So... Cyan released a remake of 1997’s adventure game Riven (the sequel to Myst) this past month, and I took the plunge to nostalgia-surf my way to nirvana. And it worked. This game is tremendously engrossing, and every bit as intriguing as it was for my 12-year-old self when I played the multi-CD-ROM switching original. And I feel like I can solve most of its densely-layered, nonlinear puzzles without a guide this time.

This isn’t a long-winded review of any kind — just declaring that this game is wonderful, escapist artistry steeped in what I guess I’d call historical video game design. It'll bring you joy if you only just move around its environments, let alone solve its puzzles. Huge kudos to the Cyan team for rebuilding and adding perfectly-tuned modern updates the quintessence of the puzzle-adventure genre.

screenshot from the game Riven of the prison island, prominently featuring a blue, partly cloudy sky above an island comprised of half a huge tree trunk with a steampunk dome atop it