Rated 4 out of
Good, if flawed, version of the computer classic
I admit it freely - the release of Myst is what prompted me to purchase a DS in the first place. Fond memories of hours spent sitting in front of my computer, scribbling notes or sketching quick images on a notepad, and clicking everywhere on the screen to test objects and switches, convinced me that this was a "must have", and after the first few moments of tinkering with Myst on the DS, I was happy with my decision. Storyline/Gameplay: You find a book, touch a page and wind up on a mysterious island. Without any instructions, save for a strange letter lying on the ground, you must figure out what to do, exploring, experimenting and using logic to learn about the island and the terrible events that took place as you go. The puzzles aren't obvious and sometimes require a bit of trial and error to get the door to open or the bridge to op up from the water, but this adds a sense of accomplishment and only draws you farther into the game. Graphics: decent and mostly clear reproductions from the original game, only smaller in scale. Sometimes grainy, but not affecting gameplay too much. The only problem I encountered occurred when the room/environment was in shadow. Any switches, buttons or levers became too indistinct, and no amount of fiddling with the DS' contrast/brightness controls would fix it. Sound: the environmental sounds (dripping water, creaking floorboards, rotating rooms) worked perfect and enhanced the feel of being in those Ages and places. The voices of characters tended to be muffled, even with the volume turned full blast, and I had to listen carefully toward the end of the game or miss an important clue in the process. Animation: pretty good. Nothing choppy or jarring. However, many of the character animations did not synch with the spoken dialogue. Controls/Interface: the stylus worked well for both moving around the different Ages and for manipulating objects, and I found myself able to move very quickly from point A to point B when necessary. (The game does have a zip mode to move even faster from one place to another, but I didn't feel it necessary to use.) As for the control panel at the bottom, I used the map button the most, calling up a good bird's-eye view of whichever Age I happened to be in. Great for orienting yourself and definitely worth using. The magnifying button worked great for reading letters or books; as for zooming in on an object (like a puzzle to solve), this was a useless tool, displaying an image only a fraction larger than the original. I never could get the camera to work properly, either, and didn't bother with it after the first few attempts. The game also provides a "notebook" which turns out to be a keyboard into which you can only type letters and numbers. And only one small page worth, at that. I won't say that it was a worthless tool because I was glad to have used it during at least one big puzzle, but it wasn't a great tool. As a special treat, a new Age (to me, at least) was added that could only be accessed once the game was finished. That little section offered great graphics and puzzle play, though I couldn't get the absolute final puzzle to work in order to see the next game, Riven. I definitely enjoyed Myst, despite some of the smaller issues I came across, and I think anyone who's a fan of this type of non-violent, strategy, first-person, puzzle-solving game will be satisfied with it.
Date published: 2008-06-18