Qin: Tomb of the Middle Kingdom

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Qin: Tomb of the Middle Kingdom
Cover art
Developer(s)Learn Technologies Interactive
Publisher(s)Time Warner Electronic Publishing
Platform(s)MS-DOS, Windows, Macintosh
Release1995 (MS-DOS)
1997 (Windows)
Genre(s)Graphic Adventure

Qin: Tomb of the Middle Kingdom is a Myst-like graphic adventure computer game developed by Learn Technologies Interactive published by Time Warner Interactive and released for MS-DOS, Windows, and Macintosh systems.


The game was revealed at the 1996 Electronic Entertainment Expo; their booth was "filled with green foliage and running water stocked with free refreshments", described as an "attractive place to rest and relax in the midst of chaos".[1]


The game takes place in the year 2010, where the international conglomerate "Mega Media," headed by Hal Davis, funds a government-approved excavation of the Qin burial mound. The player takes on the role of a researcher assigned to this project. (In reality, the chamber of the terracotta army is the farthest any archaeological team has progressed.) One night, as the researcher is exploring alone, a sudden earthquake opens up the ground underneath, and the researcher tumbles into a deeper part of the tomb. While exploring the tomb, which is immense, he is privy to the observations of the ghost of a Chinese scholar, who was aware of the brutal nature of the emperor and a witness to this brutality.

The game eventually leads to a goal the emperor sought in life—an elixir that can confer immortality. Possessing this, the player has a choice: give it to the dead-but-not-quite-gone Qin, who will revive; deliver it to Hal Davis; or pour it into a scale model of the planet. Each has its own result—the renewed emperor will re-take control of China, Hal Davis becomes immortal in a decaying world, or kick-start the renewal of the planet itself, respectively.


Review scores
CGSP2/5 stars[2]
Next Generation1/5 stars[3]
PC GamesB[4]
MacHome Journal4/5 stars[5]

A reviewer for Next Generation gave the game one out of five stars, saying that though the game's puzzles are trickier than most Myst clones, requiring the player to read up on Chinese history and mythology, it is still an excessively dull experience.[3]

The Computer Game Developers Conference nominated Qin for its 1996 "Best Prerendered Art" Spotlight Award,[6] which ultimately went to Zork Nemesis.[7]

Entertainment Weekly gave the game an A-."[8]


  1. ^ "QIN: Tomb Of The Middle Kingdom". www.thecomputershow.com. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  2. ^ Yans, Cindy (21 September 1996). "Qin Review". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on 7 October 1997.
  3. ^ a b "Qin: Tomb of the Middle Kingdom". Next Generation. No. 23. Imagine Media. November 1996. p. 279.
  4. ^ Brenesal, Barry (August 1996). "Adventure; Qin: Tomb of the Middle Kingdom". PC Games. Archived from the original on 13 November 1996.
  5. ^ Foley, Mike (May 1997). "Qin: Tomb of the Middle Kingdom". MacHome Journal. Archived from the original on 23 November 2001.
  6. ^ Staff (15 April 1997). "And the Nominees Are..." Next Generation. Archived from the original on 5 June 1997.
  7. ^ "Spotlight Awards Winners Announced for Best Computer Games of 1996" (Press release). Santa Clara, California: Game Developers Conference. 28 April 1997. Archived from the original on 3 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Qin: Tomb of the Middle Kingdom". EW.com. Retrieved 4 November 2018.

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