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Myst (Windows 3.x)

82
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Steelysama (106)
Written on  :  May 02, 2001
Platform  :  Windows 3.x
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Summary

A majestic, surrealistic experience.

The Good

Myst was one of my earlier games, I have to admit. I suppose one could claim I'm biased slightly towards it because of that. But I also played it again recently, in the wake of playing games like Half-Life, System Shock 2, Planescape: Torment, and Unreal. The truth is that even though my experience was to a degree lessened by my having completed the game before in my earlier days (and thereby already having seen it all and completed all the puzzles) I still found it a pleasure to play.

I have indeed seen criticism after criticism of this game coming out of the gaming community. Not enough action, lousy interface, just a bunch of screenshots, and the like. While such may be true, Myst really needs to be looked at in the light of its intent.

Myst excels at what it is supposed to be. It is supposed to be experienced. It is about beautiful, immersing environments and a chilling solitude as you explore this place where once upon a time there were beings, but now only you.

Playing Myst again I was once more struck even today by the beauty of the graphics. Not just by the way they are rendered, the quality of the images, but by their content. Every location is designed to convey an experience to the player, every object and vista to add to the ambiance.

The same goes for the sound and music. From the wind blows in a particularly lonely way that makes one's spine tingle and the music that finds its way into certain places, the essence of the moment is captured.

I found the plot to be interesting as well. I enjoyed the openness of the exposition, which allowed the player to come to a lot of his own conclusions.

All in all, I had wonderful time playing Myst and, in my mind, it achieved its purpose with excellence.

The Bad

It is too short and replay value is rather limited. The experience is not as potent after the first time.

The puzzles were fair, but one could argue that there aren't enough and one rather breezes through the game.

The Bottom Line

Playing Myst for the first time is like the viewing of a work of art. Definitely not an action title, but excellent in its own right.