Saturday, May 19, 2012

Top 10 VG Countdown - #7: MYST

Myst is an oldie but a goodie--a first-person adventure game released in 1993. I played it when I was young and loved it. I played it again more recently and still enjoyed it a lot.

In the game, you play as a stranger who has traveled to the mysterious island of Myst. There, you find a series of books that an explorer named Atrus has left on the now uninhabited island. These books allow you to travel to other worlds, and each world provides you with clues about what has happened to the game's characters.

Myst is a thinking game. This is one of those games, that after staying up for hours struggling through a puzzle, you shout "YES!! I'VE FIGURED IT OUT! I AM AWESOME!" in satisfied glee after finally getting it, thoroughly startling your roommate (or parent, or sibling, or dog, etc.) who had been sleeping in the next room. And no, using a walkthrough is not allowed.

Though the graphics aren't that great now, they were pretty awesome at the time. I still think the island and the different ages you visit are beautiful and convincing in their other-worldliness.


This is another one of those games that both gamers and non-gamers would enjoy. It is unusual in that there is no objective laid out for you at the start; you are free to wander around and figure out what you have to do. There is no time limit. There is no apparent enemy for you to fight and no violence. Myst is about enjoying a fascinating story as it unfolds through your discovery, observing, critically thinking, and puzzle solving.

I am not alone in my appreciation of this game either, as Myst was a hit when it came out, becoming the best-selling PC game until The Sims surpassed it in 2002. It has also gotten four sequels, which I have yet to play, but am looking forward to when I can find the time.

Played Myst? Going to play it now? It is relatively inexpensive on Steam, if you are interested in challenging your mind with this great game.

18 comments:

  1. Ugh. How I learned to hate Myst. I could never get beyond the music. I spent hours listening to that darn tune.

    The rest was fun. In an eerie, serene kind of way.

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    1. Eerie and serene--those are good descriptions of the game!

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  2. I'm one of the few that didn't get into Myst, but that's because I was so into RPG games at the time.

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    1. Oh how to find the time to play all the games we want?

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  3. While I rate Myst very highly, Riven (the first sequel) remains the greatest game I've ever played. True, the graphics probably won't look as amazing today as they did back in the day, but if you think the settings in Myst are lovely (which they are!), those in Riven are absolutely beautiful.

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    1. Well that increases my desire to play Riven! I notice it is available on Steam while the other sequels aren't, which is nice.

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  4. I'm not a gamer, but this actually looks pretty good to me since I like puzzles more than games. Like the graphics too.

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  5. I'm not a gamer either but I've always been tempted by Myst.

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    1. Try it out! It's a good brain twister.

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  6. I played it for awhile back in the day. Classic. Also, I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogging Award if you're interested in checking it out in my latest post. :)

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    1. Classic, that is a good word for it. Thanks for the nomination!!

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  7. Beautiful game, but something about it always creeped me out, it was so quiet.. it made me feel existential :)

    Andrea

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    1. It is a bit creepy, I think because there are no other people around ever, and all the other worlds are empty.

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  8. I loved this game! You're right Allison, the graphics weren't up to our standards of technology, but in terms of raw beauty it still holds up. After I finished it (after numerous cheat books) I just wandered through the game enjoying the music and scenery. Beautiful.
    PS. I sent you a Versatile Blogger Award!
    http://filmsketchr.blogspot.com/2012/05/versatile-blogger-award-from-madlab.html

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    1. I agree, the graphics are wonderful for its time. I was very tempted to cheat when I played it, some of the puzzles are just so difficult. Thanks for the award!

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  9. I'm not much of a gamer. Have never played most of these other games you've been talking about. But I loved playing MYST. It didn't seem like a video game. It was a story you had to figure out. To this day, I would much rather work out a game of puzzles than shoot up a bunch of aliens or demons or hookers or whatever.

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    1. That is the nice thing about Myst. It is a game that a lot of non-gamers like. And if you like working out puzzles rather than shooting it up, you would probably love #2 on my list. Stay tuned :)

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