Review of Myst
By John Dick
Great luck of mine to review a virtual world. I like an assignment that
lets me have fun. I have not played computer games since the 1992 edition
of minesweeper on my 4mb workhorse.
I found a video and music store with some cd-rom games. The store had 30
feet of cds, but it was not organized. The boxes were moved around and
picked through. I looked for almost half an hour. Some of the cds were
inexpensive (around $10). A number of these had a number of different
games or perhaps just the first level of a much larger game. The rest
seemed VERY EXPENSIVE. But they also offered a chance to get a game that
I might actually enjoy playing on my newer, faster, better pc.
I looked for a time before two early teens told me where they get cd
games. They told me which store to shop and how to get there, promising
that I would find 3 big rows of games. 10 minutes later I was in
There really are 3 big rows with cds on both sides. The cd boxes are
easy to see. The graphics are very detailed. I thought it would be easy
to buy. I wanted Quake. I happened to read in PC magazine the game Quake
would deliver the latest and greatest in graphics. I learned that Quake
would be coming soon, but not now. After looking for a total now of 45
minutes at covers for Hexen and Doom II and Gravediggers, I felt like I
just couldn't commando all those bugs.
I finally decided to buy Myst. The packaging worked well with me. I was
tired of seeing all of the dark colors and evil characters, so the blue
package, and the big gold star in the corner saying it won 12 awards and
sold more than any other cd reassured me. It was very expensive at
By the cash register I found a package offering both Myst and another cd
with an interactive murder mystery using video streams. This combination
cost the same as Myst alone, so the store got my money.
Feel of the Game
When I opened the box, the contents spilled into my lap. Windows 3.1
Trouble Shooting Guide was the first thing I saw.
The game does not have directions for play. All I could find to do was
plug in the cd and see what happened. Once all the software was loaded
up, I double-clicked the new icon, expecting a self-explanatory game.
Thats not exactly what I got. When the game opened and I turned my
character around to look at my new world I could clearly see that I was
on a dock by the water, with buildings near me, grassy hills and trees in
the distance. I found that I could easily move along concrete pathways,
walk into the buildings, pick up some objects, and turn on or off
various switches along the paths. However, I had no idea what I was
supposed to do.
After a time of pleasant wandering around, I could tell that I was
surrounded by clues about what I needed to do. Then I wandered into the
library. Naturally, I found helpful books on the shelves.
Unfortunately, four of the books are quite long and not at all easy to
read, because the text is confined to the shape and area of a small
book. The clues were not immediately helpful, though.
After a number of hours of play, I found the game to be very similar to
a mystery. The game places you on an island that was home to a
family who could travel to different places and times. The family fought
and is some sort of trouble. You need to find the ways to these other
worlds, so you can find the answers to this riddle!
I stopped playing over time because I tired calmly exploring for long
periods of time while I actually had little available time for leisure.
Perhaps a shoot-em-up where I could play for 10 minutes at a time would
have been better for my current moods.
I do, however, have a friend who has come over and played the game for
hours at a time while I work. She is lost in fun. I have been able to
watch and help when she gets to new areas and when we have to really
figure out what needs to be done. We have found four new and very
interesting worlds. None has any people yet and we have not yet
discovered how to get from any of those worlds back to the main island.
We will eventually, though.
I have come to 2 conclusions about my experiences to date with Myst. One
is that the packaging scheme and positioning of the game affected my
Many games featured action themes, so after looking over many, my desire
for an action game diminished. The packaging of the Myst game, by
displaying the awards and sales levels, showed that I should have a
reasonable chance of being impressed. The Myst two for one package was
very effective. The second game features video streamers, so I can see
that as well.
The quality of the pictures, the realism of the movements, and the speed
of the system exceeded my expectations. I also have had fun playing the
game and watching my friend play. As a first-time purchaser of a cd rom
I am happy, but I will not buy another expensive game for some time. I
just do not like playing enough to pay. Perhaps I will try for some free
games on the Internet.