A pretty average adventure. I think if Presto Studios made a mistake, it's that they tried to make the game too much like the original Myst. They got the look and feel right, and they created a good set of puzzles, but, like Myst, they completely ignored story elements and character interaction.
Graphics are blurry, puzzle bits are spread around (so wandering around writing everything you see down is necessary to solve pretty much every puzzle).
So a step back from Riven, but still very enjoyable.
Although it's quite a short game at around 6 hours or so, even then it feels like the substance is spread too thinly, so that there is a lasting impression of tedium.
The art is very nice and the graphics still hold up okay in 2013.
The story is nice, though the exposition is rather clumsy most of your interaction with the main character comes through rather unconvincing journal entries scattered around the game. It's a bit melodramatic, too, though in a charming kind of way. By far the highlight of the story are the multiple endings, and the clever way that they work.
The game play lets the game down. When the puzzles are clearly designed, they are usually obvious, and solving them is just a matter of going through the motions, which is often tedious. When they are not clear, they can be very frustrating. The game often seems to use trial and error as a crutch one level in particular seems to consist virtually entirely in wandering around a confusing environment, clicking random items until one of them does something. I was stuck for a very long time at the very end of this level because the 'solution' to the puzzle involved randomly performing an action with a completely unrelated and unpredictable consequence. Out of the entire game, I'd say there were only three or so puzzles which were truly novel, well-designed, and enjoyable.
Overall, I'd say check the game out if you like the look of it, but don't hesitate to look up a solution when you feel really lost, because it's likely a trivial thing which is the designer's fault rather than your own.
SummaryThe next chapter in this point and click adventure series which begun with "Myst" and "Riven," the best selling games of all time on any system, focuses on further exploration and puzzle-solving with the D'ni, a race who write magical books and create links to the "ages" described in them.