In Myst, you’re dropped onto a sunny but creepy island with no backstory and no context, and you’re left to explore and figure things out yourself. It’s a precursor to a lot of the more obtuse and “lore-heavy” games available now, but at the time it was something of a revelatory mechanic, at least to me. Myst was a minor cultural phenomenon at the time, and deservedly so, as it combines surreal (and, for the time, advanced static CG graphics), a dark story told through magic books and video clips, multiple surreal and beautiful zones to explore, and tricky, multi-screen puzzles that are still challenging.

Myst is one of my childhood favorites and one of the games for which I have the fondest memories. I absolutely loved this as a kid, and realized at the time that it was something pretty new and different. We may have bought a CD-ROM drive mostly for this game. It was also, I believe, built originally in HyperCard, which is what I used to make my first games as well.

Cyan made several sequels to Myst, including its sequel Riven (which is great), and several more I never got around to playing. They also developed the classic Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel (which I played obsessively in my grade school computer lab), The Manhole, and Obduction, which released a couple years ago.

Myst has been remade several times, most notably as realMyst: Masterpiece Edition, which is a full 3D remake of the original, with updated graphics and better performance. Cyan also this year Kickstarted the Myst 25th Anniversary Collection, which includes all 5 Myst games plus a couple more. It’s due out in 2018.