For many people out there Myst should need no introduction. With over 6 million sales Myst held the throne as the top-selling PC game of all time for close to a decade (toppled by The Sims in 2002). If you have never heard of Myst, then feel free to read up on the Wikipedia page here.
In my opinion, reviewing the game itself would be presumptuous. Many people both better educated and better paid than myself have spent a lot of time examining Myst from all angles. The questions I want to answer are: Is Myst for iPhone/iPod Touch a good port of the game and does it stand the test of time?
The biggest issue to overcome on the iPhone is the tiny screen. Many of the puzzles have tiny buttons, some of which are close together. Surprisingly, even with my sausage-like fingers I didn’t have a lot of trouble with hitting the wrong buttons. There were a few occasions where I had trouble pushing a button, but these were not common. I certainly recommend using a light touch on many of the buttons you encounter in the game, and patience is important. The books that you will find it necessary to read in the course of the game have been expanded so that you zoom in on half of a page at a time, which saves a lot of squinting.
Other than the issue with a few of the smaller buttons, some of the puzzles actually work better with a touch screen. It is easier to drag a finger across the screen than use a mouse. It also makes the experience just that much more immersive, when you can touch the buttons directly rather than through an intermediary. Movement is also simple, you simply tap where you want to go or swipe horizontally to turn.
Despite the age of Myst (it was first released in 1991), I think it has held up well. While some views do show their age in the lack of texture or depth in the environment, many still look surprisingly well by today’s standard.
The only real drawback I can point to is the size of the app. Weighing in at a whopping 727 megabytes, Myst dwarfs anything I have yet seen in the Apple store. To give you an idea of just how colossally big this is, the other 84 apps I have so far only add up to a total of 603 megabytes. If you want to get this app but are short on space, you might have to swap out a few apps or some videos while you have Myst installed on your iPhone.
One addition I would suggest for Cyan when updating Myst would be an option to increase the brightness of the screen. Some areas in the game are pretty dark, which makes it difficult to navigate if you are in a brightly lit area. Other than that I enjoyed the whole experience.
A note for those who aren’t in the know, don’t forget to wear your earbuds. Some puzzles are sound-based so without them you might be up a certain creek without a paddle.