A Review of MYST

February 17, 1995

One and one-half hours into the "alternative reality" which is Myst, and already I found it hard to leave. I know people play for hours on end without finding their way to a solution. Another hour later still only counts as a brief excursion, but allowed me to gather general impressions, which I'll describe here.

From a purely technical standpoint, the 3-D graphics are quite realistic. The trees cast shadows, as do the stairs and the buildings. The colors fade toward the ceiling where the light dims. The stairs appear steep and background scenes are drawn to give the illusion of distance. The level of detail in the rooms is amazing. The bottom of a chandelier hangs overhead, the patterns in the carpet are identical across the length of the floor. The graphical details are intended to engross, not distract, by giving the user a sense of "being there". I was also intrigued by the clever disguise of the small quicktime display as a torn slip of paper inside of a book

The game moves slowly, encouraging the user to pay attention to every detail of the environment: every sound, every item. Some players consider the slow pace excrutiating. These players prefer the fast pace and quick action of games like Doom. But, the Miller brothers provided a different experience with Myst. They challenge the user to become immersed in a virtual world, to explore it as they would an actual world. Quick thinking and fast reactions are not required in this reality. Buy the game for the experience, and give yourself time to enjoy it. Like a good book, it's meant to be savored.