Happy Birthday: Myst turns 20. Go turn a crank to celebrate

By Stephen Totilo on September 25, 2013, 8:30 AM
happy birthday, kotaku, nostalgia, myst

Twenty years ago, if you were getting a computer, you were getting one with a newfangled CD-ROM drive. And you were getting a game to justify it. That game was probably Myst. And if that wasn't the case for you, it was for your mom or grandfather or cousin. Like few games before or since, Myst was ubiquitous.

I was a teenager when it came out and mostly a Nintendo gamer. But my family had a computer, and of course we had Myst. Everyone had Cyan's game.

Myst was a quiet adventure that required players to poke through a mysterious island, trying to solve various logic puzzles. It was peaceful, quiet and meant to be played slowly. It was, essentially, the tonal opposite to another legendary 1993 PC release, Doom. Fans of one game were likely horrified of the other.

Was Myst a good game? Hard to say. It's puzzles were tricky but not ingenious. The game was hard to solve, but not exactly fun. Myst was, perhaps a good game at getting people to play games. It gave millions of people a chance to feel the thrill of solving a vexing problem presented in video game form.

Celebrate Myst's 20th birthday by watching someone race through the game in 105 seconds.

If you suddenly have a hankering to play Myst, you can grab it for an iPhone/iPad or get it for a Windows computer through Steam or GoG.

Republished with permission. Stephen Totilo is a reporter based in Brooklyn, New York. He's the editor-in-chief for video gaming site Kotaku.




User Comments: 5

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treeski treeski said:

I think what I remember most from the game is that transitional sound. You know what I'm talking about. Also, anyone ever read the Myst books?

MilwaukeeMike said:

I liked Myst, and I played the sequel, Riven (I think) also. Cool idea for a game and for the time it had awesome graphics. I probably still have the discs in some binder somewhere.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think you're dead on with that review Stephen. Especially with your analysis, if Myst was a good game, "Hard to say." To each their own right? This was definitely a unique and memorable game. And if I recall, it held sales records for several years in the 1990's so it's at least well known. It's one of those games which I spent many hours on and was never able to complete.

Guest said:

I looked at Myst at the time but wasn't that crazy about it. My first cool CD-ROM game was The 7th Guest another interesting puzzle game.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

I think there were books or audio tapes that were in the Myst universe. I remember how interesting the concept was...

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