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Myst and Riven keep strictly to the game plan

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This column is not especially into games but I gather that its extraordinary graphics, puzzles, storylines and occasional arcane art history jokes have made Myst and Riven architectural underground favourites.Now word comes of Myst III Exile, which is due to be released in the US. We poor digital colonials must wait until September.

The official site is www.myst3.com, although you could add /html/exile.html to skip the broody music and dark graphics. It offers tantalising glimpses of the new version, which is produced by Presto Studios rather than Cyan, the original vehicle of Rand and Robyn Miller, who built the adventure - to quote Rand, 'here in the middle of nowhere'- in Spokane, Washington state and who will probably never have to work again.

Having to wait has some advantages: someone else sorts out the early bugs.

Right now, some early Myst III downsides are, according to this official site, that it is not suitable for Windows NT or 2000 and does not much like Voodoo cards under Direct3D .There are a few Mac issues too. You will be able to buy it in four months from sites such as Amazon. On the topic of bookshops, let me urge on you the virtues of the Triangle Bookshop site at www.trianglebookshop.com. For 20 years, Triangle has been an independent operation in the basement of the Architectural Association. I have to declare an interest because I've been using it since Derek Bramble left Alec Tiranti's London Art Bookshop to set it up at Alan Young in a wedge-shaped building in Kennington.Triangle, geddit?

One of Alvin Boyarsky's many brilliant ideas was to invite the two into his basement at Bedford Square.The site is under development and it is a bit tiresome to have to cut and paste your order from the online catalogue to the order form page.Still, it's getting there.

Young is its designer and it passes the Jack Schofield test - you can change the size of the type.

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