As I've read the other reviews of this game, I've noticed that this is a "nostalgia game" for most people. I, however, have just played it for the first time (RealMyst Masterpiece, not the original). It has a lot of good points, but I gotta tell ya, there were some major gameplay issues that had me tearing my hair out at times. I'm sure some of that comes from trying to optimize an old game for new systems, but I was hoping for better. Still, I really enjoyed it and I'm glad I played it.
GOOD POINTS (as determined by a newbie to the series):
- Like everyone else has said, it's visually beautiful and imaginative.
- Soundtrack is lovely and very atmospheric.
- It was nice to know through the in-game "Hints" menu (which, yes, I had to check, for reasons described below) that this was a non-hostile environment! No waiting for something evil to jump out at me from the shadows, even though there are a few ominous things to see/hear. But nothing explicit - still family-friendly, I would say.
- The puzzles are truly creative, and that kept me interested. Every Age has a specific "theme" or "conceit" for how its puzzles work, but knowing the "theme" don't make 'em easy! As someone who grew up playing online Flash room escape games (and some point-and-click adventure games like The Neverhood), I was really impressed with the varied methods you had to use to solve them. Pro tip: don't try playing with the sound off. Ask me how I found that out. (Plus you'll miss the music and audio messages!)
- The story (which is why I play games) was tantalizing and left me wanting more.
- Having 2 options for navigation controls was handy.
- The day/night cycles for each age were cool and added to the immersive aspect.
- The flashlight was a HUGE help! I mean, you could probably get by without it, but I found it indispensable. I hate not knowing if I'm missing something because I'm in a dark area!
- The live acting wasn't half bad.
- Unfortunately, after finishing it, there isn't really anything "to do" in the different Ages, but I liked that you're able to go back and explore more if you want.
THINGS I DISLIKED:
- Oh. My. Gosh. The "clicking" mechanics absolutely drove me UP THE WALL! I usually had to click on a certain supposed-to-be-clickable area in 20 different places before it would work. And the "sweet spots," when I finally found them, were inconsistent.
- The other "clicking" problem was that I frequently would stop being able to click on anything all of a sudden. I'd try to click a button that I'd pressed a hundred times and nothing would happen, and then I'd discover I couldn't click anything else either (though the game didn't freeze). I usually had to reload a save, which was frustrating, although on rare occasions the problem went away after I visited the game menu and waited a few minutes. Still, VERY exasperating. I was never able to tell, the first time I tried to click on a new object, if it was truly clickable or if I was having another glitch. I had to resort to the Hints frequently just because of that.
- Sometimes I would get "stuck" navigationally: I wouldn't be able to leave/move away from a particular position or vantage point, though there was nothing obstructing me. Sometimes I could fix it by reloading, but sometimes I had to work my way back from an earlier save :/ I particularly had this problem while facing the battery in the Stoneship Age and while facing the ceiling above the elevator in the Mechanical Age.
- The game did crash on me - once, I think.
- There are certain times when you're supposed to be able to hear an audio message, but the music never muted or decreased its volume, so I could rarely hear what was said. I had to look up the transcripts online. Subtitles would've been a huge help.
- I had an issue with the red/blue pages where I could collect them both in each Age, but could only give away the one that I had collected last. This meant that I didn't get to hear some of the audio messages from the brothers.
- You kind of have to do the Selenitic Age first, though the game doesn't require you to (and I didn't). Certain puzzles in other Ages are extremely hard to beat without having been introduced to a particular puzzle from the Selenitic.
- Having only five available save-game slots was annoying to someone who's used to infinite saves :D Also, some of the saves actually took me back a little ways before where the save-point actually was - I couldn't really save while a puzzle was in progress.
In short, it's a great game, and it's fun to get to experience the great-granddaddy of all the point-and-click games I grew up with. That said, you definitely need to approach it with the knowledge that it's still an old game, despite its remastering. It has plenty of major bugs, but it's still good. I liked it enough that if they remade Riven and etc. I'd probably play them.