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Your favorite Myst-likes?

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

  1. iqzulk Savant

    iqzulk
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    Among Myst-alikes, the best starting place I think is a combo of Myst 3: Exile and real Myst 3D, 2000 version, that is.
    Also, Obsidian is pure fun.
     
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  2. Jenkem Self-Ejected Patron

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    Make the Codex Great Again!
    I seriously hope you meant Obduction.
     
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  3. iqzulk Savant

    iqzulk
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    I don't think so, no.
     
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  4. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

    <3sRichardSimmons
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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsidian_(1997_video_game)

    I played it twenty years ago. My memory is that it was pretty good, if a bit unspectacular.
     
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  5. Ludwig von Eisenthal Augur

    Ludwig von Eisenthal
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    - Zork Nemesis
    - Outcry (Sublustrum)
    - Scratches
    - Darkness Within
    - Most stuff from Kheops (Da Vinci, Dracula 3, Echo, Destination: Treasure Island, Cleopatra)
    - Agon 1-4
    - The Last Express

    All of these games are heavy on exploration, have decent storylines and interesting puzzle design. They are not exactly what I'd call myst-likes in the narrower sense though.
     
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  6. Strange Fellow Peculiar Patron Sad Loser

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    How many more times must I endure people calling Scratches good. Yeah, interesting puzzle design such as click on every goddamn inch of a four-storey house to unlock a hidden compartment and then listen to expository phone calls for 3 hours, 10/10
     
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  7. Ludwig von Eisenthal Augur

    Ludwig von Eisenthal
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    I like Scratches mainly for its exploration part, atmosphere and story. But I have to say I really enjoyed digging through the whole building, exploring every last corner trying to find out more about the past of the place. It helped me to immerse myself in the place and getting the illusion of being in a real place. It never felt dull for me as the atmosphere is strong and what I did felt logical. But yes, it may not be for everyone and it certainly has less elaborated puzzles than the other games I mentioned.
     
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  8. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Played ASA for a couple of hours and quit in frustration - too much bullshit. Puzzles that are hard not because they are hard but because the way to communicate the solution to the game is needlessly convoluted (the most outrageous case being connecting the wires puzzle). I played the remaster with hotspot highlighting, which felt a bit like cheating - but the amount of pixel-hunting the game would have required otherwise (and apparently did in its initial incarnation) is mindblowing. Lore-related puzzles elements don't seem particularly inspired either, like using old Cyrillic letters for alien numbers or using a substitute cypher for alien language. Maybe there's a good explanation for all that later in the game, but I can't be bothered to find out.
    Going by Steam reviews, the series improves with later titles. Has anyone here played them? Too late to refund it anyway.
     
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  9. Verylittlefishes Sacro Bosco Patron

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    I'm still struggling to play TLE because of resolution bugs, but...how in the world is it similar to Myst (besides FPV)? It is a thing in itself.
     
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  10. Ludwig von Eisenthal Augur

    Ludwig von Eisenthal
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    I noticed that many people tend to call First Person adventure games Myst-likes but I agree there are worlds between both games, especially in the puzzle department and in the narration. It's indeed a unique game (only Murder Makes Strange Bedfellows and Case of the Cautious Condor are similar).

    What resolution bugs? If it doesn't run properly under Windows you can try playing the DOS-version under DOSBox.
     
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  11. Verylittlefishes Sacro Bosco Patron

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    Steam version has some issues with scaling which is a chore to calibrate every time.
     
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  12. Neuromancer Learned

    Neuromancer
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    Exactly this!

    Several games mentioned in this thread have nothing to do with Myst besides being somehow in first person. This includes all of the Cryo Games, Dragon Lore, the Journeyman Project Series, House of da Vinci, Frankenstein and The Witness. (The last one was already discussed here. The first inspiration might have come from Myst, but the end result is a puzzle game in an abstract world with no story and pseudo-intellectual voice-overs.)

    All of these games are unlike Myst, except being in First Person.
    Some of them share similar movement and prerendered 3D-graphics, but the games themselves are very different.
     
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  13. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    For me personally the important features of a Myst-like are first person, blank slate protagonist, minimal story, reasonably open exploration and mechanical puzzles. The Witness does all five, although it arguably goes a bit too far with minimal story and not all of its puzzles are well integrated into the gameworld. It's a fringe case but it's close enough for me - closer than, say, Legend Entertainment titles that are first-person but story-heavy.
     
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  14. Ludwig von Eisenthal Augur

    Ludwig von Eisenthal
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    I wouldn't recommend playing this so called "Gold Edition". I find the tooltips, popups, the idiotic achievement system (I guess I'll never get what's the deal with achievements) and the obtrusive smartphone-friendly interface atrocious and really terrible for the atmosphere of the game (for me it's simply less buttons = more immersion). And they seem to have changed some sound effects or even removed them from the game (silent train cars...). I'd strongly suggest to try to hunt down the original (there are many abandonwaresites offering it). It's not such a hassle to make it run and it's just a much better experience in my opinion.
     
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  15. Verylittlefishes Sacro Bosco Patron

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    Just remembered the weirdest thing called Gadget: Past as Future. It is more like a FPV walking sim (the single puzzle is just before the ending), but it is must-check for lovers of 90s forgotten (and uncut) gems.
     
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  16. Neuromancer Learned

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    In my opinion, not really.

    The game has no story at all and also no protagonist. The exploration is quite limited and basically you as the player (again, no real protagonist or character) are only running around on an abstract island and sometimes searching for the clues for the puzzles. There is no exploration in the sense, that you try to experience and watch the world and its inhabitants itself, like for example in Riven.

    Also the puzzles are only of the line drawing type, which is used very, very creatively and with as much diversity as it gets, but still boils down to only one and also very abstract type of puzzle.
    You never have the impression, that you are working on some kind of real machine and also not have the variety that comes along with this.

    So from your five points the game only fits two or 2 1/2.


    Don't get me wrong, I like The Witness very much for what it is (except maybe for the "metaphysical" audio logs that you can collect), but for me it is neither an adventure nor a Myst game.
    There are some essential parts missing for this.
     
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  17. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    There are some bit and pieces of a backstory you can glimpse from the environment. But I agree, as I wrote, it takes this minimalism a little too far. And yet, in my opinion that makes it stray less from the Myst formula than, say, Call of the Sea which has a defined protagonist. Also, I don't get the distinction between blank-slate protagonist and no protagonist. In both games you have an avatar in the gameworld that does things and is affected by things; neither game gives that avatar a backstory, nor specific appearance or personality.

    I wouldn't say never - some puzzle sequences like the swamp or the castle work very much like this. But yeah, just as I've said, puzzles could have been better integrated into the gameworld. We don't really disagree here either.

    Funny thing is, I don't. I didn't like some of the puzzle variants that were more annoying than challenging or too arbitrary (tetris blocks especially), as well as logs and videos. I even agree that it doesn't qualify as an Adventure game - but I still see enough Myst in it to qualify as a Myst-like. It's a paradox but it's just my impression of the game.
     
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  18. Neuromancer Learned

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    The difference for me is the following:

    The blank protagonist, although it is not predefined and has no name in order for you to better to identify with (at least in theory) really represents a game character, that is travelling inside the game world. The world and its characters react to you as this travelling character.

    Even in the first Myst with still limited interactions, your player character is supposed to really travel to Myst (and the other) islands and you interact with the environment. The brothers and Artus directly talk to you.
    In later games these interactions were extended.


    In the witness (and other puzzle games) for that matter, there is no player character at all, as I stated before.

    The running around on the abstract island is just a means of control to get to the next puzzle or to look for some clues.
    Instead of just clicking on things like you would in a 2D puzzle game you have a kind of 3D player movement.
    But this doesn't give the player avatar any character.


    For example you also wouldn't say that, if you play an online crossword puzzle and click inside the fields to enter the letters, you represent some kind of character that is visiting "Crossword land".

    The same applies for the Witness.
    It may be a little bit more complicated than a crossword puzzle and is presented in 2D, but it still is a puzzle game without anymore background - except that metaphysical stuff, but this represents no story for me and also doesn't has any effect on the player avatar.
     
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  19. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Here's the funny thing: I was reading Plotkin's blog post about The Witness and he points out a thing that I didn't pay much attention to while playing. Namely, that your avatar in the game has a shadow - and it's a very defined shadow, male, tall and slender. And if you think of it, that shadow does figure into some puzzles e.g. in the Forest or, if I'm not mistaken, the Ruins. Plus the pressure plates puzzles that react to your avatar stepping on them.
    I also don't agree that the gameworld is merely a kind of UI - you solve puzzles to traverse it, e.g. open doors, create bridges etc; and its elements affect your puzzle-solving. I do agree that it exists in a sort of superposition of states: some elements immerse you in the world (Castle's pressure plates) while others take you out of it by foregrounding iartificiality (trees in the Orchard and Forest).
     
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  20. Neuromancer Learned

    Neuromancer
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    I think that this is just an over-interpretation of Plotkin (I didn't read the text myself - only take your word).
    For me the shadow is just a generic featureless shadow of a blank player avatar and nothing more. (And how does Plotkin know, that this is supposed to be a "male" shadow? [​IMG] )


    The different things you mentioned (shadow for puzzles, plates, doors bridges) are just different puzzle elements and elements to gate the player's progress or let him continue.
    These elements are just presented in a way that it is more intuitive for the player to deal with them. An opened door signifies puzzle progress in away that is very easy to understand and doesn't require any explanation. The same for movement: Everyone who played a few games can use the standard movements of The Witness or Braid, even both games don't use a real player character.

    And one must admit:
    Jonathan Blow is a genius in teaching the player and presenting him with the puzzle and game concepts - and all of this without using a single word.
    Yes, both games The Witness and Braid feature additional texts, essays etc. - but gameplay-wise this is purely optional and only used for his philosophical views.
    You can play both games and solve the puzzles without reading (or listening to) any line of text.


    I agree, that the gameworld is not merely a kind of UI, but it is not a real game world either!

    Instead, the different areas of the world represent several themes, moods, philosophical concepts put there intentionally by Jonathan Blow. Sometimes there also small references, e.g. the swampy tree area is clearly a tribute to the Channelwood age in Myst 1 - and for me this is the only real link I see between these two games.
     
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  21. Nifft Batuff Arbiter

    Nifft Batuff
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    Obviously Riven. More recently I have played Quern and I mildly enjoyed it, although I wasn't invested as much as in Riven.
     
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  22. Jenkem Self-Ejected Patron

    Jenkem
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    I wouldn't exactly call Riven: The Sequel to MYST a "myst-like"
     
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  23. Boleskine Arcane

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