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Your favorite Myst-likes?

Discussion in 'Adventure Gaming' started by V_K, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    I've been getting into Myst-likes recently and would appreciate some recommendations. What I've played so far:

    Myst
    - obviously. The one that started it all, and arguably still the best (at least to my limited knowledge). Just the right mix of exploration, puzzles and general WTF-ness. The difficulty also seemed right most of the time.
    Riven - At the beginning, I liked this one even more as being set on a single large and open world added to the sense of exploration. But then I got stuck with late-game puzzles, saw in the walkthrough how bullshit they are and quit in frustration.
    The Witness - certainly pretty, but way too pretentious and overstays its welcome by a long shot. While in theory having all the puzzles be variations of the same mechanic is clever, and there are some clever variations indeed, by the end of it, it gets really old. Wouldn't mind it to have more narrative - well, some narrative at least. The lack of it makes all the pretty scenery really pointless.
    Quern - got a few hours into it, the lore seemed intriguing but the puzzles were too meh and repetitive/backtrack-y. Also, pixel-hunting in full 3D isn't fun, and it being completely linear ruins the open-world feeling.
    Obduction - I have it installed, but haven't really played it yet. Is it good enough to contend with how ugly UE looks?

    So basically, what I look for in those games is open exploration, interesting (but not overdone) lore, and clever (but not needlessly obtuse) puzzles. Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
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  2. Morpheus Kitami Learned

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    Just going to go over the ones I've played that you haven't mentioned. I like the genre a lot, but I tend to try to ration them so I don't run out.
    Atlantis: The Lost Tales - Cryo game, nice-looking, nice lore, but puzzles are usually just figure out what is what. Not a lot of exploration either.
    Dragon Lore - Better than Atlantis, but like Altantis, more of a journey rather than exploration. Lots of combat too.
    Entombed - Egyptian-themed, mostly nice. Has an in-game walkthrough right until the end, which I suspect is where most playthroughs of the game ended.
    Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster - It has Tim Curry in it.
    Mortalus: The Quest for Immortality - Very dark game, weird game. Things seem to happen, and then you have to shoot a crossbow at some guys who want to kill you. There are sword fights, and I think you can't win the sword fights anymore.
    Myst III: Exile - A very good sequel, despite the change in studio. Don't remember any bullshit going on, but I've played it almost as much as the original and I probably have any of it memorized.
    Myst IV - Its good...but there are two puzzles that are just straight-up bullshit. One of them even needs a patch to even work at all, IIRC. Also, some weird lore changes to the series.
    Physicus - If you want to learn while you play video games. Felt very...well what the hell can I click?
    Rhem - Not very lore heavy, just some mysterious place you drive to and then a lot of puzzles. Not too bad-looking either, except for the humans.
    Riddle of the Sphinx - Not very lore heavy, you're mostly just exploring a real place in the present day. But you are reconstructing a mystery of what happened to those who came before you. Probably the best Myst-like outside of Riven. (that I've played)
    Safecracker - Set in the modern day, had some good puzzles, but because I played the DS version, there was a glitch with one of the puzzles. I think there are like two computer versions too.
     
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  3. Strange Fellow Peculiar Patron Sad Loser

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    They're all shit, except possibly the original. Not even being facetious.
     
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  4. axx Learned

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    Some more you can try out:
    Ring (Legend of Nibelungen) - another Cryo game from late 90s, so-so gameplaywise, but beautiful music
    Lighthouse: Dark being - first part of game is good but as you progress the puzzles become hard, obscure and nonsensical. Use a walkthrough for the last part of game (mines with train), it's stupid and not worth the effort.
     
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  5. Disciple Learned

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  6. V_K Arcane

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    Yes, I've seen that one, and put ASA and Rhem on my check-out list, but a lot of games mentioned there are more traditional PnCs, just in first person. Besides, I was hoping for something more recent. I want my pretty vistas.
     
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  7. V_K Arcane

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    Oh, I remember that... thing. You've forgotten the part where you have to navigate a boat through QTEs.
    Of Cryo games, I remember playing Lost Eden as a teen and finding it very, very easy. Are these two better in that regard?
     
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  8. Morpheus Kitami Learned

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    Inca isn't really a Myst-clone. Its interesting, and...hard to recommend, but one thing it isn't is a Myst-clone. Although that and Ween - The Prophecy could be thought of as a link between regular PnCs and Myst-clones. Haven't deeply dived into most of Coktel Vision's other games, couldn't tell you about the rest.
    Haven't played it, but in the recent category there's Return of the Obra Dinn
    Probably because the parts around that area I remember is that weird twisting stone puzzle and the maze afterward.
    They're both more find the hotspot kind of difficult. Dragon Lore less so than Atlantis.
     
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  9. Jenkem Self-Ejected Patron

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    How is The Witness a Myst-clone?

    I liked Quern.

    Also yes Obduction is good, it's by Cyan why wouldn't you play it?

    Haven Moon - haven't played but is a myst like

    The Room series are pretty good but they are not really myst clones either
     
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  10. Erebus Arcane

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  11. Eisen Learned

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    Never played Myst...
    Eastern Mind
     
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  12. V_K Arcane

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    By virtue of the developer openly admitting that?
    No reason in particular, but I'd like to make a pause in playing Cyan games and play something slightly different in style. I will get back to it eventually.
     
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  13. Jenkem Self-Ejected Patron

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    Where did JBLOW say it was a myst-clone? Maybe it was inspired by Myst, but it in no way functions like a Myst game.
     
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  14. V_K Arcane

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    https://www.polygon.com/features/20...-jonathan-blow-interview-ps4-playstation-4-pc
    I mean, I agree that the puzzle mechanics are very different in The Witness, but apparently that's precisely what the brief was - Myst with better (in Blow's view) puzzles.
     
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  15. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

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    Total 10/10 and one of the best games of the past decade, but definitely not a Myst-like.

    Regarding the OP: I haven't played it in 25ish years, and I'm not sure if it is legally available anymore, but I have fond memories of Jewels of the Oracle.
     
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  16. Kalin Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Zionist Agent

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  17. wahrk Learned

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    I’m assuming you’re referring to the marble puzzle? At least that’s the one I see most people complain about. It’s tough but I don’t remember it being as unfair as people act like it is. It’s been a long time since I played it though.

    As far as Myst-likes, I don’t know how broad your definition goes, but The Talos Principle is pretty good. There’s also some older games you could check out:

    Journeyman Project - I’m only familiar with 3 but I believe the others are good too
    Crystal Key 1&2
    Timelapse
    Schizm: Mysterious Journey

    Morpheus already mentioned them but Ill second Safecracker and Riddle of the Sphinx.
     
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  18. V_K Arcane

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    I'm referring to two things:
    Show Spoiler
    1. The part of the marble puzzle that has to do with the pinscreen. It's requires too many logical leaps at the same time - that the pinscreens represent isles, that the domes are what you need to find on them, that this random bunch of pins even represents a dome. The rest of the puzzle is reasonable, but this one bottleneck is not.
    2. The animal puzzle - where you have to note the actual animals in the environment. This just doesn't make in-narrative sense - all the puzzles in the two games so far had to do with designed mechanisms. Having something as arbitrary as animals randomly appearing in some locations be clues to a puzzle is just too gamey and requires breaking immersion.

    Plus some bullshit pixelhunting moments. You know what they are.

    Which one? From 1997 or 2006?
     
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  19. wahrk Learned

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    Show Spoiler

    1. Eh, it honestly doesn't seem like that much of a leap to me. What else would the pinscreen represent? The beginning of Plateau Island has the representations of each island at the beginning, clueing you in that this area has something to do with mapping, and then you've got the machine showing what looks like terrain matched to a grid (and the only other thing that has a grid is the marble machine). From there, you just have to ask yourself "what is the one common feature to each island/what on each island would likely need power", and these structures just so happen to be spherical like the marbles. The trickiest part to me, IIRC, was that there's missing info for one of the marbles (either location, or marble color? I don't remember) that requires you to do a bit of guessing. It's definitely the hardest puzzle in the entire series though and I know I'm in the minority for thinking that it's actually fairly logical.

    2. I had to jog my memory on this one. That's the one involving matching the animal sounds, right? I'm pretty sure the game makes a point of showing you the animals (and their sounds) on each island when you encounter them. If you assume that this doesn't mean anything important from the beginning I can see how that would throw you, but a lot of Riven's puzzles require you to learn these sorts of things about the world you're exploring - like teaching yourself the villagers' numbering system - and the islands are full of animal imagery and drawings. Intertwining the puzzles with the environment is part of what makes the these games so good and makes the world feel like a living place.


    1997. I didn't know about the 2006 one, but it might good too. Seems like the same premise.
     
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  20. V_K Arcane

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    Show Spoiler
    But how are you supposed to guess they represent the islands? It's not like there's a map of Riven somewhere (hintbook aside) and it's not like discreet FP movement gives you a good impression of the islands' topology.


    Show Spoiler
    These are two fundamentally different things. The numbering system makes perfect sense, diegetically, and I really enjoyed deciphering it. But if you assume Riven to be an actual place, there bound to be other animals on the islands. So from the in-narrative point of view, that this particular animal happened to be near this particular marble is an utterly random occurrence that could not have been foreseen by Rivenites when designing the puzzle. That it works like this is very gamey and fourth-wall-breaking. Besides, it's not like there aren't many animated sequences in the game that bear no meaning on the puzzles.
     
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  21. wahrk Learned

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    Show Spoiler

    Well... I guess you either make that connection or you don't. It's true the game never really tells you this but just assumes you'll figure it out, either by the number of islands shown or the general shape of some of them. It probably helps if you've been drawing maps for yourself of each island and their relative shape and position to each other as you visit them. For reference:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Of course the map above makes it super obvious, which you don't have in-game. But I think what clued me in was the L-shaped island and the big hole in the bottom right island corresponding to the lake. It is a bit of a tenuous connection, I'll give you that. It's what makes the marble puzzle so hard, you have to make multiple connections between different things with limited information, and if you miss one I don't know if you'll ever figure it out. But it the final major puzzle of the game, after all.


    Fair enough, I see what you mean. I interpreted it as these just being natural hangout spots for these creatures, so that's why the Rivenites placed the markers at these locations - for example, the creatures who are always sunning on the rock. Even in the real world, we place signs in areas where certain animals tend to congregate. But some of these locations might not make quite as much sense so I suppose it is a bit gamey in a sense.
     
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  22. Morpheus Kitami Learned

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    Oh, thanks for bringing this up, I forgot about it. Played the Turbo earlier this year, the original original doesn't have any good rips online, but Turbo works. The first one's okay, enjoyable if you like late '80s early '90s science fiction media. The puzzle aspect is weird though, you're kind of expected to make a lot of leaps in logic at times and its possible to get stuck without any warning because...
    Show Spoiler
    At the end of each "section", you take chips out of a robot's brain, and you have to take them in a specific order or you're fucked.
     
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  23. wahrk Learned

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    It looks like there's a release on GOG called Pegasus Prime, is that different from Turbo? I've never played the first two although I've wanted to try them.

    Also, I meant JP3, not 4 - apparently there was a fourth planned but it got shelved.
     
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  24. Jenkem Self-Ejected Patron

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    house of da vinci 1 and 2
     
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  25. Morpheus Kitami Learned

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    Yeah, that's a full-blown remake to the best of my knowledge. Don't think there's any issue with 2, but I haven't touched it.
     
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