The PlayStation has so far been starved of a “serious” game, and Myst is most definitely for the more serious player. Heck, the instruction booklet that comes with it is over 150 pages long! In fact, Myst has created quite a cult following since its early days on the PC. A book has even been published concerning the whole subject.
Back to the game – Myst is a huge graphic adventure based on the mysterious fantasy island of the same name. You are thrust into the shoes of someone (anonymous) who is placed on the picturesque island, and your objective is to solve the mysteries, riddles and puzzles that are located just about everywhere. Eventually, you must piece everything together, and with any luck, leave the island.
Visually, Myst looks wonderful enough, if static. Each sector or building on the island is shown as a still picture and progress through the game is a bit like sitting through a slide show you’ve been forced to attend, interesting at first, but ultimately irritating. Sound-wise, Myst has some good enough effects, such as the sea lapping against the shore and the wind whistling through the trees. What Myst lacks in excitement is made up for by its realistic atmosphere.
Essentially, this is a puzzle game, but things sometimes become too difficult and confusing. This is what put me off, and it will no doubt annoy others once they realise that some of the essential hidden items are too well hidden. However, once the first few puzzles have been solved, access is granted to new areas of the island and things get better after the first few hours of play.
To sum up, those who instantly groan when they here the word “adventure” might be pleasantly surprised by the Myst’s feel, and the gameplay is certainly challenging enough, but it all gets a bit tedious after a while.