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JadeDragon's game reviews and playing tips: Pocket PC games

Myst by Mean Hamster Software Price: $24.95
Reviewed April 2005 by Marc Morgan

In 1995, a game that would become one of the best video game classics ever made was created. It was called Myst. Ten years later, Myst lives on, this time in the palm of your hand. The features that made Myst so popular, such as the stunning graphics, great use of sound, difficult puzzles, and great storyline are still contained in the Pocket PC version of the game as well. NOTE: Myst for Pocket PC requires Macromedia Flash Player for Pocket PC.

You stumble upon a book titled Myst, but you do not know who wrote it or when it was written. It contains an amazing, detailed description of an island world. You reach the end of the book, and lay your hand down on a page. Suddenly, your own world disappears, and you are taken to the island world described in the book. You have nowhere to go, and nothing to do except explore… Myst is an adventure science-fiction game filled with mind-boggling puzzles to solve, based on the idea of secrecy. It features different ages, or places to visit that you get to via “linking books,” found in places around the island of Myst. In total, there are four ages: the Mechanical Age, the Stoneship Age, the Channelwood Age, and the Selenitic Age. Each age contains a red page and a blue page, to be used in the corresponding book in the library of the original Myst Island. The more pages you put in each book, the more clear the distorted message in the book becomes. In the end, both books will make sense, and will make the already strange plot even stranger, making the storyline all the more better. However, to get this far, you must search around the game for clues and solve puzzles that will blow your mind! Clues are scattered everywhere and are often easy to miss. Even things that seem irrelevant to the game may end up being one of the most important clues of the game. Also, many of the clues are sounds in the game, and they are even easier to miss. However, to find all of the clues, you must be able to navigate around the island or the age you are in at the time. Each screen is a picture that has places you must tap on to either move to one of the next screens, turn around, interact with objects, etc. For example, one screen may be a picture of a path, with another path intersecting in the distance. If you tap on the path in the distance, you will move to it. If there are objects to interact with, you tap on them and the interaction will be performed. If you tap on the left or right edges of the screen, you will turn in that direction. The navigation around the island and ages is a fairly easy concept to get used to. Myst combines a great adventure, amazing storyline, and mind-boggling puzzles together to make it one of the greatest games ever.

The controls in Myst are very easy to figure out and to use. If you need to interact with anything on the screen, you simply tap on it, and see what the result is. If you need to turn, you tap on the left or right edges of the screen. If you need to access the menu, you tap on the upper-right corner of the screen during gameplay. If you happen to open a book and you want to flip to the next page, you tap on the right of the book. If you want to go back a page, you need to tap on the left of the book. Once you start playing Myst, you will adjust to the controls almost instantly.

The graphics in Myst are one of the best features of the game. The pictures look stunningly realistic, and jump of the screen at you. The books in the game were a little hard to read, but have been fixed since the original Pocket PC release. The graphics are also great during all of the small movies contained in Myst. The graphics were converted very nicely from the desktop version of Myst to the Pocket PC version, and are definitely not something to miss!

As well as the graphics, the sound and music in Myst are both stunning and important to the game. There are many sound effects in the game that will indicate what your surroundings are, as well as clues. The sound quality is also pretty good, so you will be able to hear exactly what you need to in order to get clues, listen to people speak, etc. The sound plays a very important role in Myst, so it is important to have your volume on. Also, having headphones on makes the sound easier to hear, since Pocket PC speakers do not always provide the best quality. Overall, the sound in Myst is spectacular, and is another one of the best features in the game.

The Pocket PC version of Myst is exactly the same as the original game, only it has been modified for the smaller screen, processor, etc. It contains all of the best features of the original game as well. The storyline is still very interesting and strange, the graphics are still stunning, the sounds are still great and play a large role in the game, and best of all, the gameplay experience is the same. If you missed out on Myst when it came out for the PC in 1995, this is one game you don’t want to miss for the Pocket PC!

Playing Tips and Hints

  • Use a notepad (or the built-in application on your Pocket PC) to record all of your observations during the game.
  • When you first start the game or get to an age, explore the entire place and get to know it to make the game easier.
  • Make sure to remember even the smallest details you have seen or heard as they can play a major role in the game.
  • If you get stuck at a puzzle, you probably haven’t seen the clues you need to see yet.
  • You do not have to complete the ages in any specific order.
  • If you need a guide, check out a site such as GameFAQs for a guide for the original PC game, but try not to use it for the whole game, as it will ruin the experience.

Screen Shots

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Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics

The graphics in the Pocket PC version of Myst are the exact same as the original PC version, and look absolutely amazing. The graphics were the best at the time for the PC version, and still live on today!

Sound

The sounds in Myst play a large role in the game as clues, but they also enhance the overall gameplay experience. Without the sound, Myst would be almost impossible to play.

Fun Meter

Myst provides an exceptional storyline and gameplay that is just as outstanding. You will find yourself continuously playing Myst to solve the mysterious story behind the game!

Addictivity

You’ll find yourself playing Myst for hours on end, and once you beat the game, you’ll have a craving for more Myst, hence the sequel Riven.(To be released soon for Pocket PC.)



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