Hey, have you heard of Obduction? A graphical adventure game by the guys who made Myst, but released within the last decade?
In most ways, it really is just another Myst, though the story and setting are unrelated. Did you love Myst? Then you’ll love Obduction.
Never played Myst? How do lush graphics, fantastical world building, and atmospheric music sound to you?
“Adventure games” are also known as “interactive fiction”, because there’s a story behind all the locked doors, all the unexplained mysteries, all the obstacles you have to overcome.
The best IF shines where the time it takes you to solve the puzzles adds to the suspense of the narrative.
If that’s true, then boy did my experience have a lot of suspense.
There were two points where I got really stuck. Just couldn’t think of how to move forward. Got more and more frustrated.
In the past, I’ve often given in and looked at hints or walkthroughs. The trouble with that, for me at least, is that once I’ve looked at one hint, it’s almost impossible not to look at the next, and the next. The game becomes a plodding exercise in following instructions, and I almost always give up.
With Obduction, given that, nowadays, I personally have many hours inside with few distractions, I decided to tough it out. And indeed, even if it took days and days, after looking around over and over, I would eventually have a stray thought come in to my head, a new thing to try. The puzzle never turned out to be particularly fiendish or unexpected, it was always something simple I missed.
The game works fine on modern hardware, with one exception: the documents (and there are many) are blurred and almost unreadable on Retina displays. The only way I was able to read them was to connect my laptop up to an older, non-Retina display, and switch the game to full-screen mode.
I suspect that the graphical optimizations from as little as 7 years ago don’t play well with Retina.
I took copious notes and, based on my experiences and the under-annotated drawings provided in the game itself, constructed detailed maps. I suppose in the end that’s why I’m writing this post: to show off my maps. While everything else in this post is light on spoilers, the maps have a lot of spoilers in them, so only look if you don’t plan on playing the game.