Welcome to Myst: the starkly beautiful island, eerily tinged with mystery and shrouded in intrigue. Explore the deeper connections and uncover a story of ruthless family betrayal.
Time Played: 10+ Hours
Recommended For: Retro gamers, people not easily frustrated!
Yo, listen here. I genuinely suck at Myst. I’ve decided to tap out at the ~10 hour mark (possibly even more) and call it a day on Myst forever… Maybe… I mean, I might get it in VR to be honest.
But anyway, I’m getting side tracked. I still wanted to write this review because Myst is such a breathtaking game and years ahead of it’s time! The first version of Myst came out in 1994, before I was even born. Just because I don’t ‘get it’ and find it super tricky, doesn’t mean it’s not an incredible game and worth all your time in the world. Maybe just err, use a walkthrough for good measure! No judgement here.
Here’s a screengrab of me streaming Myst over on my escape room Twitch channel, shortly before I descended into “oh my god it’s been an hour and I’m still in the first area“.
If you’re comparing realMyst with another version you may have played, then here’s a breakdown of every version:
- Myst – original 1994 game, point and click, fixed viewpoints
- Myst: Masterpiece Edition – same as above but improved graphics
- RealMyst – 3D version of original game
- RealMyst: Masterpiece Edition – as above, but improved graphics
- Myst VR – as above but VR
- An unknown remake – who knows!
The story starts with you, docked on a shoreline with a sunken ship behind you. The island is home to a medley of unusual structures and mechanical contraptions from another world. At one end of the island a rocket ship is parked ready to take you away. Solve the puzzles and find the clues, and you’ll travel to incredible new worlds.
To start Myst, or realMyst, or Myst VR (whichever version you’re playing – it’s the same), you’ll want to grab a notebook. This game is all about making notes as you go along, and trying a bunch of different things until you get it right. It’s not a simple “okay this puzzle is this, then leads to this”, it’s about tiny subtle clues in the environment that might help, or might not.
There’s no inventory system, no health bar – absolutely nothing you’d normally expect from a video game. It’s just you and the environment, eerily deserted. No way out until you solve the puzzles. Like taking an escape room to it’s logical conclusion – a chilling island in the middle of nowhere you can never escape *shudders*.
For all it’s difficulty, the game does provide some wonderful ‘aha!’ moments. With a game so tricky as this, with a lot of trial and error in some puzzles, finally cracking something is an absolute joy. It’s easier today in 2021 than it was back in the early 90s when we didn’t have a ready internet walkthrough available to us, and it shows in the puzzles that are MEANT to be laboured over for hours to finally have that “oh wow, I’ve solved it” moment like burst of light.
I’m keeping this review really short for two reasons. Firstly, I’ve not finished the game, and I don’t think I ever will. As such, I can’t really comment on the ending (I hear there’s alternate endings). Secondly, because Myst isn’t really to be judged by it’s puzzles and I’m not in a place to judge it. It’s an experience – relaxing and frustrating but more importantly ICONIC. I don’t think anyone reading this website is a Myst newbie. This game has been around forever, again, longer than my whole life. So I instead wanted to use this space for my thoughts and reflections.
It was a lot of fun in the Twitch stream hearing other people talk about playing Myst in the 90s and reminisce over puzzles long forgotten, and enjoy the new graphics. Good luck to those of you playing the game and if you, like me, don’t want to finish it that’s okay too!
RealMYST: Masterpiece Edition can be purchased for £12.99 on Steam.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.