Review by ND9k
"Welcome to the world of point-and-click."
Myst was a very innovative game for its time, when it was released in 1993. It was one of the first major computer games to be released on a CD-ROM format, and it also discarded the tradition emphasis on action for graphics and storytelling. Even after more than a decade, Myst is still hailed as one of the most significant computer games of all time.
The game itself is really more of an interactive QuickTime movie than it is a game. The only way to control the character, and thus, the game, is by pointing and clicking. The game world, the mysterious island of Myst, is comprised of hundreds of still shots and some sound effects. There's no real-time motion, animation or anything like that. You just point and click your way around the island. For many people, this is a surprinsingly simple concept that raises the question of, "Okay, now what?"
It's very easy to get lost in Myst. This was intentional, because Myst is a "thinking" game. It's also non-linear, meaning that there are no set objectives that must be accomplished in a specific order. You can go anywhere and do anything you want, in any order. As you explore the island, you will begin to realize that there are certain objects around you that are significant, and provide access to other mysterious worlds, or "Ages." You will also find out about the island's history and its creator throughout your adventure. In fact, the ultimate premise of the game is to piece together the story of the island's creator by visiting his "Ages."
Myst is a very lonely game. It's just you. There are no other people to be found on the island, there is no game music and there really is no sense of the game trying to rush you or force you into a situation. In fact, there's really no typical "bad guy," either. Sure, some of the characters you read about are a little shady, but in the end, it's up to you to make all the decisions. This game doesn't hold your hand. It presents puzzles and it's up to you to solve them. On top of this, you must also find out how each puzzle relates to the other, and which are significant and which are not.
Myst is anything but your typical computer game. Perhaps the most hyped glorified tech demo of all time, Myst can be both a rewarding and challenging game, if you give it a chance and are willing to forego your typical assumptions about video games and how they're played.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 04/12/02, Updated 03/24/09
Game Release: Myst (US, 12/31/95)
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