Myst Review

Anyone who grew up in the 1990s might remember some of the cultural oddities of the decade, whether it’s the Power Rangers, grunge music or the N64. For the gaming crowd, it was a decade that saw some exciting evolutions, in both computer and console games. One of those pioneers was Myst, an intriguing game with simple implementation but a complex story. Born on a Mac, it’s been ported to numerous platforms due to its popularity, and it now makes its way back to the family on the iDevice.

Myst is a point-and-click game comprised entirely of individual frames, making it a natural port to the iDevice. You move about by touching the screen, which brings you to the next scene. Each scene is a still frame with a few interactive elements in it. Therein lies the game — find and interact with various elements in each scene, which can range from reading a journal to activating a switch whose purpose cannot immediately be discerned. The plot of the game, like several of its elements, also must be unraveled. The individual frames make moving a segmented experience, but each segment is significant and necessary to the game. Segments are smoothed out by ambient sounds and music as you move through the world.

A word of caution, however. The massive amount of artwork, sounds, and animations tops this app out at 727MB. Installation alone requires 1.5GB of space, though the spare space may be filled again. Though the size is relatively large, the artistic quality of the game entirely justifies it. The graphics are stunning, and the sound and animations are beautifully-rendered. For those who have played the game before, it is an exact replica of the computer version, except a bit more portable than a PowerMac.

Myst is, of course, not for everyone. While it has an expansive fan base, it requires patience, as well as a lot of guesswork. The game is made up of puzzles and mysteries that you must unravel as The Stranger, played entirely in the first person. The game requires great attention to detail, as well as a great deal of trial and error. The most common complaint is the frustration caused by not being able to figure out the more tedious mysteries. But for those who don’t mind the setbacks of these intricate puzzles, it is an intriguing game, and it is one that will not disappoint.

Cyan’s port of the old classic to the iDevice is impressive, and the game is well-suited for the stop-and-go play often required of the iDevice. Myst was an incredibly popular computer game, and now it has found a comfortable new home on the iDevice. For the price of $5.99, it’s well worth it.

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