5.9

Myst

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Myst

Platform: Nintendo DS

Definitive point-and-click, first-person adventure jumps from CD-ROM to DS—newly tiny, still impossible

Although Myst is an undisputed classic I’d never played, I approached this DS port cautiously. For every gamer who raves about its immersive mystery and austere storytelling, another laments its withering difficulty and austere storytelling. The player must discover the secrets (why are these two brothers trapped in, like, magic books?) of an eerily unpopulated island. It turns out Myst’s boosters and detractors are both kinda right. Wandering the island alone—trying to make sense of various bizarre objects and arcane clues—is a one-of-a-kind experience. But I found myself stumped almost immediately, and as someone right between casual and hardcore on the gaming continuum, I can definitely say that Myst isn’t for casual gamers. Still, this seminal moment in gaming history is worth a go if you missed it the first time around, especially if you like high-concept, mostly silent art films, but wish you had to continually tap the screen while you watched them.

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