Image: Cyan Worlds

Cyan's Myst, the game which, alongside The 7th Guest, is credited by many as kickstarting the CD-ROM revolution on computers, turns 30 today.

The game launched on Mac on September 24th, 1993, and would come to PC the following March. It would later come to a wide range of consoles, including PlayStation, Saturn and 3DO.

Created by siblings Rand and Robyn Miller, Myst harnessed the incredible storage capacity of CD-ROM to render its game world with stunning CGI visuals. FMV sequences and atmospheric music made for a surprisingly engaging experience, while the challenging puzzles managed to draw in casual players. Myst sold six million units on PC, making it one of the best-selling computer titles of all time.

The Myst series would continue with Riven (1997), Myst III: Exile (2001), Myst IV: Revelation (2004) and Myst V: End of Ages (2005). The spin-off title Uru: Ages Beyond Myst was released in 2003. A VR version of the original game was launched in 2020, and this was later ported to other non-VR systems.

Speaking to this author for Retro Gamer magazine, Robyn Miller reflected on the amazing success of Myst:

I think there was stuff that frustrated practised gamers. There were no command keys, there was only the mouse and one button, there was no avatar, the world was presented cinematically, and so on. Because of all this, Myst may have seemed almost too simple to gamers who were used to things that looked and felt like games. And yet this is partly what made Myst so popular with the majority of our audience - those who’d never played a game before. To them, Myst was approachable; it felt real.