Not obvious even looking back, and one of my influences. Check out the excellent Lost to the Ages write-up on Grantland. With thanks, a rock&roll metaphor, and a terribly sad story.

Sad story · So I played Myst and was an early Riven adopter; played it right through and solved all those pathologically-enraging puzzles with (almost) no recourse to hint sites, and just as I finally broke through and freed Catherine, the fucking CD delaminated right there in the drive and the game melted down on-screen before my horrified eyes. So I never even saw whatever triumphal-victory sequence Riven offers. I’m still mad; but it’s a pretty minor grievance against life.

Cream vs Black Sabbath · That Grantland piece points out that the Myst games notably lack obvious successors on today’s scene. Which is true but not necessarily important.

It brings to mind a good essay someone wrote on Rock History pointing out while everyone thinks Cream Were Important, go to any big city and you’ll find a dozen bar bands that sound just like Sabbath but nobody anywhere sounds like Cream.

Which is to say, Myst is like Cream; sui generis so far, and that’s perfectly OK.

Riven screenshots

Myst & Riven & me · I played both on whatever ridiculous-in-the-rear-view PC I was running then. Obsessively; few games in my history have noticeably crowded out real life like these.

They stand up well, I think. What the reviews leave out is the raw beauty of the landscapes: rooms, rock outcroppings, paths through trees. Riven more than Myst for me, and if you look around the real-world rooms that I’ve helped decorate and see things that make you think of those worlds, that’s OK by me.

The last few years we’ve been spending summer weekends at our Pacific-waterfront cabin, which has a floating dock. Sometimes when the sun is up and nobody’s around I go down there and sit on the wood; no sound but the lapping of the waves and the creaking of the ropes that hold the boat. And if I’m reminded unsubtly of a twenty-year-old videogame, I’m unashamed.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Robin Whittleton (Sep 25 2013, at 01:17)

The Witness it probably the closest successor I can think of: “An exploration-puzzle game on an uninhabited island”.

http://the-witness.net/

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From: Mano Marks (Sep 25 2013, at 04:53)

I recently played The Room on Android which has a very Myst like feel that you might enjoy.

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From: J. King (Sep 25 2013, at 19:03)

Apparently The Five Cores is very Myst-like but not particularly good. I tried the demo a few months ago, but now the site appears to have disappeared.

I've played a few games I'd consider Myst-like (strong on puzzles and strong on story, not just mechanically like Myst as so many are) like Alida and Obsidian and Schizm. Of those I'd say Obsidian does the best job of capturing all the important aspects.

There hasn't be much in way of recent examples, though. I'd love to hear of some.

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From: Katherine Kern (Oct 02 2013, at 05:49)

There's an App for that "/ I downloaded the Myst app on the Ipad and have had great fun introducing it to my niece and nephew. It is still fun.

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author · Dad · software · colophon · rights

September 24, 2013
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