Are you looking for puzzle adventure games like Myst? The adventure genre has slowly been declining in recent years, but there are still some great titles available on different platforms.
Myst was a highly popular and critically acclaimed adventure series that spanned 1993-2005. The non-violent gameplay focused on players solving puzzles and attracted a massive casual audience (including myself). The Myst series offers challenging, complex puzzles, simple but beautiful graphics, and deep rewarding gameplay.
Myst was one of the first puzzle adventures I ever played, and still one of the best after all these years. I hope you enjoy this collection of similar experiences that I've put together. Please let me know in the comments section which alternative is your favourite, or share any games like Myst that you think I missed.
Which Myst Game Is Your Favourite?
1: The Myst Series
The Myst series is a great place to start, if you haven't already played all six titles. They all offer a similar style of gameplay and polish. If you are yet to play them all, you are truly missing out on a wealth of puzzle adventures.
The majority of the series is available on Windows and Mac, making this platform your ideal option if you want to play them all. However, some are available for other platforms including Windows Phone, iOS, Xbox and PlayStation.
Please be careful if you decide to purchase some of the older titles in the Myst series in their physical boxes as the age of these titles opens up a number of potential system issues. If you are unsure, please make a digital purchase through Good Old Games (GOG.com) instead.
This will guarantee that the game will work on your computer system as all games in the GOG collection have been updated to work in current versions of Windows (and you won't ever lose your copy again).
Myst Game Summary
|Game||Year of Release||Platforms|
Windows, Mac, iOS, Nintendo DS, PlayStation, PSP, Windows Mobile
Windows, Mac, iOS, PlayStation, Windows Mobile
Myst III: Exile
Windows, Mac, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Uru: Ages Beyond Myst
Myst IV: Revelation
Windows, Mac, Xbox
Myst V: End of Ages
2: The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour
The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour are puzzle adventures developed by Trilobyte at around the same time as the original Myst. This pair was a great success on PC and Mac and has since been ported over to iOS devices.
Players find themselves wandering through a mansion as they solve a variety of logical puzzles and unlock the story behind themselves, the mansion and their amnesia. Both of these games were the reason I got hooked on puzzle adventures such as Myst. These experiences are ones that many older gamers will remember and accordingly I cannot recommend them enough.
Similar to the Myst titles I strongly recommend purchasing these options through GOG.com to ensure complete compatibility with new computer systems and versions of Windows.
The 7th Guest Review
Machinarium is a puzzle adventure designed around a point-and-click interface. The gameplay and feel of Machinarium are very similar to that of Myst, despite Machinarium being point-and-click. The game was originally available on Windows, Mac and Linux but has since been added to iOS devices and Android.
In Machinarium you solve various brain teasers and puzzles that are linked together through an overworld. Machinarium is a unique adventure story that contains no dialogue (spoken or written), and apart from a few early tutorial prompts, the game does not use any form of understandable language, instead relying on animated thought bubbles.
To aid players, Machinarium offers a hint system involving two tiers. In each level, the player may receive one hint (although these become vaguer the further you advance through the story). Alternatively a walkthrough can be accessed at any time by completing a mini-game.
The word free world of Machinarium makes it a curiously fascinating adventure and appropriate for those seeking something less intense than Myst in the puzzle department (thanks to the help systems in place).
4. The Secret of Grisly Manor
The Secret of Grisly Manor has you exploring your uncle's mansion, solving puzzles and looking for clues to find out what has happened to him.
It offers a great puzzle adventure experience and is available on your portable devices (Android and iOS). In my opinion it is one of the best in the mobile space with very few titles offering the level of depth that you'll find within the game.
The Secret of Grisly Manor is slightly on the easy side when it comes to puzzle games though, making it perfect for younger children or novice puzzle adventurers, and a great way to break into the genre.
The Secret of Grisly Manor Trailer
5. Axel & Pixel
Axel & Pixel is a point-and-click puzzle adventure that was released in 2009 on the Xbox Live Arcade for Xbox 360. In 2010, it was also released on Steam for Windows.
The game follows a painter named Axel and his dog Pixel, who wake up in a dream world that is both unique, memorising and frightening. Together they must solve the various mysteries and puzzles and ultimately escape while fulfilling Axel's dream.
Axel & Pixel is your traditional point-and-click-style adventure and features many logic-based puzzles and riddles while presenting them in a unique way. The game contains four different chapters based on the four seasons and also features three different mini-games that are played several times throughout the adventure.
Axel & Pixel Gameplay
6: Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Amnesia is a survival/horror/puzzle blend, while it doesn't have a large puzzle focus like Myst, the game offers great (and scary) gameplay with some puzzles thrown in.
The title follows the journey of Daniel as he explores a dark castle while avoiding monsters and solving puzzles. The game includes physical object interaction, physics-based puzzles, and a insanity bar mechanic.
Uniquely, there are no weapons in Amnesia, which forces the player to rely on stealth and hiding to avoid the monsters that are present in the castle. Players must also manage their sanity, which decreases the longer the player is in darkness or when they witness a scary event.
To counter insanity, players must rely on the few light sources available in the world. Another unique feature of Amnesia is the lack of toggles on objects that you can interact with; for example, players must actually push or pull doors open with their mouse.
If you find that you enjoy Amnesia, I recommend also looking at Penumbra which has very similar gameplay elements.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent Trailer
7. Drawn Series
The Drawn series is a casual adventure collection with a focus on puzzle solving. If you prefer the hardcore puzzles then Drawn is best skipped for the more difficult experiences featured above.
Each title within the series offers an impressively unique art style, compelling storyline and amazing worlds that can be explored thoroughly. It's an absolute must play in order though as each game is intimately connected through the story and setting. You'll find that characters and game references also overlap so playing the titles in order does ensure the full experience.
There are three games available in the Drawn series; The Painted Tower, Dark Flight and Trail of Shadows (the games are available on Windows, Mac and iOS devices).
Drawn: The Painted Tower
8. Gray Matter
Gray Matter is an adventure point-and-click available for Windows and the Xbox 360 with a slightly darker storyline to those previously featured here.
The majority of the game takes place in Oxford and follows the story of a street performer and magician named Samantha and a strange neurobiologist known as Professor David Styles.
The puzzles in Gray Matter have great variety and include word games, riddles, magic tricks and mazes, all of which have a balanced difficultly level to keep you progressing forward at a consistent pace.
Even though the game is entirely controlled with a point-and-click interface it still has a very Myst feel to it due to the story unfolds and the general puzzle designs.