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: Very Positive (97 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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Buy Cyan Complete Pack

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


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
0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
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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16.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
Riven is absolutely in my top ten list of favorite games ever. I was so absorbed by the art direction, the presentation of the world, and the back history. It took my wife and I about a month to play with pen and paper in hand, but we finished it without any external assistance, and of that I am uber proud!

Specifically, I love that the game is 100% about the world and in game characters, and there is no plot focus on you as the main character. This allows you to step inside the world as if you were the one there. The immersion was there, even with the hypercard presentation.
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9.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 9
Amazing game, just like Myst, but jesus christ there's a lot of game breaking bugs to maneuvre around.
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
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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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
Whenever I get into a gaming comversation with anyone, I generally ask if they have played the Myst series, and of course they answer no. The Myst series, especially Riven, is not for those who cannot live without amazing graphics, and the point of the game is not in the graphics for me. It's the puzzle that makes this game amazing.
You find yourself getting a special notebook for the game, drawing out the various shapes you find in the world because it might be a clue later on.
Riven is my favorite in the series because it has some of the most difficult, yet most rewarding puzzles I could imagine. Solving the big puzzles requires a careful understanding of the world you have explored, and the ability to recognize an association between two items, perhaps a sound and an image.
This does require patience! You might get stuck for several days on a problem, but when you finally figure it out it all makes sense!
Despite having played several modern games like Team Fortress 2 and Warframe, I still view this game as the best game I have ever played.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 18
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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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
Because its current form is quite aged, Riven requires an open mind to enjoy.

Get this game because: puzzles (which are near perfectly built into environment and story); story; the most beautiful animated slideshow adventure there is.

Cons: 1997 display resolution; having to wait ~20sec for some journal pages to load (old, sequential scripting and filing); having to blip from the game to learn basic D'ni counting (which is base-25)

Btw, the Starry Expanse Project aims to remake this game in Unreal Engine 4.

Easy fix to bug: Before you get to the Moeity age called Tay, after activating the light at the end of the secret prison tunnel, repeat the path from the gallows UNTIL YOU FIRST SEE THE WATER, THEN TURN AROUND and continue lighting the tunnel, and finishing the game.

This brief review is biased because I played this game as an infant. I can play the entire thing now within three hours because I am familiar with the Myst / D'ni fictional world.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
They sure don't make them like this anymore. A product from a time when boasting about a 'cinematic experience' actually meant creating a genuinely engaging, immersive universe instead of linear cutscene-saturated hand-holding. Yes, you're actually going to have to, christ forbid, read to make proper sense of the story. Yes you're actually going to need to use your brain and take notes to solve puzzles. However it's all in service of a visual and storytelling richness that takes me right back to the days when I was playing this on quintuple CD-ROM.

Word of warning that the game is pretty much stuck in its original 640x480 resolution, I'd recommend playing it windowed, or adjust program resolution in compatibility options. Supposedly there are compatibility issues with W7 but I haven't experienced any problems in that department.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
107.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Riven the sequel to myst begins with you helping atrus by linking to a place called Riven in search of his wife Catherine,one of the problems you face when you link to riven is that you will have no way of getting back to dunny (where is dunny ?) well that is only reveled later on but for now you must seek out the truth behind where you came from,why you ended up on myst island and now you know why you are on riven ! If you help atrus he tells you he may help in getting you back to where you came from (it's funny when you read the myst books) so you journey on to riven with no linking books,many puzzles ahead and a very detailed and interesting world awaits.

I would recommend playing REALMYST before playing riven,i would also recommend you avoid the newer rerelease of myst as it's a mess and if i were to choose a version of myst to play,it would always be realmyst over the original,when it comes to riven,like myst and realmyst there are problems on newer computers and windows 7,most of these problems are fixed by changing the .exe of both games compatibility to windows xp and also choosing administrator when launching both games,however on riven you will face two problems,first your game sometimes will lock up so you MUST save often,second
problem is that your gamesave can sometimes corrupt,so save often and save to two slots each time you save the game
and you WILL get through the game from start to finish.

Like the game before,riven is a fantastic game filled with atmosphere,it's a very taxing but relaxing game and also highly rewarding,this game is no walk in the park and you should expect to get stuck many times,there is no shame in googling a helping hand at riven from time to time,just don't spoil it ! even with it's age it has lost none of it's charm and will always be a game dear to me.

On a final note,i recommend you play myst then look out for the myst books in an online book store,the three myst books are available in paper and digital form,after reading those books you will be itching to jump into riven and i am sure your eyes will be open to the amazing worlds of myst,the ages and the lore.

The ending has not yet been writen
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 27
Very long and in depth compared to Myst. A classic puzzle game that holds up well for it's age. Even through the graphics are low resolution, they still look good. The live actor videos over the static rendered scenes works very well. The sound is great and something you should pay attention to.

I never encountered any annoying puzzles or inconsistencies. The game is very well produced, and has plenty of back story and lore.

The only downsides are it's infrequent random crashes, and crashes on "Save-As" on some computers.

Riven is a must play if you enjoy this genre.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
much childhood. wow
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
I wish this game worked. It was so much fun back in the day. But this version keeps freezing. I wish I could get a refund. Don't spend money on this unless you have money to waste. The game might not even run for more than ten minutes. Waste of money. Very buggy. I am very dissapointed and DO NOT recommend.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
Riven is a really wonderful game .... but not when you are playing it on a Windows 8 PC and ya canny pause then it glitches so you have to start from the beginning for the 20 time.

Gave up on finishing the game on the PC n bought the iPad version instead.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
A beautiful game that well showing its age in places is still a wonderful experience for all persons who enjoy exploration and puzzles. But to be fare some of the puzzles are rather mindbending.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
always crashes...
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10.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 31
This game is still amazing. Riven has not depreciated with age (expecting in graphics resolution). Its concepts are keen, art is great (even in 'primitive' resolution), acting is over adequate, and the puzzles are fantastic. If you like playing games with your brain, play Riven.
If you haven't played Myst ever or just recently, you should do that first. I recommend 'realMyst: Masterpiece'. Is nice.
The steam release is a bit buggy but it can be finagled to run with almost no problems. In Win7, just run in compatibility mode for 98/Me, check all the 'disable' option under Settings and also 'run as administrator'. You may also find it necessary to name your new save files with completely different characters. With just that done I had only minor trouble opening saves during play and exiting. Also at one place in the game I encountered a teleportation glitch that I have found no solution for but can be worked around very easily. Once you encounter it, go back to where it happened and "do the stuff at the place" then "after it happens again", go back again but "go slow this time and not all the way". See, problem solved.
Also to fix this stuff some people have suggested using some sort of folder shenanigans. These can be traced through the forums. I did not need them. Also there are many who say the GOG release is hardly to not at all buggy. I don't know those people.
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4.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 15
Best game of the Myst series by far. Inventive, difficult, immersive, and still a beautiful looking game years ahead of its time.
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30.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Rightly adored by fans of the original.

I had never managed to play Riven until adulthood; while I might be blind to Myst's flaws, the sequel would not be getting the benefit of rose-colored glasses. Though full-motion video comes across as occasionally laughable or awkward, the increased live-action acting for PC games was absolutely innovative at the time, and does serve the story well. Riven is not quite as contemplative as Myst, but there's a little frisson of danger towards unseen enemies and an increased sense of isolation or loneliness when you see villagers scattering at your presence.

The puzzles are fun, mind-bending, and story-relevant. At least one will make you feel clever and accomplished for having solved it. There is the occasional maddening lack of direction (e.g., a doorway hidden by a separate door), but the same openness mostly seems fair, allowing you to move yourself and the plot along without feeling railroaded. There's also a handy 'zip mode' for fast travel through areas that have been explored.

The environments are beautiful, desolate and lush and strange. The culture that created the buildings and objects you find are still hanging around, and getting to explore one, consistent Age shows off the designers' high attention to detail in set dressing. The soundtrack keeps to the prompt of beautiful and atmospheric, but appropriately thematic, also more menacing and distressing than the Myst audio.

The plot is serviceable, but really only compelling if you buy into the D'ni/Atrus/Catherine backstory and arcs, which you can easily overlook. However, the game has such great atmosphere and universe-building, and those fiendish puzzles, that the simple plot isn't much of a flaw.

A great stand-alone, and a worthy episode in the series.
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12.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Chances are that if you're reading this review, you already know how great the Myst franchise is, and you already know that Riven is hands-down the best of the series - heck, in my opinion the best puzzle game ever made. If you played the games back as a kid, you know this, and you're not here to hear about the plot - you're checking out those compatibility issues everyone is complaining about.

As it says above, Riven is not compatible on XP whatsoever. I played it on 7 and it was absolutely riddled with crash bugs, to the point where it was completely unplayable. I later upgraded to Windows 8, and have gotten halfway through the game with absolutely no errors - it runs flawlessly. Transitions between screens are quick, video files play without a hitch, and I haven't been booted back to the desktop once, no matter how much I try and simulate a crash as they'd happen on my Windows 7 laptop.

(along those lines, I was able to play Steam's version of Myst on both 7 and 8 and have thus far had no issues)

So, in short, buy this if you have a Windows 8 machine. I've heard that with a lot of fiddling, you can force the game to run on 7, but if you're like me, you'd rather just have it run from the getgo. If you aren't like me, check the steam forums - plenty of info on the fix can be found there.
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