• [Exult in Exile!]

    EinSweetie and I have just gone back and started playing Myst: Exile again from the beginning. He bought the deluxe edition when it first came out as a present for me, but I put so little priority on game playing in my life that I never really had the chance to get far in it. In fact, I don’t think I’ve finished Riven yet, which is something I was trying to do prior to starting on Exile.
    I’ve always loved the Myst genre and not just because it was first a Mac game. The games have always just been so beautiful to look at, with each subsequent one getting better and better in terms of the audio-visual experience. I also like that they’re not complicated to learn how to play. If you can point and click, you’ve basically mastered the interface. That doesn’t mean they’re easy to play by any stretch of the imagination. I remember putting Myst down for more than 6 months because I was stuck on a puzzle and refused to get help. It turned out that the puzzle was a little glitchy but Riven, too, had its share of puzzles that I don’t think I would have easily solved in a reasonable amount of time without help. The big danger in these kind of games is that the puzzle solutions are too arbitrary; that the environment doesn’t supply sufficient clues to actually solve the puzzles. For the most part, the Myst series has avoided this, supplying an enjoyable level of difficulty.
    What lies ahead for us in our Exile? In three or four hours on a Saturday evening, we explored the terrain of J’nanin fairly thoroughly and were able to enter the “central tusk” plus the “red tusk.” We entered anothert tusk as well, but it has no floor, so we can’t yet get at the book it contains. The “red” tusk has taken us to the world of Voltaic where we’re happily playing with dams, water, and power. There’s much left to explore of Voltaic. Will we uncover the secrets of Releeshan or even reach it? Adventure on!