$ Iterations: Myst, Riven, Myst III: Exile, Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, Myst IV: Revelation, Myst V: End of Ages
The Short: Before there was Lost we had Myst. The irony is, the fans of each rarely overlap.
Recommended if you like mysterious islands, time travel, math
If you’re into escape games, or video games at all, it’s hard to imagine you’ve never heard of Myst. As a result, this review is merely a formality. I’m not here to describe Myst. I’m just here to tell you how I feel about it.
I remember being a little girl (10?) and my dad took me to Best Buy to find me a new computer game. At the time I was hardcore into the Purple Moon: Secret Paths series, which, now that I think about it, are basically escape games. I saw the box for Myst and told my dad that was the game I wanted. He read the box and told me it was probably too difficult and I got something else instead that day (probably Sim Ant amirite?). Fifteen years later, I finally got my chance to play Myst when I moved in with my nerdy boyfriend.
I love Myst. My favorite is probably Riven (featured image). I played this game with nerdy boyfriend almost as a team sport and I think this enhanced the experience. We said things like “if we poke the bucket three times will that make the frog god translate the flute song?” out loud to each other and many notebooks were employed (Lost, anyone?). It was really fun figuring out these massive, difficult puzzles with another human being. We also played about half of Myst III: Exile before the disc (yes, a CD-ROM) seized up and we lost all our progress. Horrifying, right? This also happened to me on the last level of Roller Coaster Tycoon. The entire thing just crashed. Twice. Don’t worry about me, though. I’ve had years of therapy.
Myst is the coolest. With zero instructions and several giant islands to explore, I have actually experienced wonder playing these games. The graphics hold up after all these years too though, admittedly, the first one is showing its age.* Still, the design quality of this series overall is undeniable. My favorite way to play is to project it on the blank wall in our living room. But I am not a gamer. Am I a gamer? Great, now I’m having an identity crisis.
Difficulty Level: Hard
Difficulty Elements: lots of cascade | some Absurdity | esoteric puzzle arrays | invisible puzzle arrays
Images from Myst:
*this pun was unintended