A pioneer in the adventure genre that has thoroughly passed the test of time.

User Rating: 8.5 | Myst PC
It's hard to say what made Myst such a hit back in the day considering that it doesn't necessarily revolutionize the way adventure games are played, not to mention that it's anything but a user friendly game. But it only takes a few minutes with the game (a few minutes of confusion to say the least) to be totally sucked into its universe, solving brain melting puzzles and revealing a fascinating story. Sixteen years after its original release, Myst stands tall as one of the best and most important adventure games ever made.

Myst certainly doesn't make things easy for the player. You begin the game lost in an island with absolutely no clue of who you are, where you are, what you have to do, or how you have to do it. The first few minutes of Myst are in a way the most challenging and where the experience is made and broken for some. Unless you've got some previous experience with adventure games, it's recommended that you read the manual or even consult an online guide to get a fell of how to control the game.

The game is played from a first person view and consists for the most part of nothing but static images (with a few cases of animated elements). There's no inventory to manage or even an interface to deal with, all you need to do is hover your cursor across any visible items to spot which ones can be interacted with.

This is where puzzle solving comes in and once again, it can frighten newcomers. Puzzle solving in Myst isn't a simple matter of combining items or mindlessly interacting with different elements. The puzzles in Myst are logical but challenging in that they require to carefully study the environments in order to understand how things work before you try use them. In order to decipher the many riddles involved in Myst you have to pay attention to everything, both the sights and sounds. Did something change form or place after you interacted with certain element? Was that sound part of the environment or made by a mechanism. The game demands that you full immerse in its gameworld in order to be able to get past its many, many puzzles.

Depending on how proficient you are at puzzle solving, Myst could take you a few hours to finish or several weeks. There's no denying that certain puzzles are so elaborate that without any sort of guide you could spend hours upon hours trying to solve them, only to keep going back to square one. I'll admit that I peeked at an online guide in order to gain a few clues on how to solve certain puzzles. However I always attempted to solve the puzzle without any help first, only recurring to the online guide when I was really stumbled. Solving a puzzle in Myst without any sort of help is an incredibly rewarding moment, which is why I only recommend the use of a guide when you're really stuck.

As you slowly start to make progress in Myst you'll come across a few signs of life in the island. Several stories are written in the library and certain characters will stand out. Eventually you will discover a family rift that requires your intervention to be solved. As you make your way through the different ages (think levels) in Myst, which are linked to different puzzles in the main island, more elements of the story will be revealed and it won't be long before you realize that something isn't what it seems. The minimalistic nature of the story exposition works in favor of the game by creating a true sense of mystery and motivating you to search for each and every little clue or detail that will move the story along.

Today there are many different versions of Myst available, such as the Masterpiece Edition, "Real Myst", several console and hand-held versions, and of course the original release. I played the Masterpiece Edition which is essentially the original release with improved graphical and sound quality, as well as compatibility with newer operating systems. Given that I played that version on a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, I can confidently say that said edition would run on any OS. The "Real Myst" edition is a reworked version that runs in 3d and plays like a modern third person adventure. All versions are identical in story and content, although certain puzzles behave differently in "Real Myst". It's recommended you do some research to find which version best suits your needs.

Myst is nothing short of a classic, a game that has passed the test of time with flying colors thanks to its mystifying (no pun intended) gameplay and captivating story. It may require a great deal of patience, but the game does represent a great entry point for any potential adventure gaming fan. Do yourself a favor and pickup a game that has cemented its place in gaming history.