of the staff, friends and family of developers Dynamix.
Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends. You'll find Total Recall stories every Tue-Fri between 1am -2am Eastern.