When I got my first PC as a Christmas present, I needed to learn every possible thing I could about it. I took it apart, put it back together, and spent an unhealthy amount of time crawling through the file system. I knew everything about that machine. When the power supply failed and my parents gave it to my uncle to fix, I spoiled a birthday present because I found CD-ROM drivers that weren't there when it left.
This level of obsession is where I was at in life when I found Myst on sale at local shop. I didn't have a lot of games, but it looked so pretty and the box said it was all about puzzles so I was extremely ready for this experience.
I have played Myst more times than I have bothered to count. I own it on PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and I keep it in my pocket thanks to the release for Android. As much as I love the other games in this series, I always find myself coming back to this little puzzle island when I want to relax. And now that I can also play Myst on Oculus Quest, I can put my virtual hand on a linking book and be transported into the virtual worlds of this incredible classic.
There's not much else to say about this. It's Myst and it's in VR. The game has been tweaked slightly to support waving your hands around to solve the puzzles — for example, the machine you use to interact with the clocktower is slightly modified — but the puzzles themselves haven't changed much. You can choose ro randomize the puzzles at the start of the game, but otherwise it's the Myst you either know and love or have never heard of before.
Be default, Myst in VR is teleport-based for movement and most of the environment looks like a lot of work into making it feel good in VR. Some of the effects, like leaves on the trees and water droplets, are not overly convincing 2D shapes in a 3D environment and break the illusion, but the port to VR is otherwise well done. This very much feels like a port, and not a total remake of Myst, right down to being able to beat the game in about five minutes if you remember all of the puzzles.
If I had to pick a single thing that could've been done to push the envelope on this experience, it would have been hand tracking. This is supposed to be Myst, built from the ground up with Oculus Quest in mind. How epic would it be to reach out with my actual unencumbered hand to throw a switch or put the missing page in Atrus' book? It's likely the experience would be difficult to make as smooth as what we have with the controllers, but it would've dramatically increased how real it all felt and made the VR edition feel more unique.
Myst will always have a special place in my heart, and experiencing it in VR is something I wanted before I knew VR was a real thing. If you don't have a Quest, Myst 2D for PC will be released soon and will also support multiple VR headsets. Here's hoping this release is successful enough to help pay for a VR version of Riven. Mine Cart Ride in VR? Yes please.
If you know, you know.
Being able to experience this magical puzzle island in VR is going to make a lot of 30 and 40-somethings very happy, hopefully happy enough to fun some of the sequel games in VR as well.
Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter
Great article if only to jog up some good memories. I used to sit around my 3D0 and play this with my neighborhood friends, have thought about picking it up on the Switch but wondered how it would hold up. Now that I'm thinking of old PC games I wonder where my PC copies of "The Dig", "Star Trek TNG A Final Unity", and "Ecstatica" are...
You had a 3DO? also it's 3DO not 3D0 (haha 0 and O)
I used to have a Sega Saturn. Loved that console but ultimately had to let it go as it stopped being supported...
Ahh, my bad! Yep, I had one and it was wonderful then but I plugged it in a couple years ago and wow did it not hold up. Good memories though.
Sadly not all old PC games will run on new modern PC architecture. Many will and you should definitely try if you can find a favorite old game somewhere, but files get moved over time so the software of your choice may go looking for a system file and not be able to find it returning an error. I used to run Microsoft Office 1997 on a PC running Vista and while it did work well the files necessary for the Help function to operate had been moved by Microsoft I learned and so Help returned an error forcing you to the net with your question when you needed well...help. I ultimately just went with LibreOffice and have been enjoying that from Vista, through Windows 8 and now 10. It's a little slow for my taste but it gets the job done.
I can remember playing Myst on my Sega Saturn for, yeah it was released for the Saturn back in the day. I played it for hours and while I enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the serene accompanying music and tried at the puzzles I ultimately had to buy a hint book (which I still have all these years later somewhere). Myst just a few years ago became available for Android and I picked it up quite happily on a holiday sale. Looking forward to the supposed port of Riven. Myst in VR probably has to be awesome!
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