Heart of China is one of two predominant point-and-click adventure games developed in the early 1990s by Dynamix, an offshoot of the Sierra family of companies. Like its sister project Rise of the Dragon, it features action elements interspersed at key moments, alongside a fascination with broadly-drawn characters from the Orient.
Players take on the role of "Lucky" Jake Masters, a down-on-his-luck character similar to those found in many high adventure pulp novels, whose task it is to save a lovely nurse who is kidnapped at the start of the game. At certain points following player decisions, a crossroads symbol denoting a plot branch will appear, informing the player that if they had chosen differently, there would be different consequences to their actions. This allows for multiple endings; however, with the punishing Sierra adventure-game formula in full effect, players must save early and often to prevent deaths and other unwinnable scenarios caused by incorrect dialogue choices, forgotten items, and other fatal gameplay paths.
Also like Rise of the Dragon, Heart of China features action sequences, included melee combat atop a speeding train and trying to drive a tank away from the villains' fortress without crashing it, while defending you and your companions from hostile forces.