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Myst

Developer: Cyan Publisher: Broderbund Software
24 September 1993
Myst - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.45 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
396 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#1,352 All-time
#26 for 1993
Rate / catalog Rate / catalog another release
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
1993 Cyan Broderbund  
CD-ROM
US
1994 Cyan Broderbund  
CD-ROM
XNA
1994 Cyan Sunsoft  
CD-ROM
JP
Show all 24 releases
1995 Cyan Worlds Sunsoft  
CD-ROM
XEU
1995 Cyan Atari  
CD-ROM
XNA
1995 Cyan SoftBank  
CD-ROM
JP 4 980124 010016 SLPS-00024
1995 Cyan Microcabin  
CD-ROM
XNA 0 37988 83018 3
1995 Cyan Microcabin  
CD-ROM
JP 4 984824 070837
1995 Cyan Sunsoft  
CD-ROM
XNA
1996 Cyan Sunsoft  
Disc
XEU 8 712581 003081
1996 Cyan Psygnosis  
CD-ROM
XNA 7 11719 46022 0 SCUS-94602
1996 Cyan Psygnosis  
CD-ROM
DE FR GB 7 11719 61792 1 SLES-00218
1996 Cyan Psygnosis  
CD-ROM
XEU 7 11719 61792 1 SLES-00218
1997  
CD-ROM
GB
Myst Playstation the Best
1997 Cyan SoftBank  
CD-ROM
JP 4 512557 600191 SLPS 91023
Myst Masterpiece Edition
1999 Cyan Red Orb  
CD-ROM
XNA 0 16685 05476 4
2006 Cyan Hoplite Research  
Disc
JP
2007 Cyan Hoplite Research  
Game card
XEU
2009 Cyan  
Download
2009 Cyan Hoplite Research  
Download
Myst Masterpiece Edition
2009 Cyan  
Download
2010 Cyan Hoplite Research  
Game card
XNA
Myst PSOne Classic
2012 Cyan SCE  
Download
2012 Cyan Maximum  
Download
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Title
Myst is an adventure game with such monumental impact on both game design and the computer industry-at-large that you can see noticeable differences between games that came before and after.

Its 3D-rendered backgrounds, full motion video and interface-free design presented a new way to make adventure games that capture the interest of people who didn't grow up with the complex text parsers of Sierra Entertainment games. However, it's the open-world, environmental storytelling and logic-based puzzles that made the longest impact, even serving as a source for inspiration on 2016's celebrated The Witness. Its audio design is still iconic, remembered for being used within messaging programs in the '90s and referenced in Vaporwave music in the 2010s. Despite its legendary status and influence on games, it occasionally falls short of modern standards in game design.

Myst's puzzles are few and far between and often easy to a fault. It makes for a short but sweet adventure across Myst's unique worlds. Maybe it's just conditioning from modern games, but I frequently got frustrated at Myst, as I tried to figure out the purpose of interactive objects that seemed to do nothing. The worlds of Myst have a bad habit of not clarifying between what's there for interactive storytelling and what is part of a puzzle. Not telling the two apart gave me more trouble than any puzzle itself.

It's my own user error for overthinking the world, but isn't that what the game is designed to do? It wants you to think about every detail and put two spatially separated areas or objects together in your head to find a solution. While it's great to be given no guidance at the start, the game could have benefited with more clear guidance toward your end goal. At the beginning, I found myself going through worlds and puzzles without ever feeling like I made a clear sign of progress, as there is no end goal given to the player. The openness to the narrative pays off well, but the adventure often feels meaningless until its finale.

The world and narrative is a minimal one but there is a beauty to its simplicity. These perfect, abstract worlds have aged wonderfully and the dated 3D-renders give it a charm -- it's hard to say how much of this is due to my own nostalgia, having grown up around pre-rendered backgrounds in games. There are more visually impressive versions of Myst but even those look dated now, so I felt it ideal to play it in its most pure form.

The only problems this brought was that it's sometimes hard to see crucial details, like trap doors and small levers, on such low resolution images. Flaws aside, each area of Myst is distinct and communicates ideas of its former occupants through subtle environmental design. The woods of one age are serene, while the stormy foreboding sea of another is a haunting place you will want to quickly finish. It provides so much needed variety in visuals and tone, throughout the game's puzzles.

Although many games took inspiration from Myst, there still isn't another game that captures its distinct atmosphere and purity in design. As much as I wish there was more to its story and puzzles, I also can appreciate that there is very little there that is poorly dated and needed removal in its future versions. I look forward to playing its sequels which I hear refine and improve the formula established here, but I imagine something would be lost without knowing how things started, both technically and narratively.

Myst might not be as far removed from time as the island in it, but there still remains an appeal in exploring both what brought so many to it in the '90s and what inspired many games long after.
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SUPER_Lonely_Panda 2016-04-04T00:14:51Z
2016-04-04T00:14:51Z
4.5
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A very beautiful and very enjoyable puzzle game. Perhaps a bit clunky to move around (making copious notes will help!) and was occasionally tripped up by the movement clunkiness, but the puzzles themselves never really did (although that underground maze did suck!), once you got past the first few you intuitively build up an expectation of how a puzzle may look like, what may be clues etc. and it never really drifts from that intuition, even if again inputting the solution was clunky.

The different worlds/ages and general atmosphere/ambience is just absolutely fantastic, and is really a great incentive to stick around, stay immersed and get those puzzles solved.
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Jackrb 2023-03-06T22:13:48Z
2023-03-06T22:13:48Z
4.0
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A very beautiful and very enjoyable puzzle game. Perhaps a bit clunky to move around (making copious notes will help!) and was occasionally tripped up by the movement clunkiness, but the puzzles themselves never really did (although that underground maze did suck!), once you got past the first few you intuitively build up an expectation of how a puzzle may look like, what may be clues etc. and it never really drifts from that intuition, even if again inputting the solution was clunky.

The different worlds/ages and general atmosphere/ambience is just absolutely fantastic, and is really a great incentive to stick around, stay immersed and get those puzzles solved.

If this is just a warmup to Riven, I'd better plan to play it sooner rather than later.
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So I revisited Myst the past couple of weeks and wow, it really brought back some memories. I wasn't even sure if I'd played this before but it became obvious that I definitely had. Perhaps 25 years ago or so.

So it definitely has nostalgia going for it. Is it actually good though? Well, I enjoyed it a lot, although it's also a bit clunky and frustrating at times.

I like puzzles a lot. But well-designed puzzles can be hard to come by. The main issue with Myst though is actually the navigation and gameplay. It's often hard to tell what can and can't be done. Where you can and can't go.

I had to look up hints several times and the issue was often very trivial. Like, you can go around that ladder. Or, you have to shut the door first. A good game should give you subtle hints along these lines, like telling you there are spots you missed in a certain area, or "maybe I should shut the door first". I shouldn't have to spend hours clicking all over the place just in case I missed some subtle thing.

Solving the puzzles was generally very easy, once I had the relevant information. In fact, I guessed a couple with insufficient information. The puzzles have some nice variety but are a little too simple for my liking. They also tend to lack a consistent theme or meaning. Like, why do we have to do these things? Why do these clues even exist in the first place? It's all very arbitrary.

The story is minimal, although there are diaries you can read through which take a while. But they don't really lead anywhere. In fact, it's a bit unclear what's actually happening. Is this guy inventing these worlds? Is it all imagined or is it real? Where are the other inhabitants? All dead?

The visuals are nice. Perhaps dated, but the look of the place is interesting. That's probably the best aspect. This mysterious, unexplained, kind of abstract place that you find yourself in, with random puzzles, links to other worlds, messages in books and only a vague idea of what you're meant to do and why.

I still enjoy it, but it seems like the concept is better than the execution. I look forward to trying Riven soon.

I forgot to mention, some parts are a bit tedious, like having to move through certain areas multiple times, wait for animations and check if anything happened, etc. And having multiple endings is an interesting idea, letting you save and experience the different possibilities.
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chriswreid 2022-07-14T15:07:15Z
2022-07-14T15:07:15Z
4.0
1
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Myst is an adventure, logic puzzle, fantasy game where you are transported to a lone island. If you accept the limited premise and explore your surroundings you will find a note in the immediate vicinity that leads you to uncover a message recorded by one of the island's tenants. The message, which is not intended for you but for someone else, indicates you have stumbled into the middle of a crisis. Yet, despite the intensity of the message, the island is eerily devoid of life. The emptiness of the island, and the tense message combine to from an air of mystery that sets the tone for the rest of the game.

Unfortunately, the game has aged rather poorly. The graphics can not hold a candle to Riven: The Sequel to Myst, Myst's successor, and Real Myst is an all-around better version of this game.
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Wpnfire 2016-10-06T18:01:05Z
2016-10-06T18:01:05Z
2.5
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Myst is an adventure game with such monumental impact on both game design and the computer industry-at-large that you can see noticeable differences between games that came before and after.

Its 3D-rendered backgrounds, full motion video and interface-free design presented a new way to make adventure games that capture the interest of people who didn't grow up with the complex text parsers of Sierra Entertainment games. However, it's the open-world, environmental storytelling and logic-based puzzles that made the longest impact, even serving as a source for inspiration on 2016's celebrated The Witness. Its audio design is still iconic, remembered for being used within messaging programs in the '90s and referenced in Vaporwave music in the 2010s. Despite its legendary status and influence on games, it occasionally falls short of modern standards in game design.

Myst's puzzles are few and far between and often easy to a fault. It makes for a short but sweet adventure across Myst's unique worlds. Maybe it's just conditioning from modern games, but I frequently got frustrated at Myst, as I tried to figure out the purpose of interactive objects that seemed to do nothing. The worlds of Myst have a bad habit of not clarifying between what's there for interactive storytelling and what is part of a puzzle. Not telling the two apart gave me more trouble than any puzzle itself.

It's my own user error for overthinking the world, but isn't that what the game is designed to do? It wants you to think about every detail and put two spatially separated areas or objects together in your head to find a solution. While it's great to be given no guidance at the start, the game could have benefited with more clear guidance toward your end goal. At the beginning, I found myself going through worlds and puzzles without ever feeling like I made a clear sign of progress, as there is no end goal given to the player. The openness to the narrative pays off well, but the adventure often feels meaningless until its finale.

The world and narrative is a minimal one but there is a beauty to its simplicity. These perfect, abstract worlds have aged wonderfully and the dated 3D-renders give it a charm -- it's hard to say how much of this is due to my own nostalgia, having grown up around pre-rendered backgrounds in games. There are more visually impressive versions of Myst but even those look dated now, so I felt it ideal to play it in its most pure form.

The only problems this brought was that it's sometimes hard to see crucial details, like trap doors and small levers, on such low resolution images. Flaws aside, each area of Myst is distinct and communicates ideas of its former occupants through subtle environmental design. The woods of one age are serene, while the stormy foreboding sea of another is a haunting place you will want to quickly finish. It provides so much needed variety in visuals and tone, throughout the game's puzzles.

Although many games took inspiration from Myst, there still isn't another game that captures its distinct atmosphere and purity in design. As much as I wish there was more to its story and puzzles, I also can appreciate that there is very little there that is poorly dated and needed removal in its future versions. I look forward to playing its sequels which I hear refine and improve the formula established here, but I imagine something would be lost without knowing how things started, both technically and narratively.

Myst might not be as far removed from time as the island in it, but there still remains an appeal in exploring both what brought so many to it in the '90s and what inspired many games long after.
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Catalog

ssguiss Myst 2024-06-23T19:36:18Z
2024-06-23T19:36:18Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
you_destructive Myst 2024-06-22T23:54:11Z
2024-06-22T23:54:11Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
themariofan Myst 2024-06-07T10:07:29Z
2024-06-07T10:07:29Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
666LILGILGAMESH666 Myst 2024-05-22T06:11:47Z
Windows • XNA
2024-05-22T06:11:47Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
goal: complete
moralreef Myst 2024-05-05T16:50:22Z
Windows • XNA
2024-05-05T16:50:22Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
mrmoptop2 Myst 2024-04-24T01:40:36Z
Windows
2024-04-24T01:40:36Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FirstMate Myst 2024-04-19T17:31:14Z
2024-04-19T17:31:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
suitothebutter Myst 2024-04-18T04:33:37Z
2024-04-18T04:33:37Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
nestingquay Myst 2024-04-17T01:18:46Z
2024-04-17T01:18:46Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sonyatheotter Myst 2024-04-14T06:02:50Z
2024-04-14T06:02:50Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
badmusichaven Myst 2024-04-11T23:52:08Z
2024-04-11T23:52:08Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
calys Myst 2024-04-04T12:15:51Z
2024-04-04T12:15:51Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x CD-ROM
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  • ミスト
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  • Previous comments (7) Loading...
  • Gayvyn 2023-05-25 04:20:45.757486+00
    I tried playing this as a kid but it scared me too much, like genuinely terrified me
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  • mugrootbeer 2023-07-06 18:40:27.491716+00
    Selenitic age is beautiful and probably the best looking age but that fucking underground tunnel puzzle made me pull out my hair. Sucks because the first puzzle is the best one in the game
    reply
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  • Sharked98 2023-09-24 17:58:28.963261+00
    Happy 30th!
    reply
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  • PrivateJoker 2023-11-09 11:43:18.195952+00
    As someone who loves many unconventional gaming experiences that other players hate, like Shenmue, for example, I want to love this and admire it for its artistic originality. But I can't shake the perception that it's boring, dull, time-consuming, unrewarding, and needlessly difficult. Maybe I'm too dumb to appreciate it, but I don't enjoy it atmospherically, I don't like any of the puzzles, and it's just frustrating and unpleasant.
    reply
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    • charredwind 2024-04-27 16:45:47.662675+00
      It can be a little difficult at times. On my first playthrough back in 2016 (when I was 15), I didn't realize that the noises that the maglev in Selenitic makes hint where you're supposed to go, so I constructed a map on graph paper showing every possible path to find the exit. Things like that are definitely more a staple of early PC adventure games that haven't held up well in the modern era but this is still one of my favorite games ever due to its atmosphere. I even recreated one of the 1993 posters in Photoshop to print out and hang on my wall.
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