So there’s yet another version of Myst on the App Store
I’ve so far on iOS bought “Myst (Legacy) for Mobile”, “Riven (Legacy) for Mobile”, “The Manhole: Masterpiece”, and “realMyst” [sic capitalization]. On Mac, I played the original CDROM Mac Classic Myst, Riven, URU, and “realMyst Masterpiece” [sic capitalization], Obduction off Steam. Cyan got their pound o’ flesh.
Myst (Legacy) & Riven (Legacy) has screen-by-screen tapping, it’s extremely obscure what’s going to happen when you do, and the low-rez screens compressed into the teeny OG iPhone size aren’t great. But it’s also the only version that has Riven! And it’s basically playable. These are fine. Adequate. ★★★☆☆
The Manhole is super weird. It’s for kids (“V is for VOID”), but you’ll like it. Go experience it, it’s $1.99 and maybe the best if most amateur, almost outsider art thing Cyan’s ever done. You think Myst is perplexing, Manhole is 100x weirder and harder to navigate. ★★★★½ (down ½ for the tiny window & unlabelled tap areas; the content is ★★★★★)
realMyst has a pretty reasonable modern interface. You’ll want to “invert look” (I just started it up for a screenshot, and couldn’t get up the stairs until I flicked that switch). The graphics are fine for an early-00s 3D game, and honestly you don’t need more than that. I’m not going to re-solve it, but I did so without cheats last time (sweet Cthulhu I hate the subway puzzle, and should’ve cheated that). ★★★★☆
Myst Mobile now, needs a pretty modern iPad, my Air works fine but got very hot. The graphics textures & grass and such are much better, early ’10s quality but still not peak AAA quality. I can get better views from MineTest with shaders. I think realMyst has better lighting, or at least more consistent. Indoors in Myst Mobile I often couldn’t see much of anything, at the same brightness settings that were usable in realMyst.
I picked the “randomize puzzles” option, and sure enough the puzzles are different from standard, but all solved the same way as OG, go read books and look up values in the library, planetarium, click buttons and do a little math, etc.
Movement is with a soft joystick, and drag the screen to rotate camera. realMyst’s movement was much better.
The problem is the controls are all over the place. Doors are still sliders, rather than swinging open; 3D budget doesn’t go that far, I guess. Some buttons you just tap (there’s a new button to open the imager cave). Some switches you tap and they flip to the opposite state, some you have to pull all the way into position. Doors you tap on the handle… sometimes that works. The log cabin door was difficult to tap on, which you need to do at speed to reach SPOILER REDACTED. Knobs don’t turn linearly, but sort of randomly spinning to a new value as you move your finger. The clock tower puzzle is an unbelievable pain in the ass, getting the levers to move all the way down and not release is very fussy, I bet most new players cannot get them to work. I hate literally every control that isn’t a button.
The letter from Atrus to Catherine is missing, so you have no idea what the switches are for. If you know, the new CGI heads for Atrus, Cirrus, Achenar are super cheesy and plastic, like bobbleheads floating in space.
They have a camera, and as usual it only makes square, kinda shitty Polaroid photos even tho Polaroid’s been dead for 20 years, but there’s no journal, and they don’t save in order!!! THE FUCK. I actually miss the shitty grainy, wrong-gamma, square photos & journal in URU’s KI system.
They only give you access to the island first. So I opened all the Ages, and… can’t go to them. It’s $9.99 IAP, soon going up to $14.99. If you don’t own any version of Myst, that’s a good deal; if you’ve bought a new one every decade or so for the last 30 years, it’s kind of bullshit, and I’m probably not inclined to pay for it.
What I want is for them to remake Riven, maybe make peace with Ubisoft and remake Exile, Revelations, End of Ages, and URU? There’s a fan-made “real URU” in progress, so at least that’ll be playable again soon. Instead Cyan has Skyrim Disease, every new platform needs a new adaptation, but they never move forward. (Yes I’ve played Obduction; pain in the ass most tedious train simulator ever).
Screenshots are SPOILERS! (Soylent Green is PEOPLE!)