Excited to Play the Riven Remake Alongside My Father

The classic adventure game was a major fixture of my childhood. Cyan Worlds is bringing it back. Adventure games have always been “Dad games” to me. Growing up, my older sister and I played a lot of them with my dad, huddled around the home computer in the kitchen.

We worked our way through head-scratchers like Syberia, Riddle of the Sphinx: An Egyptian Adventure, and other more obscure ’90s and early ’00s point-and-click games. My parents still live in that house, but the computer moved out of the kitchen a long time ago. When I play the upcoming remake of Riven, the sequel to Myst, it will be on my 2020 gaming laptop. Riven was defined by its evocative adventure.

Cyan Worlds’ PC classic was spread across five discs in the CD wallet where we kept our DVDs and computer games. It’s one of the games I remember most distinctly from this period of time, but I was too young and dumb to help much with it. The puzzles may have gone over my head, but I remember the small details vividly. The scarab beetle devices, pen and ink drawings, stone igloos on stilts along the cliff faces, levers, knobs, viewfinders, strange symbols, and the underwater roller coaster.

It was a game of evocative imagery that, at the time, felt untranslatable to my child brain. Cyan Worlds’ 3D remake is as good an excuse as any to revisit Riven. Cyan previously did the same for Myst, and if Riven does well, Myst 3: Exile could be next. Myst and Riven present strange worlds you have to explore to understand, occupying a different genre than games like The Secret of Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle.

These games focus more on humor and dialogue despite both being point-and-clicks. We aren’t getting enough games like Riven today. Few new developers are working in the same space. At PAX East, I was pleased to play Memory’s Reach, a 3D sci-fi Metroidvania with no combat, keeping the torch of Myst and The Witness lit for the next generation of players.

But most of these games tend to have combat, which older players like my dad can’t handle. Cyan Worlds is keeping its old games alive, but I’m looking forward to playing this new take on Riven with my dad when it comes out later this year. Maybe I won’t even tell him beforehand, and then I can surprise him with a new take on an old favorite. The better surprise would be modern developers returning to this genre we love once again.

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