Prepare to enter a world "torn asunder" by timeless, unresolved conflicts--a world of incomparable beauty, intrigue, and betrayal. Prepare to go to Riven. Journey through vast, awe-inspiring landscapes, where clouds sit nestled in a deep blue sky and the rolling sea waters shimmer from bright morning sunlight.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (136 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 29, 1997

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Notice: Riven: The Sequel to MYST is not compatible with Windows XP.

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Packages that include this game

Buy Cyan Complete Pack

Includes 8 items: Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel, Myst V, Myst: Masterpiece Edition, realMYST, Riven: The Sequel to MYST, Spelunx and the Caves of Mr. Seudo, The Manhole: Masterpiece Edition, URU: Complete Chronicles


About This Game

Prepare to enter a world "torn asunder" by timeless, unresolved conflicts--a world of incomparable beauty, intrigue, and betrayal. Prepare to go to Riven. Journey through vast, awe-inspiring landscapes, where clouds sit nestled in a deep blue sky and the rolling sea waters shimmer from bright morning sunlight. But be forewarned: nothing is quite as it seems.

Reclusive beings and mysterious creatures populate the land. Deep, dark secrets lay hidden at every turn. Your utmost powers of observation and reason are required to complete a most elusive task. You must let Riven become your world. Only then may the truth be discovered and a world saved. Riven stands as a story for all time, a story that evokes a sense of awe, wonder, and profound purpose. Prepare to go to Riven--a world unlike any you've ever known.

System Requirements

    • OS: Vista / Windows 7 (unofficially supported)
    • Processor: 800mhz Pentium 3 or greater
    • Memory: 256MB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 3+ GB available HD space
    • Video: DirectX 9.0c compatible or better
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0 compatible
    • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c or greater
Helpful customer reviews
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
This is one of the best games you will ever play, and it will take a bit to explain why.

First of all, there is little in the way of 'gameplay': it is a point-and-click adventure game, with no reward given to reflexes or hand-eye coordination. That's not the kind of game this is. The controls are there; they do what they need to do and nothing else. It won't detract from your enjoyment, simply because you'll never feel the need to shoot at something or jump over a pit of lava.

Second of all, you need to play Myst first, and Myst isn't the best game ever made. Myst will do two things for you: it will start you off with the story and the concept of linking books, and it will warm up the parts of your brain that you'll need to solve Riven. Unlike Myst, there is so much lore and eyecandy in Riven that you won't know what notes to take and what you need to remember, and you won't know a puzzle even when it's staring you in the face. Yes, sometimes you'll find a combination lock or something traditional like that, but you'll also encounter obstacles that you won't even know are solvable. It is one of the hardest puzzle games ever made, but it does it the right way: No pixel hunting and no subversive ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥.

Third of all, the Steam version and the GoG version are both broken. Get yourself a copy of the DVD version.

With that all in mind, go fiddle your way through your favorite Myst remake, and then sit down with a pencil and paper and have your mind blown. Right here is where the universe blossoms, right here is where the blunt story of a peculiar family suddenly shows it's true depth, right here is where you disover that there is thousands of years of history behind you, right here is where you discover that the Miller brothers are two brilliant and crazy motherfrakkers.

And if you look up the solution to a puzzle online, you'll ruin the whole thing. Reach out and poke someone on Steam for a hint. Don't spoil the greatest ocean of atmosphere and intrigue ever made.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
Riven upped the ante after Myst. This time, you are not so alone in the world you play in. There are a few creatures and characters, but the interaction is still non-existent the majority of the time. However, Riven, similar to Myst is all about the puzzles and not so much about the interactions with NPCs or other characters. The story is still simply there to give you reason for the puzzles rather than anything else. The graphics look better than Myst and the world is much larger. Classic game, and a must have for any adventure genre fan.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
+ Challenging, witty and original puzzles
+ Beautiful scenery from rendered graphics
+ Takes you back to your early-teens or childhood whatsoever.

It was a nostalgic moment when I started re-playing this game again after about 15 years. :)
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
16.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
Riven is the second entry into the Myst series and the sequel to the original Myst game, both of which were extremely well received and achieved massive commercial success, selling millions of copies and being available across a spectrum of platforms including; Mac, Saturn, Windows, Jaguar CD, 3DO, CD-i, PlayStation, AmigaOS, PSP, Nintendo DS. Riven takes place immediately after the events following Myst in which you play the role of yourself, sent to Riven to free a man named Atrus's wife and capture Ghen, a power hungry lunatic who was banished to Riven.

Riven, like the original and the others in the series is a puzzle based adventure game in which you will need to traverse across islands, explore them carefully and elaborately and solve puzzles. Riven like Myst is extremely hard, these are probably the hardest puzzle games on the market yet at the same time are logical and fair. I first experienced these as a child but had no idea what I was doing and gave up pretty shortly then went back to playing Duke Nukem 3D, now that I am older and wiser was finally able to appreciate these games, to call Myst and Riven masterpieces would be an understatement, these are works of art in every regard. I have yet to try Myst III and upwards and can’t wait.

Riven features tough puzzles, has an amazing soundtrack, brilliant plot and some of the best art work in gaming that will leave you in awe, while this may be picture-based there are some scenes which feature real actors and are done very well. Riven has an atmosphere so thick you’d need a steak knife to slice through it, an insane amount of attention to detail was put into consideration when designing every square millimetre of this game, everything is done so well.

I hope they remake this along the line with a new engine so more people and future generations will be obliged to give it a shot as this is a piece of artwork that everyone should experience.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
Fantastic adventure game ! Can be very challenging, hard sometimes, but it's beautiful and the story is nothing else than amazing ! (Since the game is old, you may need some fixing, like setting riven.exe in Windows XP SP2 or Windows 98 Compatibility mode in Properties)
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
Riven will always be one of my favourite games. Unfortunately my original cd version of it refused to install ( win-7 64bit ). But found it on steam and took the plunge fingers crossed that it would work on my system. And with the valuable fix and workaround posts i read, it now works and runs flawlessly.! So pleased. :)
Definately worth afew bucks for a still beautiful game.!
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2014
Despite the aged point-and-click interface and high difficulty curve of puzzles, RIVEN encompasses one of the most rich experiences in gaming history, aesthetically, architecturally, anthropologically, sonically.
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
Do not spend money on this. Steam will not respond or give you your money back after you have tried multiple proposed solutions to remedy the constant crashing.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
I first found this game when my teacher used the number system to teach bases in his number theory class. This game is ridiculously hard, but so rewarding. I have barely figured anything out, but the things I have were just like, oooooohhhhh... Anyways, the graphics are amazing, the story is amazing, the music is amazing, all in all 100/100 amazing game.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
My favorite of the saga.

I just wish they could better the resolution though...
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
Aah...such a good thing to get back into the worl of Riven.
I was afraid to ruin the amazing memory i had of it, and, even if i now find it just slightly less amazing, i still love it !

I had a.."richer" memory of its world. Don't know how to explain. My imagination was probably simply much better when i was youg !
Still, the game remains truly amazing if you like its kind !!

Just think about saving your progression, there are some bugs. I had to restart the game like 10 times (+2 game over :"( ). And one save was corrupted because a crash occured just during saving.

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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
Have a minimum of two saves when playing this game. In some places when you save, the file will become corrupted and you'll get an error message when loading your saved game.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2014
Crashes alot in my experience. Still want to play just difficult to do so
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Pre-Release Review
I would recommend this game, but not the steam version. Too many errors and crashes made it unplayable. I have several Myst games on this account and all of them worked fine, just not Riven.
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5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
This game will not run on a modern system. Why Valve allows incompatiable games on Steam I have no idea.

If you REALLY want to play this gem, grab Virtual Box and load up Windows 98/95.
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96 of 105 people (91%) found this review helpful
105.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 4, 2014
Riven is a sequel to Myst, an old school click adventure game that revolves solving intricate puzzles and exploring surreal worlds created from linking books.

First off let me tell you that Riven is not revised for modern hardware, as such, some feature set is very archaic. The save menu operates like a word document save menu. The resolution is stuck at a piddly 640x480 resolution, this makes playing the game on modern monitors an absolutely awful visual experience. To makes matter worst, the game cannot be set to windowed mode without some major .exe hex coding voodoo. That set aside, the game is still worth playing. After all with the limitation of Riven’s game engine, which is essentially one huge powerpoint slide, it’s not too strange that the game is limited in resolution. The game is a little over 3 gigabytes and it’s 33% of 1080p. Keep in mind that this game was created in 1997, which equates to a 5 CD game. Had this game release at 1080p, it would’ve been around 15 CD’s. Have fun switching and keeping track of that many disk while playing!

Low resolution doesn’t necessarily mean the graphics in Riven are at all bad. In fact, Riven’s pre-rendered graphic looks awesome! It doesn’t look plastic like you would expect from a game from this era, but fairly photorealistic. The graphic looks crisp, and the surreal architecture of the buildings and environment in game brings a sense of wonder and mystery. Very few games in 1997 can blow you away graphically, Riven is one of those games that will leave you in awe at the beauty of 1997 technology.

The music and ambient track in Riven is absolutely amazing on a beefy surround sound system. Visually I was put off by the gigantic black bounding box on screen but the sound immersed me enough for me to overlook the huge dark void surrounding the game. The sounds from a water creek would fade in and out as I get closer or farther away from the source. The sound of machinery is so crisp I could believe I have such machinery in my house.

Riven isn’t for casuals or the easily frustrated. The puzzles in this game are one of the most mind bending and complicated in any game I have ever played. This is probably the first game ever that I got lost even with the assistance of a walkthrough. It’s not that the puzzles are too obscure to figure out, it’s because the logic behind them and the reference to them is sometimes hard to pick up. The map and locale of Riven is also massive so backtracking for clues can become a headache. With the limited screenshot capabilities of the game, it’s even harder to remember specific details about clues without jotting down rough notes to what you see. For casuals and unclean masses who have never played an adventure game before, this game is a deathwish. Veterans of the point and click genre will definitely be challenged.

Riven regardless of it’s age is still well worth playing for veterans of point and clicks. It aged relatively well even with it’s hideous resolution. If you’re itching for a masochistic slideshow adventure game, you won’t find a better one anywhere on steam.
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27 of 28 people (96%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 26, 2014
Anyone else remember this game? Riven was the sequel to the massively popular game Myst which launched in 1993. It was famously one of the first games to be released on a CD and helped to popularize the CD-ROM drive. I can't even believe Myst is more than 20 years old now. I can still remember playing Myst on Windows 3.1 and how frustratingly often it used to crash. Then Riven was released in 1997 and came on 5 CDs. You had to annoyingly keep swapping the CDs out as you explored different parts of the island. There's a lot of stuff like this about Riven that requires the player to have a lot of patience. Patience that I had as a kid, but has long since left me as an adult. It's kind of a shame because I'm pretty sure that if I played a game like Riven today, I'd push it aside after 15 minutes or so and move on to something else. While there are some technical limitations and some game mechanics in Riven that have not aged well over the years, there's also a lot this game does really smartly. It's a "slow burn" type of game. If you give Riven your time and patience, it will reward you with some amazingly clever puzzles and an unusual and immersive fantasy story.

For those not familiar with the Myst games, they are point & click style adventure games. But not quite in the same way as the old King's Quest or Monkey Island games. They're no puzzles that involve combining items together through some absurd logic that allows you to progress further or whatever. In Riven, you're gated only by how much you've explored and how deep your understanding is about the island and its inhabitants. It's a game that does a beautiful job of communicating a complex story with few words and minimal cutscenes. The only cutscene you're given for quite a while is the game's initial opening cutscene, which really gives you more questions than answers. During this cryptic scene, a man teleports you to an island called Riven after giving you nothing but two books. You arrive in a jail cell on Riven where one of the books you were given is promptly stolen by a man who does not speak your language. The thief is then quickly killed by another mysterious person who sets you free, but not before taking the stolen book for himself. You're then free to explore the island and unravel the mystery of Riven. An intriguing open, no? What's in that book that's worth killing for? And who are these people who are so desperate to get it?

Riven's story is told through exploring the island, discovering its secrets and understanding the meaning and purpose behind them. Riven doesn't tell its story through dialogue or cutscenes as in most games. When you do watch a cutscene in the game, it usually only serves to confirm what you've figured out about the island already. It's never directly or clearly communicated to you what any of the character's motivations are or even why you were sent to the island in the first place. It's really up to the player to discover and understand the deep story in Riven for themselves, and this may have been the most satisfying part of the game for me. I think the best way to go about doing this is to always ask the question "Why?" when something doesn't make sense. A lot of the fun in this game is trying to form the answers to all of the questions the game gives based on what you know about the island so far. The developers did a fantastic job of being very deliberate with their world design. Nothing is there by accident or coincidence, nearly every object or structure in the game is meant to communicate something important to you. As you explore Riven, you'll encounter many mysterious machines and contraptions. Ask "What do they do?". "Who would have put them here?". If you think on these questions, eventually the details of the story will come in to focus.

The puzzles in Riven are given to you in a similar fashion as the story. The objective or elements of the puzzle aren't given to you explicitly, but rather communicated to you subtly through the environment and world design. It's definitely a game where you have to keep a sheet or two of handwritten notes while you're playing, which is something not many games do anymore. Some of the puzzles in Riven are downright brilliant. There's one amazing puzzle in particular where I can remember feeling so impressed with myself after I had figured it out. The solutions to these puzzles are really so satisfying when you finally figure them out. I'd challenge you to play through this game without looking any of them up.

Riven is not without its faults though and some of them are unfortunately due to this game's age. The game is first person, but it's not full 3D. It's essentially a bunch of still images that have been linked together. This, to me, really makes the game feel aged. A full 3D engine would do this game a lot of good. The game's pace is also incredibly slow and it can be very frustrating to be stuck in one place for a while and feel like you're not progressing. This will likely happen a lot in Riven which can be discouraging to players if they don't have a deep well of patience. There are certain puzzles in the game where Riven may have been to clever for its own good. The puzzle solutions are fair, but they're hidden so deeply in the game's world that they're not easily discovered without a very keen eye and extremely sharp mind.

If you've got the time and patience and love puzzle games, mysteries or unusual stories, Riven would probably be a good fit for you. Just keep in mind that this game will probably show its age and you may also get stuck frequently while playing it. If you've never played a game in the Myst series and are curious, Riven is a great place to start. It's a refinement and improvement on everything that the first game was. While subsequent games in the series improved their audiovisual fidelity, they never quite recaptured the sublime story or brilliant puzzles that made Riven a great game. Also steer clear of Myst 5. That game is terrible. Rand Miller, one of the lead creative minds behind Myst and Riven recently launched a successful kickstarter for his new game, Obduction. It sounds like Obduction will play similarly to Riven and I'd love to try another game like this to see if I still have the patience for it. I'll be interested to monitor the development of Obduction and hopefully play it soon.

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28 of 32 people (88%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 11, 2014
I was really excited to play this game, and for such a cheap price I was sold. The product however, does NOT run properly on windows 7 despite the steam store, and I did not realise until afterward. The game will inconsistantly freeze up when changing screens or saving, averaging 5-20 minutes of play between crashes. It is really disappointing to be unable to play such a great game, but I cannot reccomend it in the state it is sold.
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21 of 21 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 18, 2014
A classic game, I’m very glad I invested the small amount to purchase it on Steam. Riven is and forever will be my favorite of the Myst games, and while I would dearly like to see it lovingly restored as Myst has been, it is still a pleasure to play in its original form.

Having completed the game, I will say once again that it is not without its bugs, but the workarounds are acceptable if done properly and in advance (I did them once before I started gameplay and did not have to do them again). I completed this game using Windows 7 64bit and was able to avoid freeze-ups, major glitches (there was some minor screen clipping during videos and sound clipping during minor interactions which did not affect gameplay), or deleted saves. I used the following fixes…
  1. Make sure the game is up to date.
  2. Set the game to play in compatibility mode (in this instance I chose Windows 98/ME with all the boxes checked including ‘run as administrator’)
  3. Set you launch option to ‘/affinity 1’
  4. Make certain you use multiple save
This should give you smooth gameplay with a minimum of bugs save for one:
After entering the cell in the Rivenese village, you will walk down a dark tunnel. If you go to the very end of the tunnel and turn around, the game will glitch and land you back at the swinging chair. To avoid this, light the first lamp, glitch, run the tunnel again, but this time stop the first time you see light, turn around and light the lamp, work your way back from there. This was the only frustrating glitch I encountered.

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29 of 36 people (81%) found this review helpful
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 16, 2014
Very buggy on Windows 7. Makes a difficult game all the more difficult. Having a game crash on a save that can no longer be recovered is maddening.
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