Adventure & Mystery
Mirage, from Atlantis Interactive, is a Myst-type Western game with an emphasis on surreal graphics and a marked de-emphasis on classic Western formula. Wander around the desert using a snazzy Quicktime VR+ engine, and get sucked through a door into a building that has nothing to do with the old West. Pretentious stabs at poetic symbolism and B-movie devices co-exist side by side, resulting in something that is interesting, but (for us) nowhere near as much fun as the more straightforward Dust. As in Myst, you’ll spend a lot of time here figuring out what you’re supposed to be doing, and all the while your computer struggles to keep up with the impressive graphics. The story involves rescuing a cavalry man and his beautiful wife from a renegade Indian, but you’d never guess it from the first few hours you put in, which will expose you all sorts of non-narrative phantasmagoria. Artistes and philosophers might prefer this to a down-home Western adventure, but if you’re into boozing, whoring, and gunfighting, and are more easily dazzled by an ingeniously smooth-running program than by glitzy new technologies, stick with Dust.
– February 1996