941991_5jpgWe first reported on Cyan's iPhone Myst port back in August of last year. The game was released to the App Store tonight for $5.99. [link]

For those not familiar with Myst, the game was first published for the Mac in 1993 and was both a critical and commercial success. While technologically rather simple from today's standpoint (mostly static images), the game's graphics and soundtrack were remarkably immersive. The game starts you on a strange island where you must explore your surroundings, solve puzzles and figure out the backstory.

The interface is entirely point-and-click driven. Switches, clues and other hints are explored by tapping on interesting items on the screen. There are also many puzzle elements that must be solved in order to complete the game.

I've included a video of the iPhone version of the game. Rather than going straight to the gameplay itself, however, I've started the video at launch, as the Cyan logo animation itself brought back many a memory. Video of the game itself starts around 2 minutes 25 seconds in. (Note that subsequent launches bring you straight into the game.)

The game naturally uses the touch-screen as the interface which seems perfect for the game. Back in the day, simple mouse clicks were all that was required to play.

It's hard to predict what gamers without any Myst background will think of the game, but I'd like to think the iPhone version of the game will breath new life and interest into this ground-breaking game. A 1994 Wired article describes the phenomenon:

The reason for all the success was stunning in its simplicity: Myst was good. Myst was better than anything anyone had ever seen. Myst was beautiful, complicated, emotional, dark, intelligent, absorbing. It was the only thing like itself; it had invented its own category.

Note that the game is 727MB in size due to all the artwork, video and sound effects.

Perhaps of interest to Myst veterans as well as those new to the game is Cyan's "Making of Myst" video, which was part of the 1993 CD-ROM release. See the 13-minute video in two parts: part 1, part 2.

App Store Link: Myst, $5.99

  • SalsaMD

    Note: you need ~1.5 Gb of free space to install it though...

  • GreyDawn

    Yikes, that's a lot of space!

    • arn

      in 1993 it was insane. It was one of the first major CD-ROM games and I think it even helped drive cd-rom adoption.

      arn

  • Sambo110

    That's too big, that would take out a lot of your download limit.

    • JollyDrifter

      good thing some of us dont have that.

      Im really looking forward to this game.

    • Alan

      Spend less time playing games then, instead use common sense to get a good isp? Most people who are on a shit one have better alternatives.

      • Sambo110

        The thing is, most people don\'t have good internet. Most people use the same ISP as their telephone company, and only get like 12 gigs, my friend gets 8. We only recently upgraded to 40 but we are paying more than most people, and we have the best ISP in Australia, IMO. The best prices.

      • Greg

        I was about to say, some countries like Australia, don't have the infrastructure that North Americans and a bulk of Europeans have. Its easy to forget when one can download at 2 megs a sec that there are still a lot of places were broadband is still 150k a sec.

        Notably back on subject, Myst will suffer just like the DS port.... No finger icons to tell you what you can click on.

      • Ataru

        I wouldn't say Europe has a good broadband infrastructure, particularly in the UK where I live. We have a choice between an ancient copper network with terrible ADSL speeds complete with crippling caps, or a massively over subscribed copper/fibre cable network which also has severe caps and download limits.

        If you want good internet you really need to live in South Korea or Japan, or Sweden which apparently also has high speeds.

        I feel sorry for Australian net users though. From the sounds of it you guys really are in the internet dark ages.

      • dds

        Mm, its not too horrible. Earlier today I was downloading at 1.1megabytes a second. Thats with a 24mbps connection (ADSL2+). And in 8 years time, we'll hopefully have Fibre to Home connections :)
        I don't like Kevin Rudd, but hey, at least he's giving us good internet.

  • Vende

    727 megabites??????? That's unfortunately a deal breaker right there.

    Too bad - six bucks isn't too expensive

    • Mystdee

      It is less than the size of a movie. . . and can be removed if you need the space later. . . it's a shame to miss out because of it's size. . . Believe me it's well worth it!!

    • TKO

      Realistically, I don't think there's any way they can make Myst smaller. It was originally on a CD, chock full of pre-rendered images. Unless there's some sort of lossy compression employed to scrunch the pictures down even more (with some visual degradation as a result), it's really stuck at being that big.

      And, as Mystdee says, you don't have to *keep* it installed on the phone. I've got over 4GB of Apps on my PC. Only a fraction of them are ever installed on the phone at any given time.

  • Thomas

    I am new to Myst, however I have been playing for the last half hour and it is amazing!!! The writing in the books is superb, and the graphics, despite being pre-rendered (or perhaps because of it) are stunning.

  • Sevallis

    This is one of those purchases you don't think twice about, or at least it was for me. Myst was the first computer game I played as a kid on my dads old Mac. To see this game come to the iPhone is fantastic, it's a real treasure. I spent the last half an hour just browsing through memories on youtube of the first 3 Myst games and already find myself right back at that past time immersed in the story and captivated by the art. Thank you Cyan!

    • Justin Goodman

      Seconded! I remember playing this as a kid on my dad's old Mac, being immersed and amazed by the storyline and environment. I'm very glad Cyan decided to revive this classic, it was and is one of the most amazing games to have ever been created.

    • videoflyer

      Well, I know I didn't have to think twice - it's unfortunately a no-go. There's no way I can spare that much space on my 4gig phone for a single game no matter how classic. It's too bad, though - I loved that game and certainly wouldn't mind having a copy in my pocket for spare moments. And the price isn't outrageous.

      It looks as though they've perhaps added some simple animations to bring a little life to the pre-rendered scenes? That, at least, would be a very welcome touch.

  • iPhoneGamer

    We REALLY need that 32 GB iPhone!

  • Mackinstyle

    UGH!!! Amazing game. I love it but goddamn you iPhone! I have a very new 3G and STILL the darks are really washed out at all brightnesses. I can barely see any detail at all in dark areas (like the hallway into the tower).

    Also, the constellations in the observatory building are really washed out for me. Grey on a lighter grey background. No way I'll see these things on a bus to school.

    Can anyone elaborate on either of these points? Anyone else getting these issues?

    • Mystdee

      I have the iPod touch 2nd gen 32 gig the graphics are not at all dark and I haven't had a problem . . . . So it may be an iPhone specific issue. can you increase the brightness?

    • Martin

      If it's gray on gray you might have missed a something in the room ;)

  • Brad Newsom

    Awesome! My childhood memories are rushing in.

    Thank god I purchased a 32gb iTouch.

  • http://iphone-game-reviews.com Vikram @ iPhone Game Reviews

    It seems really good and in-depth. But I never knew it was interacting with a bunch of static images!

  • NotYou

    That took forever to load and install!

    This is "from my time," but I've never played it. I remember seeing it everywhere, though. It's always been one of those game that wasn't about hype. Everyone just seemed to recognize it as a great game.

    I only played it a little bit so far, but I have a feeling it's going to keep me plenty busy.

  • Reason21

    Never played the original but this doesn't look to enticing to me.

  • skamando

    Bought it, and am trying to install on my iPhone, but, even when I have a gig free, IT WON'T LET ME INSTALL THE FREAKING APP!!!!
    It says there isn't enough space. ITS GOT A GIG FREE!!!!

    • Gabriel

      In the description it says that you'll need 1.5gig of free space to install the game. After the installation you can fill the remaining space with other stuff

  • Malarkey

    Instant buy. Now I'm waiting for the Myst sequels, other classics from the 90s (Carmageddon, anyone?) and Dreamcast games on my Touch.

  • Ivan

    Guys... it's a bit slow... i get bored after seen images and images along 10 minutes

    • Brad Newsom

      No. I take it you are not very observant. Go to the options menu (the save game page) and move the transition speed to the right and not left.

  • K

    Obviously a lot of young readers judging by the comments. Myst was awesome in its day, and I'm about to buy it now (how exciting!). Can't wait to play it again!

    Now I'm hanging out for the likes of Tell Tale Games, and other current/previous adventure gaming companies to release ports/new tales!

    • Greg

      Myst is one of those games you have to have played back in the day really to understand and even if you did such as myself as it was the 2nd CD-Rom title I owned realize today it a bit of a boring concept.

      For what it was, it was inventive but as a mechanic for game play, its pretty low. Myst was the first game that took the idea of a CD-Rom and really ran with it, with tons of music, sounds and video. It was sorta the definition of 1990s multimedia experience and exploited what at the time, was cutting edge.

      Its much in the same way the Wii is amazing at first as it seems to be completely new until one realizes the pointlessness of most wii game controls where the gameplay's fun is on the novelty of the control scheme as opposed the game mechanic leading to a shallow game experience. Basically Myst is that same feeling transposed 15 years ago. For some it'll always be a good memory but for other, they'll out grow it.

      I see no problem with younger gamers who don't "get it" as it is dated. That's just how it is.

      • Brad Newsom

        Its not a tech demo like you are saying through your comment. It is an interactive movie/adventure that does practically everything differently from previous games. Its actually considerably better than most games today, because practically everything draws inspiration from films and not our own creativity. Films write things far differently from other writing styles, which sort of in theory kills gaming.

        Kids don't get it today because they thing killing everything is a game.

  • Belkanell

    Hello,

    sorry for my English, I use Google Translate. I have a question, is what Myst is only in English? Often the form descritpion does not include other languages, when they exist (such as Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit)

    • Fafner

      There really isn't much in the way of text but, there are videos with english dialog. I don't see any options for subtitles either

      • Brad Newsom

        The whole game is pretty much requires you to read through loads of text which is only in english.

  • Mr.A

    Myst really is a great game, trully worth playing on the iphone. It's damn 1.5gig, but believe me, if you like a good story, good graphics, good puzzles and interactive gameplay (and not only blasting other people or whatnot), you NEED to get it.

    :D

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Rocco

    For me it's a dream coming true.
    This was and is one of the best games ever!!
    Nothing cheap. Something with so many fantastic ideas behind and so much content in.

  • cybereal

    Prerequisites for enjoying this game: 1) Patience 2) Patience 3) ... Patience. Also a few optional but extremely high recommended prerequisites include 1) You enjoy thoughtful dialog/reading 2) You enjoy exploration 3) You like to experiment even without much prompting you to do so.

    This game is all about "touching" everything and seeing what happens, then reading diaries and explanations and finding clues, etc., putting it all together yourself to help you arrange previously encountered situations to solve puzzles and so on.

    I guess this qualifies as an adventure game, but, honestly it seems to be a far more complete one than most I've encountered in the last 20 years. You really benefit from taking time to pay attention to detail and you can see that the creators cared about these details as well.

    If you're really worried about the static images, you're already missing the point. While myst was amazing in appearance for its time, the appearance is nothing of what makes this game great. This game could be entirely text based and it would still be one of the most fantastic thinking man's games released in the history of computing.

    As for technical issues, yes it's big. Go dump off 1.5gb worth of space temporarily to install it, then you'll get a good chunk of that space back afterwards. As for those missing hotspot hinting from the old mouse cursor, I truly believe the game is better for the lack of that. You don't get click hints in real life, and so much is touchable in Myst that you can really benefit from just... touching everything. No worries about the click hints.

    At 6 bucks I can't imagine passing this up. I would've paid 30.

    • Pablo

      ok, 30 bucks for this game would be kind of ridiculous. 5-6 bucks is a good price. You could get the Myst 10 year anniversary box set which includes the first 3 Myst games (which include the far superior Riven and Myst III) at any game retailer for 20 bucks.

      • http://heiseheise.com Zach

        I loved that one, with the DVD version of Riven. The only games I've ever bought 2 copies of because at the end of every wild FMV cart ride, you had to switch out the !#%! CD. :) Replaying Riven in DVD was a true joy for me.

        I was bored with Uru pretty quickly when it came out, so I lost track of Myst for a long time and haven't played 4 or 5 yet, which I hear are pretty good from my brother, who's played them.

  • Phil

    Great game - loved it then and love it now.
    I'd like to see the first ever CD-Rom Game "The 7th Guest" on the iPhone though - would be a blast or other FMV games like Phantasmagoria, Gabriel Knight 2, Mad Dog McCree and so on!

    • Thaurin

      Phill: "I'd like to see the first ever CD-Rom Game "The 7th Guest" on the iPhone though"

      I was just thinking that! Its sequel 11th Hour is probably my all-time favorite game (although it's hard to say). 7th Hour would work well on iPhone and I'd buy it! Although ScummVM already has support for it!

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    I've updated the post to include links to the "Making of MYST" video. It's not to be missed. This was a shoestring game!

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    MYST is one of the best games I have ever played. The level of immersion was (and, really, is) phenomenal. I played it and solved it in 17 hours over a weekend, with my girlfriend at the time. It was an amazing experience.

    It was MYST that pushed my to purchase the 2x speed external, SCSI Toshiba CD-ROM drive (that used caddies!) for my PC, back in '94 (see it on the right, there).

    My favorite age in the game is Channelwood. See my recent MYST Channelwood Poster saga. It's entertaining:

    http://www.bytecellar.com/archives/000110.php

    Grabbed the game for my PSP not too long ago. Obviously, am much happier to be able to carry around an iPhone version. I hope folks enjoy the game remotely as well as I did / do.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    Also, I would encourage any TRUE fans of the game to read 'The Book of Atrus,' it is the steup / pre-story to MYST and the last lines of the book are the first lines of the MYST into video. It's an excellent book, as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Myst_Reader#Book_of_Atrus

  • The Theory

    I'm clearing space on my ipod right now. Myst is one of those titles that I'd been aware of and always wanted to play, but was never able to. Glad i can get it for the iPod and at a decent price.

  • ponyboy

    Good price. Happy to see they left nothing out. Worth making space on my iPhone.

  • Tim

    FINALLY! A 700+MB DOWNLOAD! Now we are cookin! Once the iPhone community becomes comfortable with large downloads we can really start to see some PSP quality games!

    --NOTE: stop whining about the large download size!! You want PSP-esque games? Then we need 250-700mb sized games! Its simple (hopefully) common sense. Depending on graphics, cut scenes, voice overs, and extra content - PSP games can be upwards of 1.5-2.0GB.

    I personally saw the "young" gamer crowd (12-18... wow I feel old) complaining about the "still life game play". But what I don't understand is that largely inferior games from similar genres such as "the stone of destiny", "yard sale", "little shop of treasures", and others did so well.

    What some of you are saying is like a consumer feedback oxymoron. You guys don't like Myst because of its "still life game play" but you enjoy lesser games because of their "still life game play".
    --I use the word "you" as an all encompassing generalized word... obviously.

    The wired review (from the TA.com article) sums up the game experience well. If you want to know what to expect just read that little paragraph.

    Anyways - Its nice to see such a ground breaking classic game make its way onto the iPhone/Touch. This game was made to be played on a touch screen!

    To expand on what Black Patterson said: The book of Atrus is very well written and makes Myst all that more exciting to play. After the game is over... read the other 2 novels. They are absolutely captivating.

    tim

    • Tim

      EDIT: Blake - sorry Blake LOL!

    • Steve

      look I'm 19 and I love myst... I played it when i was 6 or 7 i think and it was a cool experience back then (riven was crazy cool too hopefully they port it over too). I don't think you can make a generalization about young teenager types having issues with still-life i think the fact of the matter is this game isn't for everyone regardless of age. That's what makes it so good. It's a true piece of art and art finds beauty in being cutting-edge enough to alienate a few people.

      • Brad Newsom

        No, he can and I think he should make a generalization. Why? Because kids of your age spectrum generalize about pretty much everything. From books to films to social status (like placing Goths and Emo's on the same stupid spectrum).

        You deserve what you get. Not to mention that you are apart of the most whiny generation in history. Worse than the 70's.

      • TKO

        hehe .. "kids of your age generalize about pretty much everything" ..pot? kettle? black? Though, to be fair, I don't know how a statement like that can be worded without it sounding that way. :)

        Is good to see some of the young 'uns picking this up and enjoying it though. I never really got into it back in the day, mostly because I value the underlying interaction of my games above most else. But it's undeniable that Myst defined a genre, and showed the industry that it didn't all have to be guns and explosions.

      • Steve

        yeah its always fun to watch people generalizing about people generalizing... the little ironies in life always amuse me. and its us (19 year old) kids who generalize about everything? To be sure, I dislike a lot of aspects (and people associated with) my generation but I'm not stupid or naive enough to condemn an entire generation based on over-the-top generalizations :) but that's off topic... got Myst a bit ago so far I'm loving it. the iPhone version seems to be doing it justice

      • Martin

        How can a man of 19 possibly be a kid!

      • Brad Newsom

        I guess your not old enough to understand that Kid is pretty much a term used for people younger than someone.

  • SoyLocoMoco

    It looks like this game runs much faster on the iPhone then it ever did on my PowerComputing mac clone with my 2x CD-ROM. Man, I waited and waited for every video to load, but it was still worth it. What a great game.

  • Dylan

    Too bad they didn't make Realmyst for the iphone
    At least the size is a lot smaller, tough the game requires much more so they would have to remake with lesser graphics

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      RealMyst is interesting--I've got it on the Mac--but I think that Myst, itself, is a better experience.

  • http://www.allaboutiphone.net James @ All About iPhone

    I have to admit that I felt quite emotional playing Myst on the iPhone. My memories of seeing (and purchasing) the original game for Mac at The Mac Expo in London about October 1993 are as clear to me as if it happened just last week.

    My advice to younger gamers and those new to Myst is this. Stick with it!

    Unlike most iPhone games Myst is not constructed from a series of cheap thrills, it is an experience that builds with each problem solved and every page turned!

  • dannys95

    What's that red dot in the video?

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      I don't want to give it away. It's explained near the end of the game...

      • dannys95

        Oh so it's part of the game? I thought it was the camara or something.
        PM it to me though. I wanna know.

      • arn

        That was blake's (poor) attempt at humor

    • Erik

      The red dot is just the camera. (I presume Blake thought you meant something else)

      • dannys95

        Yeah that's what I thought. But due to this game being so different I stupidly believed it. :(

        I bet Blake is having a good laugh.

  • Erik

    I'm glad that Myst has finally arrived for the iPhone! It's a lot more fun to play it on the iPhone than on the PC. This is the best version of Myst ever!

  • Jeremie

    Oh, I remember Myst quite fine (probably because I've seen photos of it since, and have the soundtrack somewhere around here) but ...

    ... I had completely forgotten Cyan's whimsical logo, and that playful music. Somehow, it didn't just bring back the memories of days gone by discovering Cosmic Osmo and Spelunx, but how it felt to be four and amazed by black and white low-res drawings, which were all the adventure in the world I needed...

    It is so thoughtful of you to have included that window to the past in the clip, thank you so much.

  • http://elendrik.blogspot.com Jamie Walker

    Glad it's not been released in 'episodic' format; I'd rather have the game in one go. It's a BIG download to chew off, but it's worth it. Flawless remembering this game, and it's almost like it was *designed* for the iPod!

  • KwikPwn

    I missed out on this one back in the day, as my hardware specs weren't up to snuff. I think it's awesome that I'll be able to experience it for the first time on an iPod touch!!! 15 years ago this game was recognized as conceptually one of the most fully realized gaming experiences ever created. I think it still holds true today.

  • Fafner

    I'm REALLY looking forward to playing this.
    Download took about 30 mins
    Syncing w/ my iphone is taking a LIFETIME!!!

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Rocco

    This game is truly 100% timeless. Still absolutely absorbing...

  • Magnus

    I am NOT disappointed!

    Myst was one of the first games I played. I still even have the original CD for both the PC and old Mac OS!

    The iPhone is a perfect platform, and it makes you feel like you're actually interacting.

    Riven next! (Yes, I'd GLADLY dedicate several gigabytes just for Riven.)

    I hope those who hasn't been introduced to Myst before, will enjoy it now, although I also think many will be disappointed it's no free 3D (no realMyst, thank God.)

  • Brad Newsom

    One thing though. Apple needs to rethink how to patch applications. Imagine having to redownload the whole game just for an updated version. The real downside of the App Store.

    • PP-himself

      oh...you're right...ohoh ^^ i never thought about that...

    • Thaurin

      That's not going to change soon, though. The installed app is codesigned and it would be hell to patch that up and keep all the DRM intact.

  • http://phantommoose.com Jordan

    Man! If I didn't already own the Masterpiece edition, I'd buy it. It'd be a sure thing if it was realMyst for iPhone.

    Is there a lite version?

  • http://minimumsafedistance.org Rifflesby

    I'm interested, but is it a good implementation? I had the nintendo DS port, and that was /terrible/. The graphics were horribly grainy and low-res, worse than the ancient color Mac I played it on when it came out in '93; the movies appeared in weird blurry rectangles, completely unintegrated into the background scene; it took ages to react to clicks, and the animations and transitions were slow as mud, or, often, missing -- for example, the wall panel in the viewing room next to the dock, which, in the original game, had a nice animation of it sliding open, whereas in the DS version it just blinked open with no animation at all.

    Anyway, long story shot, I'm a huge fan of Myst (well, at least the first two games and the novels), But I'm not paying six bucks, or even one, without some assurance that it's a good port. Not after I got burned on the DS one.

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      At the bottom of our post, there is a video of the iPhone version.

    • arn

      Eli has played both DS and iPhone versions and found the iPhone version MUCH better than the DS.

  • Marcos

    I wish they'd just release a version that, you know, we can actually play on a Mac purchased today. The original only plays in Classic and then still not so well, am I right?

  • Oggy

    The installation was a slow process, but it runs great. It's better than the original due to the touch interface.

    I'm already stuck. That sure takes me back... :-)

    It's very well done on the iPhone. It's a great puzzle game that requires persistence, and luckily it's been long enough since I played the PC version that I remember none of the solutions.

  • Paul

    I'm loving this, though I wish the screens were brighter. Yes, I played the original and was blown away by the ambient sounds. I'm still amazed that every game I've played since pays such scant attention to ambience.

    Amazingly, I haven't got stuck yet, though I got very close a couple of times. I'm also amazed that I can't remember how to solve any of the puzzles - had to work it all out from scratch again.

  • saznic

    Can someone here put me out of my misery? Frustration is paramount: I am on the StoneAge ship. I have the correct compass direction (135 degrees), have been into the compass room so many times I have lost count, have recharged my batteries endless times, but STILL I cannot crack the code and move to the next segment of this part of the game. Is this a glitch, or am I missing something very obvious. I am on oldie just beginning these sort of games!

  • http://watchfulllengthmoviesforfree.info MOvieLover

    I'm a big fun of this movie I watched on the movie theater now I have it on DVD

  • Jules

    This is an awesome port, like the original, only five times better. Brings back such good memories of when i was a kid.

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  • Xroyalflushx

    It's 4.99 now. Might wanna change the price.