Melkhior’s Mansion: Glorious Low Res Homage to ’80s Gaming

Melkhior's Mansion

Oh hello, don’t you just love a bit of retro gaming done modern? That’s what Melkhior’s Mansion is, which you can get for free on

This striking ZX Spectrum inspired romp is by British indie developer BitGlint Games. It’s a fast-paced and frantic little isometric platformer and it’s well worth exploring this mansion and its many colourful secrets.

The ZX Spectrum Feels of Melkhior’s Mansion

Inspired by Atic Atac (1983) on the ZX Spectrum, Richard Jordan (of BitGlint Games) has rather thoughtfully made Melkhior’s Mansion freeware upon its January 2022 launch. Yes, it’s free to download!

If you’re interested in retro gaming, or just love the pixel art on this thing, then it’s worthy of your time. The game is tough, fast-paced, and frantic.

It looks a bit like Ultimate Play the Game’s legendary Knight Lore (1984), which featured groundbreaking graphics for its day. In fact, on his site Jordan has acknowledged:

“The game is a hobby tribute project. It contains some IP owned by Rare (previously Ultimate Play The Game). They have been good enough to outline to us the rules around fan projects, which essentially boils down to, don’t use an existing game name, and don’t monetise the project.”

He’s nodding to Knight Lore there with the use of Melkhior the wizard. In the plot, he’s getting a bit older now and lives alone in a knackered out old mansion. He concocts a spell that unleashes mayhem!

Elsewhere, former student of Melkhior (now the rather royal Princess Ashby), sends a hero into the mansion to restore order. Go save the day, player!

Yeah, the name of the game is mainly with exploration. The control system is unusual (for this era) and takes a bit of getting used to. Ultimately, you’re left to roam around the mansion, its various floors, and discover its weird and monstrous secrets!

If you know anything about this era of gaming, it was very much a free-for-all. Hurl yourself into the experience, develop muscle memory, repeat over and over until you get it (or give up in exasperation).

That means the difficulty is high. You’ll die regularly. But with each new playthrough, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the challenges of liberating the mansion.

Much like how the popular modern roguelike indie game genre works.

And Melkhior’s Mansion is good fun! It certainly challenges you, whilst also presenting itself as a glorious homage to ’80s gaming. We just love that pixel art look! But there’s a fantabulous little soundtrack to go with this one.

Alberto J. González worked on the music. He’s uploaded the below piece and was generous enough to show the process of going about making video game music.

Altogether, Melkhior’s Mansion is FREE. That’s primarily at Rare’s behest (and see Rare Replay for a history of this famous British developer), but it’s fabulous gamers can just go to and get quality indie titles like this with no charge.

You just need a Microsoft PC, download the thing, and you’re off.

It’s an obvious passion project, but it’s this type of thing that fascinates and engages us most about modern gaming. Most AAA games, as fantastic as they look with cutting-edge graphics, generally bore as gaming experiences.

But creative little projects like Melkhior’s Mansion, steeped in retro gaming lore whilst merging modern sensibilities, offer such instant accessibility, nostalgia, and modern enjoyment factors. We liked it a lot! Thank you kindly.

Dispense with some gibberish!

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