A tale of mystery and intrigue, the Myst Trilogy guarantees a lengthy and rewarding gaming experience. Having been around for years, almost any keen gamer has at least heard of the Myst series.
Myst revolves around mystery and strange world and the solving of puzzles to progress to the next world. The game is easy enough to get into with an image presented to you and by clicking on items or directions will send you on your quest.
Within the Myst universe, worlds can be written and by simply placing your hand into a page of a book, that world can be visited and explored. Each picture is a part of the world that you are in and you can uncover further elements to the game.
A word of warning with this series however: there is an awful lot of reading in this game and for those who are after action, stay away!
The art within each game is absolutely spectacular and each piece is in and of itself worthy of a picture frame. The sound and music is appropriate for the particular scene you are currently in and draws you even deeper into the game.
Myst III: Exile differs slightly from the previous titles in that there has been an effort to incorporate a 3D element which is gratifying and makes puzzle solving slightly easier than the previous outing in Riven which will have you scratching your head. I challenge you all to complete Riven and maintain your sanity!
The whole series as can be reasonably expected has progressed in terms of technology and general appearance. In Myst we are faced with straight forward pictures, whereas in Riven we now find that the water will ripple and reflect the clouds above. All is done in harmony with the general outlay of the game and does not deter you from the primary focus of solving the puzzles that have been set out for you.
A saving grace for the series (and something that has not been reproduced in the many clones of this genre that followed) is the true sense of "being somewhere else", whilst playing the game. Although things are not moving about and you are not blasting away with a gun, you truly feel that you are on a strange island such is the level of detail of every picture you are confronted with.
A recurring character in the series is Atrus, a man who has the ability to create worlds within books that act as a gateway to them. Initially your quest is to stop his sons who are intent on destroying everything within those marvellous lands from the inside out. This covers the main story and challenge revolving around Myst and upon completion then leads you into the Riven storyline.
Atrus' wife is trapped within the collapsing world of Riven and it is Atrus' father who is the protagonist in this tale. Riven takes the whole puzzle solving to the nth degree with having to work out foreign languages and numeric systems. A great degree of thought has been put into the puzzles and you really need to think about what you are trying to achieve in order to have any chance of success.
Finally in Myst III: Exile, the sons of Atrus are the backbone of this tale which of course requires more puzzle solving and more visits to beautifully prerendered lands. At times the navigation of these worlds can be a little confusing as to which direction you can proceed in as quite simply there appear to be a number of choices where there is really only one or two.
The Myst Trilogy boxed set is a gorgeous piece of storytelling and computer gameplay rolled into one. Guaranteed to give you full value for money and many many weeks of enjoyment. The series is clever, thoughtful and was truly a pioneer in the point and click style of adventure that has not really been successfully duplicated anywhere else.
If puzzles are your forte then your money is extremely well spent with this purchase!
- Tory Favro