As much as we love to snark about Myst and its obtuse puzzles around here, it’s hard to deny the nearly 25-year-old adventure series’ influence on the industry. Developers Cyan are aiming to celebrate the upcoming anniversary with the release of a boxed collectors edition release of all seven games in the series, polished up, tweaked and tuned to make them all play nice with modern machines and all wrapped up in some very authentic-looking packaging.
The collection includes the original Myst both in it’s pre-rendered and free-roaming ‘RealMyst’ formats, Riven (Myst 2), Myst 3: Exile, Myst 4: Revelation, Myst 5: End of Ages and Uru: Complete Chronicles, a slightly tweaked offline variant of the ill-fated (but still fan-maintained) MMO spinoff Uru Live. While most of these have been available through the likes of GOG for some time, Myst 3 and 4 are being updated specifically for this re-release. And yes, that’s only 6 games, but Cyan are counting RealMyst as its own thing.
While Cyan initially turned to Kickstarter to see whether there was enough interest to justify the production costs on this fancy collectors edition, they sailed past their required £175,000 funding target within just eight hours, proving that the Myst name still carries some clout, and effectively turning the Kickstarter into a glorified preorder page. It’s not surprise that all 25 of their unique numbered copies (each including an original design sketch from Riven, and costing $1,000 a pop) were snapped up instantly by eager hoarders and collectors.
While there is a digital-only option to get downloadable versions of all games bundled together for $49/£35 (available in August), the focus of this anniversary release is the extra-fancy boxed edition, shaped like the iconic Myst book. There are two versions of it: One made of mere cardboard, priced at $99/£70, and an extra-fancy version with an LCD video screen built into the box that shows famous scenes from all the games when the book is opened. Unsurprisingly, this costs a lot, and bumps up the price to $169/£120. These editions, plus one more hellaciously expensive $250/£177 variant including the inkwell and pen used by Riven’s antagonist, Gehn, are due to be shipping out sometime in November.
While the Windows 10-friendly updates to all games will be available to buy normally via GOG or Steam once they’re finished and polished up, the collectors edition boxes are apparently a one-time-only release. I’ve never been a fan of Myst myself (or point-and-click adventures in general, outside of a rare handful), but the series was instrumental in establishing a new sub-genre in adventure games, and driving more studios to make CD-only games packed to the gills with extraneous video and hammy acting. Games with that kind of lasting influence are few and far between, putting it alongside the likes of Half-Life and Minecraft, whether or not you get along with its particular brand of puzzling.
For those interested more in Cyan’s future, they also recently announced Firmament, a VR-centric adventure that looks to carry on the legacy of Myst. Expect to press buttons, pull levers and wonder what the hell any of that did once more, now with a silly pair of goggles strapped to your bonce.