2018 marks the 25th anniversary of Myst, the critically lauded point-and-click adventure/puzzle game by developer Cyan. The Mac/PC game’s surprise success led to five main-series titles over 12 years, an online multiplayer spinoff, novels supplementing the lore, a Hulu series announcement (that we have heard nothing new about for some time now), and much more. While the older Myst games have not aged well when it comes to modern platforms, it turns out that Cyan has been working on a full series re-release, which they announced this weekend.
For those unfamiliar with the series, the original game is set on a gorgeous island called “Myst,” containing bizarre buildings, puzzles, and messages left by a man named Atrus. By reading notes and clues left in Atrus’ library, the player solves puzzles and discovers “linking books” to other worlds, leading to further exploration and puzzle solving as they gradually piece together the mysteries (get it?) of the island and discover what happened to Atrus and his family. The gameplay of the first two titles,
Myst and the aptly named Riven: The Sequel to Myst, is rather basic: you move around areas by clicking from one single screen to the next, interacting with objects and puzzles along the way. Later games and remakes in the series featured more advanced camera and movement controls.
Earlier this month, Cyan teased at a 25th anniversary announcement,
tweeting a picture of the iconic “Myst” book with a sticky note labeled “25” attached. This weekend, an official statement went up on the Myst website and Cyan’s social media channels, announcing updated Windows 10 versions of the entire series:
“Over the last few years we’ve been working to procure the rights to make all of the Myst games available. As an indie developer, resources are limited for development, and acquiring rights isn’t always an option. But we managed to finally talk to all the right people and departments and put some funding together to try to make it happen. With agreements in place, we’re happy to announce that we’ll be releasing updated (for Windows 10) versions of all the Myst games later this year!”
Cyan also teased a limited physical edition of the series, as well as the possibility of more
Myst titles in the future:
“There will probably be more adventures in the Myst universe, but we’re reserving 2018 for remembering our journey, and making something special to commemorate the last 25 years.”
This series has been truly meaningful to me since my early childhood. Myst was the one computer or video game I encountered in those days that my whole extended family could get into, which was my first hint that maybe gaming wasn’t just for children after all. While I was too young to figure out the bulk of the first game on my own, my dad put together a journal containing our own personalized walkthrough as we all progressed, including a sketch of the island, notes on various puzzles, and even the silly names we came up with for the game’s various locales like “Metal Myst” and “Tree World.”
I’m also excited at the opportunity to play the full series for the first time. Most of the games are currently available on Steam and GOG, but
Myst and Riven do not run particularly well, if at all, on modern PCs. Furthermore, Ubisoft, who published Myst III: Exile and Myst IV: Revelation, have sat on the publishing rights for years, not bothering to bring the games to modern platforms or marketplaces. So it’s particularly thrilling to hear that, in an industry full of nostalgia and other remasters, Cyan will at last be able to give this cult classic series the modern recognition it deserves.
Cyan’s announcement post concludes with a line from the original Myst intro: ”
The ending has not yet been written…” I couldn’t be happier to hear that again.
If you’re curious about
Myst in the meantime, you can look up several of the games on Steam or GOG, or try out Cyan’s latest release, a Myst-esque adventure game called Obduction. If anyone needs me, I’ll be doing the same.