Mr. Bill's   Adventureland   ReviewHOME


Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela

Why would an artist want to improve on a masterpiece?  As any artist can tell you:  to make it more real if possible.  And that is exactly what Rand and Robyn Miller have done here, with this game.

The original Myst game was their masterpiece.  When they first created it back in 1993, it was a revolutionary concept, a risky and radical departure from the norm in many ways.  And like Zork in the decade before, it marked the beginning of a new era in gaming, redefining the way that people would think about entertainment.  Because despite all the naysayers, it became wildly popular worldwide, spawning books and sequels (Riven and Myst III: Exile) and hundreds of copycat games.  It won all of the awards and continued to lead the best seller lists for years. That original legendary game has now sold well over 6 million copies.  It is the best selling computer game of all time.

But a true artist is never satisfied.  Despite its worldwide success and recognition, the game never quite measured up to the vision of its creators.  Oh, they were happy enough with the puzzles... those were diabolical mind stretching exercises in logic and reason par excellence.  And the story was fine... a brilliant and chilling retelling of the classic tale of creation and filial betrayal, with unforgettable music and sound effects, set in hauntingly beautiful and strangely familiar alien worlds.

And that was the problem.  For in the mind's eye of the artists, those worlds were REAL... they lived and breathed. But the technology of the early 90s simply wasn't capable of expressing that.  So when computers had developed to the point where they might come closer to doing so, and a real-time 3D engine was available, the Miller brothers jumped at the chance to create the worlds of Myst as they had originally envisioned them.

This game, Real Myst, is the result.  The story's the same.  The puzzles are the same.  Even the worlds (except for one additional 'Age') are the same.  And yet EVERYTHING is different.  Startlingly, disorientingly different!

The wind howls and whips the waves around Myst Island.  Clouds roll by, the sun comes out and the weather changes. Time passes, the sun rises and sets, and night falls.  And your own movement is no less phenomenal.  If you want to you can stroll along, looking slowly from side to side. Or you can run ahead, jumping backwards when startled, then creep up again cautiously to look more closely... and actually focus in on the details of what you see. You can look up at the sky or down into a crevasse, and you can explore firsthand nearly every tiny nook and cranny that you find. You feel that you are really, somehow, unbelievably, THERE!

The original Myst was the very first computer game that we ever played, the reason that we fell in love with adventure gaming. We didn't know about walkthroughs then, so by the time we finally managed to finish it (a solid week later of all day and all night sessions) the game had become a permanent part of us, lodged in our memory forever, and we knew it like the back of our hand.  So when this updated version was released, we were in no hurry to play it.  Perhaps we were afraid that it would spoil our memory of the game... maybe it wouldn't seem as good as we remembered it being, now that we have so many others that we've played to compare it to.  We didn't really expect to see anything that we hadn't seen before, or to be impressed.

Boy, were we wrong!  A masterpiece is always a masterpiece no matter how much time passes, and the game itself is just as good as we remembered.  And with the new realism, it has become even more... no still pictures can do it justice.

We were like kids in a candy store.  We chased the butterflies, dodging around trees, and were shocked to discover Tiana's gravestone (Atrus' grandmother, who raised him).  We watched the roiling waves 'til we got seasick, climbed up on rocks to survey our kingdom, and then sat down to watch the sun set over the ocean. The stars came out and the moon rose... and we stayed to wait for the dawn.  We watched the eerie fog roll in, got drenched in a heavy downpour, and the bitter cold made our teeth chatter.  We were mesmerized watching the fish through a window, startled when bats flew at our head, and we were always shocked to discover that night had fallen once again and yet another day had passed. And we really FELT the overwhelming sense of loneliness in these deserted worlds... and the heartbreaking futility of lives and dreams lost because of greed and madness.

In other words, we caught a glimpse of the vision that Rand and Robyn must have had all along. And we were impressed.

It is an experience not to be missed. Very highly recommended!

Full View Screenshot

NOTE:  If you have the large boxed version from Mattel Interactive you should download and install the PATCH before you begin the game.

ALSO NOTE:  The newer release from Cyan was a United Kingdom release and was packaged in a DVD Case. This release does NOT need the Patch since it had much of the contents of the patch incorporated into its makeup. This release is said to run under Windows XP.

WITH EITHER VERSION:  Before playing the game, be sure to change the Resolution to 640 x 480 and the Color Setting to 16 Bit High Color on your Desk Top.  If you need help with this, refer to Number 5 on our Brief Trouble Shooting Guide.

Be sure to visit the Real Myst Website in order to learn more about this game, view many beautiful screenshots, and download the demo.

Developed (2000) by Cyan Worlds and initially published by Mattel Interactive (no longer exists). Now published by Ubi Soft Entertainment.  A Mac version (no longer available) was published (2002) and sold by MacPlay.

Minimum System Requirements:  Windows   MAC

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

Graham's Walkthrough available here!

Brian's Walkthrough available here!

Mr. Bill's   Adventureland
Copyright  April 2002
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