I’ve been a fan of the products coming out of Cyan Worlds for as long as I can remember. I grew up playing their children’s game Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel. When I got a little older, I was introduced to the Myst series, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Because of that, I was quite excited when I heard that Cyan was bringing back Myst Online: Uru Live for free. That was the only chapter of the Myst universe that I had missed, so that meant one more journey back that I hadn’t really expected.
So what’s Uru like? The adjectives that come to mind are: Different, Hard, Fascinating, and Great. A breakdown:
Different: The most striking difference between the Myst games and Uru is that there is an option to play in third-person. I wasn’t too sure of this at first, but now I’ve gotten used to it and I enjoy it.
Also, you get a home Age (or world, for the uninitiated) for which you can collect add-ons and rewards. That’s fun and it certainly encourages complete exploration of all the varied locations you get to visit.
And because this is an online game, it doesn’t have an ending. There are various journeys or quests to go on, which I suppose have endings and resolutions (but I haven’t reached any of them yet), but they don’t seem to make an interconnected whole.
Hard: My brothers and I have been truly stumped on a few puzzles so far. We even had to go ask another player for a hint on one of them. There have also been some easier puzzles, and many of the puzzles have been downright clever.
Some of the difficulty may come from that fact that you can push certain things around in Uru, which was impossible in the Myst series. Occasionally the solution has come to us once we remember that we can push things around.
Fascinating: The most fascinating thing in Uru to me is the addition of multiplayer puzzles. Some puzzles require you to find another player (or several) to help you complete a task. We participated in one of these the other night, and it was quite a different experience, but loads of fun.
The other thing I find interesting is that when you go to the D’ni City, you see other players running around. It brings a camaraderie to Myst that wasn’t there before.
Great: Uru is any Myst fan’s dream. It expands the Myst universe with tons of reading material about the D’ni kings and culture, a trip to the D’ni City, and lots of new Ages to explore. The puzzles have all been pretty strong so far (including, as I mentioned before, some very clever ones). I’m completely enjoying this chapter!
Cyan Worlds has stated that this is just the beginning. They want to get some fan-created Ages released for people to visit. They also say that they would love to create more Ages to explore if they ever find the resources.
As I was writing this post, they announced that they have had nearly 14,000 players sign up and that donations toward running the game are currently covering the cost of operation and then some. That’s great!