realMyst on Switch isn’t quite a masterpiece but still a wonderful tribute to a gaming legend

1993 was an interesting time for the point & click adventure with Lucasarts hitting their stride and Cyan stunning the world with Myst.

I remember the first time I saw it play out on my PC and having my mind absolutely blown. Sure, the 7th Guest took a lot of the headlines at the time, but Myst was extraordinary. It took you to a far-off place on an unforgettable fantasy adventure.

Back then, it was a marvel in design, but structurally it hasn’t aged very well. The movement system is quite outdated, the textures look rough blended with the full motion video, and the loading screens are … well … long.

Still, the foundation of an incredible adventure is very much intact, which is why Cyan rebuilt everything as the magnificent realMyst.

This was a reimaging of the original game, complemented by a more modern control scheme,  more enhanced graphical effects, and a remastered soundtrack, along with a new Rime age.

Then to celebrate the game’s 20th anniversary, we got realMyst: Masterpiece Edition which was essentially a director’s cut of a director’s cut.

The game is now explorable in real-time, there’s weather effects, a hint guide, flashlight, and even the option to play the game the original way. It’s the definitive edition of the original Myst and now it’s found its way to Switch.

Here’s the thing. I find some games are just more naturally suited to handheld mode than being placed in the dock. To be honest, realMyst looks kind of ropey on a big screen, with some textures strained and the performance suffering just a little bit.

With a more compact screen and the option to alternate to touch screen at the drop of a hat, however, is absolutely the selling point of this Switch port.

It boasts a higher resolution and aesthetical quality than the mobile ports and it enables you to reap the full benefit of Masterpiece Edition’s free-roam exploration. In some respects, one could go as far as to say this is the definitive edition of the definitive edition.

True, it doesn’t have the same graphical mastery available to PC owners – some textures do look pretty rough up close – but the transition between control schemes can be so useful in a pinch, and always presents the player with choice.

Even without touch, movement feels surprisingly freeing compared to how it used to be – and you can really see just how much by using the touch which automatically moves you between interactive points.

That said, the UI looks a bit rough and some of the environments can appear a bit pixelated. There also seems to be a bit of rotation lag when looking around, but this is a decent, surprise port, that was a delight to revisit.

I haven’t thought about Myst in a long time, and this was a wonderful trip down memory lane. It’s not quite a masterpiece, but realMyst is a wonderful tribute to one of gaming’s most influential – and enjoyable – adventures.

realMyst: Masterpiece Edition is now available on Switch

Played on Switch

Code provided by Cyan Worlds.

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