15 years ago a little game hit the Mac and PC called Myst. Since its release the little game that could was the best selling PC game until an upstart named The Sims came along to knock it out of its place. While time has shown that most systems do end up with some kind of port of Myst on them they normally feel awkward and bulky due to the controller, but not with the DS. The natural fit with the stylus controls seems to lend itself to the overall design for this computer game.
The main focus of design was to enhance the experience, but not to change it. Two major changes that have been made, though, are the tool bar at the bottom of the touch screen and the additional age called “The Rime Age”. Both of these additions have reasons though. The tool bar at the bottom is to improve the functionality of the game on the DS and The Rime Age was intended to be included in the original Myst game but due to development time and the limitations of the media (Myst being one of the first games based on the CD-Rom) it was cut from the final game.
The tool bar that was added to the DS game, in part to make up for the lack of the mouse over images that would appear on a clue and in part due to the limitations of the DS, consist of a note pad, a magnifying lens and a camera, among others. The note pad is an in game analog to the real life notes that players normally take while playing Myst, and because of the DS version is meant to be completely portable this addition seems necessary. The magnifying lens is used to go over the many books found in Myst, and instantly throws all the text being read onto the top screen in a much larger font. The camera is used to take a single snap shot of a screen in help solving various puzzles throughout the game and was included in part to make up for the missing mouse over clues that players would normally get on the PC version.
The main addition to the game is The Rime Age, an ice based level that was originally planned to be in the first Myst but didn’t make the final cut. This level was originally in Real Myst, a 3D version of Myst that came out several years after the first game, and is based entirely off of the design documents that still remain from the devolvement days of the first Myst. Sadly no other aspects from Real Myst (weather effects and such) have made it over to Myst DS as it tries to stay true to the plan for the ’93 version.
Besides the tool bar and addition of Rime Age the visuals have been condensed and the music has been tweaked. The visuals have been brought down in resolution due to the limitations of the DS screen, but everything is still very distinct. The music tweaks are for the positive as when Myst first came out sound was one of the largest things included in a game and many sacrifices were made. 15 years later this is no longer the case and the music could finally receive the upgrade it has been lacking. Besides these minor things everything in the game remains as true as when Myst first shipped.
While Myst is a big game, boasting over 80 hours if the player refusing to use the abundant FAQs that can be found on the internet, and will seem even bigger when it ships in late March of this year. With the many enhancements done to this game it seems like it will be the best version to date.