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Puzzle Design in the Myst Series

My latest article is up at GameSetWatch. It’s about puzzle design, and three cases where the Myst series gets it totally right. Read it here.

I freely acknowledge the flaws of the Myst series, but there’s something utterly compelling about these games that nothing else has captured for me. The Ages serve as exploration environments as well as puzzle arenas, and the world has developed quite well, to the point that Uru and its followups require a bit of world knowledge in order to play them. The rules can be determined by experimentation, but it’s handy to know ahead of time that, say, a Link always takes you to the same position in space relative to the planet. And of course, in the Myst universe, “planet” is a very vague term.

I have several other favorite puzzles that didn’t make it into the article. Here are a few of them, in an arbitrary order:

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