I was thinking about writing something peculiar, strange and weird to start this review off. Kind of setting the mood, but there is nothing I can write to even come close to the both confusing, and mesmerizing start to the actual game. Starting off with getting some hints about things to come from Atrus, you awake inside a cage. A native is trying to communicate with you in some strange language before being struck by some sort of arrow, and dragged away by a masked stranger. Yes Riven is a wondrous game if you let it.
Riven continues the point and click adventure story from Myst. The controls are limited to moving between scenes, and interacting with the odd piece of machinery. There are not many items to actually interact with, but the satisfaction when I actually figure them out is immense. Riven gives you quite large areas to explore right away, and it can be played as a relaxation game just walking about.
Immersion is important in the experience, and Riven is not suitable for short sessions. It also benefits from having good headphones to capture all the ambience. If you get into Riven completely it can take over all your free time.
The graphics are good with amazing locations to explore. Worth noting is the extreme file size clocking in at about 1GB. When installing you need at least 2GB free on your device. I had no problems getting it installed on my iPhone 4 over WiFi, but it is recommended to download it on your computer first instead.
The music is ambient, and there are nice environmental sounds from the cascading waves around Riven. Riven comes with acted movies helping the story along, and these are not as hi res compared to the in game images.
One thing that spoils immersion somewhat is the new hint system. Large green indicators show items you can interact with. Whenever one of those show up I wake up from my travels in Riven. Thankfully you can turn them off from showing automatically when idle.
If you have already completed Myst I can fully recommend you to continue your travels into Riven. It is a great port with a good save system, bookmarks and multitasking compatibility. The puzzles are intriguing, and the game world is immense. If you are new to Myst and Riven I recommend you to start with Myst.
Riven: The Sequel to Myst $5.99
Seller: Cyan Worlds, Inc.