Myst for Pocket PC Review


The original Myst desktop game debuted in 1996. It's been long enough, but the Myst for

Pocket PC port by Cyan Worlds is finally here. And this means loads of puzzles and immersive gameplay.

The original desktop Myst required swapping CDs during gameplay (along with a video card!) but my iPaq 4150 really showcased its detailed graphics. I'm intrigued that Pocket PC gaming specs are finally up to snuff. Remember Myst's original requirements?

A 75Mhz processor, a CD-ROM drive and an 8Mb video card.

Oh, wait ... a hard drive with 30Mb of space available. Now in the palm of your hand!

This is what made me curious enough to check out the Myst PPC version. I was just hoping for something to hopefully kill a few hours.

With so many Pocket PC models sporting 64-bit colour depths kicking around, what could they do to improve it? As it turns out ... plenty.




Gameplay

Myst for Pocket PC is a visual feast. If you look at the linking book in the beginning without tapping your stylus, it will take you through a virtual walkthrough of the Myst island.

Your objective is to solve the puzzles on each island. The atmospheric nature of this game will suck you into its creepy ambience.



Myst for Pocket PC - Atrus You navigate by tapping the stylus to the spot that you want to travel to, and you'll see a new frame.

The puzzles are intricate and involved, with extremely detailed and gorgeous graphics.My iPaq 4150 doesn't have the largest screen out there at three inches, but I was still able to make out intricate bits of scenery. The refresh rate in Myst for Pocket PC is much improved over the original desktop version.

You will have to pause at one to two second intervals at certain spots, but it is so quick that it doesn't detract from the immersive aspect of the game. It loads several scenes into memory at once, allowing you to walk for a few metres before the brief wait.

The trial version will only play a short streaming video file. I wasn't able to locate an interactive demo to try, so I wound up downloading it for this review. You can download the Myst for Pocket PC video clip here if you want to see the demo.




Installation

Here's my only minor irritant about this game for this review: the installation. You have to install it on your SD card, but when you launch the file it simply unlocks itself at that location.

I had to use File Explorer to browse to the storage card to start the game every time. When every other game except my copy of Myst for Pocket PC has shortcuts in the Game folder, this can be a bit irksome.

On the good side, the Myst Pocket PC version only takes up 30MB of space on your storage card. For this spectacularly designed adventure game graphics and the sheer number of frames, that's not bad at all.




Audio

The narration and voice acting are top notch. If you're wearing earphones, the sound will sink you even deeper into the story. The howl of the wind as you stand out on the dock and the steady and unmistakeable hum of machinery lends further touches of ambience to the game.






Bottom line: You won't find another adventure / puzzle game with this depth available. Minor installation issues. Will draw you in and keep you occupied for a long time.

PDAGameGuide Rating: 5 out of 5

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