Myst already available for PSP and DS, why bother with the iPhone port?

Myst is an adventure game where players explore an intriguing world and solve puzzles to advance the story. The game was first released on the Macintosh back in September 24, 1993, in short, the game was a smash hit, coveting the title of best selling PC game of all time, Myst was finally dethroned in 2002 by The Sims.

Since its initial release the game has been ported to multiple platforms, such as Windows, PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS. Although the game enjoyed great success on PC, scoring a respectable 90% on Game Rankings, the same can’t be said of the handheld ports, scoring 56%/53% on the PSP/DS respectively.

Where did the PSP/DS go wrong, and will the iPhone be doomed to the same fate?

When Myst was first created, it was designed to be played with a pointer device like the mouse, players would move frame by frame through the game, in each frame there would be various items and clues to aid the player. The sense of discovery made the game all the more enjoyable, but when the game was ported to the PSP, where the controls consisted of a Directional-Pad and buttons, the gameplay felt cumbersome. Using the D-Pad to guide the pointer was less than ideal, if only the PSP had a touchscreen.

Luckily the DS didn’t suffer from the same control issues the PSP did, since the DS was equipped with it’s own touchscreen. This helped the DS to mimic the sense of discovery of the original game by allowing players to select objects from each scene in a more intuitive manner. But the DS version of Myst wasn’t without its own faults, in contrast to the PSP, the screen size and sharpness was inferior.

Some may say that graphics aren’t everything, which I agree with, but graphics shouldn’t be ignored either, what really makes a game compelling is the combination of sound, graphics, story and interactivity, all of these play an important part in helping players become more immersed in the game world. If any of the aforementioned factors can be enhanced, why not, it would only add to the richness of the gameplay experience.

The best of both worlds

The iPhone has the potential to excel in the same areas where the PSP/DS have failed. The iPhone has a sharp and larger screen than the DS, and has a touchscreen where as the PSP does not. It’s not every day when you find a great game like Myst just yearning to be ported to the iPhone with little to no compromises.

Here’s to hoping iMyst can take full advantage of the iPhone’s potential and show a new generation of gamers why Myst is a classic.

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