Publishers and developers
The game realMYST (or realMyst, depending on who you ask) was developed by Cyan Worlds (developers of the original Myst) and Sunsoft. Cyan Worlds originally licensed development rights for realMyst to Sunsoft, but wasn't satisfied with the way the game was turning out and took over development. The PC version was released in November 2000 by Mattel Interactive, and in mid-2001 was rereleased by Ubi Soft when rights to publish the Myst franchise got sold to Ubi Soft. The Mac version was released in March 2002 by MacPlay, after development of the Mac version was passed to them by Cyan Worlds. Release of the Mac version was postponed for so long because of concerns that an earlier release of the game would compete with Myst III: Exile.

This is a complete redo of the original Myst in full realtime 3D, rather than the slideshow interface of the original Myst. It is marketed as the "ultimate director's cut" of Myst, though none of the material of the original was retained. There's wildlife, changing weather, and really neat water effects, all thanks to the "Plasma" 3D engine which Cyan bought from Headspin Technologies along with their entire progrmmming staff at the time. A day in realMYST lasts 20 minutes, which in extended gaming can make for an almost annoying amount of beautiful sunsets.

A small, bonus "Age" (world, level), called "Rime", was added to the game. Access to Rime is granted as reward for winning the game - in the original game your entire reward for winning was the ability to continue to explore all the worlds you had just painstakingly solved until you were "needed again." This made the ending of the original Myst one of the most anticlimactic ones in gaming history (though that could be excused by the fact that it doesn't even have a plot to be wrapped up), and the addition of this sixth (or seventh, depending on how you're counting) Age helps correct that.

The game has an unusual amount of easter eggs, many of which contain screenshots or concept art of Cyan's next game, Myst Online. Update: That game has now been released as Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, which did briefly have an online component but withered away quickly, so the working title turned out a bit inaccurate

Another advantage of the 3D engine is that it allows users to simply edit a few configuration files, and suddenly they're able to fly around the worlds of Myst (granted, not many people fantasize about that at night). Try that with a slideshow interface.

All that said, the game is a bit sloppy. Cyan's goal for the game was to make some profits to help support development of Myst Online (which will cost a total of $8 million), not to make a genuine classic that would be radically better than the original Myst, and it shows. The interface is clunky, small stray 3D artifacts like blue cubes are left lying around in areas not accessable to a normal player (unless they're using the aforementioned flying hack), and a different logo is even used in the game than on the box. It's generally rough, but it's pretty damn good nonetheless. I'd recommend it to anyone new to the Myst series, or to someone who was especially captivated at the time by the original Myst.

A demo of the game is available. It's fairly limited, of course - gameplay is restricted to just the "Stoneship" Age (wherein among other things it is almost constantly raining in realMyst, unlike Myst).

System requirements
PC:

  • Pentium II 450 MHz
  • Windows 95, 98, Me, NT 4 (I think), 2000, or XP
  • 64 MB RAM
  • 300 MB hard disk space
  • 6x CD-ROM
  • 16 MB video card with 3D acceleration
Mac:
  • Power Macintosh G3 300MHz
  • 64 MB RAM for MacOS 8.6 or later
  • 128 MB RAM for MacOS X or later
  • 3D Video Card with 16MB VRAM


Links
  • realMYST - http://www.realmyst.com/
  • Cyan Worlds - http://www.cyanworlds.com/
  • Ubi Soft - http://www.ubi.com/
  • demo links no longer available

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