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  •  Myst (PC, Macintosh)

    Myst (PC, Macintosh) – 1994

    Myst was one of the earliest “multimedia” games for PCs. In fact, this ad refers to the game being available for the Macintosh and “on MPC”. Confusing terminology if you ask me but they basically meant a PC with a CD-ROM drive.

    Myst was a 3D adventure game. It was basically a point-and-click type adventure with “photorealistic” graphics. The graphics were very good for the time and the game gave you an excellent sense of exploration. However, while I enjoy the older 2D point-and-click adventures, particularly the likes of Maniac Mansion, Myst always seemed to lack personality to me. I just never really cared for it or its sequels.

    Having said that, Myst was an immensely popular game and my opinion didn’t seem to be shared by most. In fact, it was the best selling PC game until the Sims came along almost a decade later and played a significant role in the popularization of the CD-ROM format. If you enjoy adventure games (or puzzle games), you may very well enjoy Myst. It’s certainly worth a try as it was an important evolutionary step in the genre.

    While initially developed for the Macintosh and ported to the PC, its popularity meant that there would be many other ports and sequels. The original was ported to the Sega Saturn, PlayStation, PS3, PSP, Android, iPhone, 3DS, Jaguar CD, Amiga, CD-i and 3DO. There was also an unreleased Sega CD port. Myst has also been re-released on the PC and Mac multiple times with the most recent version being realMyst: Masterpiece Edition V2.0 which was released on Steam in 2015. In addition, there have also been four direct sequels as well as several spin-offs. If you like Myst, then there are plenty of ways to play it and plenty of sequels to keep you busy.

  • MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat


    Source: Next Generation – Issue Number 9 – September 1995

    There have been a lot of mech games over the years. There are only few I have spent serious time playing and MechWarrior 2 is one of those. In my opinion, it is still one of the best.

    MechWarrior 2, like the other MechWarrior games, is part of the BattleTech universe. MechWarrior 2 was originally written as a DOS game in 1995 but was ported to Windows and Macintosh as well as to the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. As the player you must choose one of two clans that are at war with each other. After making your choice, you will pilot a mech in a variety of missions with various goals. As the game progresses, you can further modify your mech and can eventually issue commands to your own squad. MechWarrior 2 is a cross between a tactical simulator and first person combat. It really plays much like a flight simulator only with mechs instead of planes and it is awesome.

    Unfortunately, they went in a little different direction with the console ports. The arcade aspects were emphasized more and the game was simplified somewhat. Some will no doubt like this better but to me it ruined the game. I loved the simulation aspect of the original computer versions and to change that makes it a much different game.

    So if you want to give this one a try, the DOS or Windows versions are definitely the ones you want to chose from. The problem is that these are relatively difficult to get working on modern hardware. MechWarrior 2 has not been re-released for modern hardware and is not available via distributors like GoG or Steam. Getting this game to work is complicated by the fact that there were different versions released for different 3D accelerators as well. There are tutorials out there for getting the Windows version to work on a modern system and I suspect that you can get the non 3D accelerated version to work via DOSbox but I haven’t tried it (and you would lose out on some textures). However, despite the dated 3D graphics and extra effort required to get this one up an running on modern hardware, it is well worth it. Whenever you see a list of top 100 games this one is typically in it and for good reason. Hopefully it will show up on GoG one of these days…

  • Omega


    Source: VideoGames & Computer Entertainment – December 1989

    Omega (not to be confused with Omega Race) by Origin was really a game ahead of its time given that it was released in 1989. The goal was to build a tank with a certain budget, program it, and then pit your tank against others. As you win battles, your budget increases and you can build better tanks for more difficult challenges. You could even create your own battlefields.

    Omega was ahead of its time in a couple of ways. Part of the game involved actually programming your tank. There were various AI script commands that could be used that were reminiscent of BASIC. There were instructions that allowed control of various functions of the tanks as well as others that allowed communication and coordination between tanks. The code used to program the tanks was cross-platform so Omega players from different platforms could still compete with each other. For a while there was even an official Omega BBS to facilitate this.

    Omega was available for several platforms including the Amiga, Apple II, Apple IIgs, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS and Macintosh. The ad above mentions all of these with the Apple IIgs and Macintosh versions “coming soon”. This game has never had a sequel or been remade but I think it would be an excellent candidate to remake today. I’m not aware of anything quite like it. If you want to give this one a try, any of the versions are pretty good and there really isn’t a significant difference in terms of game play. The 16-bit versions will have somewhat better graphics in most cases but it isn’t a big deal for this game. Pick your favorite platform and give it a try.

    The above ad is from the December 1989 issue of VideoGames & Computer Entertainment.