Myst IV: Revelation is due out September 28th. It’s coming out simultaneously for Mac as well as PC, which is good news after the disappointment with Uru last year. There’s a demo on the site. Since we know how much I like game demos, I downloaded it. It does not bode well for the Mac version of Revelation, unfortunately:
- I downloaded the zipfile, expanded it, and found a Mac OS X app package that wouldn’t launch. Not a good first impression. I poked at it a bit and discovered that if I set the executable bit on the binary inside the package, it launched. I imagine that the program they used to zip up the files (the demo is for both Windows and Mac OS X) didn’t set it up correctly, or maybe if I’d used a different expansion utility, it would have worked, but the fact that I’m using the default browser, with its built-in zipfile-expander, on the latest release of Mac OS X, and it didn’t work—I downloaded the file twice, just to be sure—isn’t good.
- After I launched the demo, I found that the interface didn’t seem to work right. The cursor is far too slow at the main screen, and once I got into the game, I couldn’t seem to figure out how to do very basic things. If I use the magnifying glass to get a close-up of an object, I can’t figure out how to zoom back out. I can’t seem to figure out how to use the objects at the bottom of the screen, either. I seem to remember that in Exile, there was a key I could hold down for those, but I couldn’t find it here.
- When I click the camera button (at least, I think it’s a camera) the game freezes. I have to force quit, and then there’s a dialog on my screen indicating some sort of internal file access error. Not good.
I tried a few times to get more than a minute or two into the demo, and finally gave up. Not a good overall experience. It feels like nobody bothered to even do a cursory test of the Mac version of the demo before putting it up, and that’s not a good sign. If the same lack of basic testing shows in the released version, it will be completely unplayable. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, though; I’ve been looking forward to Myst IV otherwise. I had mixed feelings about Exile, and I suspect this will be more of the same, but I’m betting it’ll still be fun.