Myst 4

[Very minor puzzle spoilers.] As a piece of graphic art, Myst IV should win awards. Unfortunately, as a game it leaves rather a lot to be desired. The most immediate problem is the speed–or rather, the lack of it. While my computer was comfortably over spec and could easily handle scrolling the screen around even with all the effects turned on, each transition to a new location involved the game freezing for a few seconds while it loaded in the next set of graphics.

Riven

If you’ve played the game Riven, you might recognize this image as the view from the crater towards Gehn’s laboratory. Except that it isn’t; it’s pipework from a hydroelectric plant near Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State. One of the interesting things about wandering the woodlands and mountains near Seattle was noticing just how much the whole area resembles the game. The wooden walkways through the woods were so Myst-like, I expected to see strange corroded metal machines.

Myst III vs Nethack

I have Myst III: Exile in the computer room, yet I find myself wanting to play NetHack. I suspect it’s because I can play NetHack lying in a warm bed. I could install …Exile on the ThinkPad PC, but then I’d have to use the ThinkPad nipple to navigate and my fingers would hurt after a short while. So Apple increased the price of the iMac by $100. Combined with the $200 price gouge on RAM and a 3-5 week wait, I’ve lost my enthusiasm to spend the money right now.

Goodbye, free time

Myst III: Exile is shipping. I will try to resist the urge to purchase it on sight. I will probably fail, because I’ve seen some movies of the gameplay. Riven was the most beautiful piece of art I’ve ever seen on a computer. I’ve played it right through twice, and will probably go back and play it a third time. Myst III basically takes a Riven-like world and makes it fully 3D, so you can rotate to any angle.