Developer: Cyan Worlds
Price: $5.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The first thing that you will notice when you start the journey down the path of Riven is the extreme download size. Most games, even the large games, clock in at well under 500 mb, but Riven takes up a whopping 1.01 GB. i guess that’s what it takes to pack the original 5 CD’s (or 1 DVD) into a game on the App Store.

So once you’ve cleared out your iPhone’s data to make room for the game, you are treated with the same Riven experience that you had in 1997. The game is a subtle blend of live action and still frames that will please the Myst fan in everyone, but is entirely out of date in today’s gaming world. It’s slow, it’s methodical, and it’s really, really confusing. In fact, unless you are fairly diligent, there’s a good chance that you wont get past the very first scene.

Being a port of a PC classic from the late 90′s, the graphics, action, and controls won’t exactly wow you. Some have said that the speed of the game has slowed down in the translation, but in the 10+ years since playing the original I’ve forgotten what the speed felt like. This iOS version feels fairly rough to me for two reasons. The first is that, in order to compensate for the small screen, a double tap does an extra zoom on an object. When I am in rage mode trying to make buttons out of stair steps (probably not recommended), zooming in and out on accident gets pretty annoying. Also frustrating is getting out of item screens because there is no set button for the action, you just have to find a place on the screen that doesn’t do anything so you can go back. It’s not a huge issue, but in the heat of being perpetually stuck, not being able to move back at will is fairly frustrating.

If you liked Riven the first time around, or loved Myst and never played Riven, you’ll really enjoy this blast from the past. For the multitude of gamers out there who started gaming after the days of Myst and Riven, though, I’m not so sure if I’d recommend this one. It’s a slow, plodding puzzle game that was created for the sole reason of tormenting the impatient (me).

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