Format: Nintendo DS
Midway Games

5 037930 140228
Age Restrictions: 3+
07 December 2007

Myst is an immersive experience that draws you in and won't let you go. You enter a unique setting, venturing alone to varied times and places, the worlds that compose Myst. There are no instructions, and you encounter no living beings but soon realise your actions may help individuals who are somehow trapped in a parallel dimension. You don't so much play Myst, as experience it. Of course you must solve a multitude of puzzles, mazes, and problems, but Myst's principal attractions are its environment and the underlying family drama that unfolds as you explore...

Myst has had a successful run starting as an Apple Mac game and then being converted to the PC, where the franchise really took off.

The DS version of the game is a huge disappointment that fails in so many areas that I barely know where to begin. As the game has been seen in so many different guises I was surprised to see that there were so many problems with this latest version.

Firstly, and most importantly for a first-person adventure game, the DS's screens are just too small for this type of game to work well as a portable offering. Then there's the fact that the images are too dark and the sound and music too loud - with no option to change them. This becomes very problematic right from the start. The first challenge is to recover a message from the imager. I spent several days trying to work this out and in the end I had to resort to going onto the Internet and tracking down a solution to the game to help me progress.

The switch for locating the controls to the imager was so obscure and in such a dark area that I'm not surprised I couldn't find it. But, having cheated to find that, I listened to the message. This is where I met a problem with the sound. While the message was being played, it was almost drowned out by the looped music in the room. I had to listen to it twice before I then headed off around the island.

After spending several more hours not having a clue what to do I again checked the walkthrough. In fact, sadly, I spent the entire time using the online guide to progress me. The solutions to the puzzles just didn't seem logical to me and they are so fiddly and impossible to find that you'll need a guide to get anywhere - which is a little pointless.

One section had me having to locate an area on a map (although why I would logically have been poking at a map is anyone's guess). The online walkthrough, which was for the PC version, told me to locate a flashing area on the map. Now that would make sense - it would at least alert you to the fact that the map was interactive. However, the map on the DS version does not have a flashing segment... So, I randomly tapped the screen until something happened.

A little later (again following the online help) I had to turn three of the symbols, on three of the pillars, green. I messed up the first time around, by accidentally pressing another button by mistake. So, I tried again, but nothing happened. I tried again, and again nothing happened. At this point I was so frustrated by the pure pointlessness of the game that I gave up.

At the end of the day this game is not very logical, the puzzles are ludicrously complex and the whole thing is one huge disappointment. It's a myst-ery to me why anyone would bother to waste their money on such a badly designed game.

Pete Boomer

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