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Riven Pros & Cons


  1. Immersive World: “Riven” is renowned for its stunning visuals and atmospheric settings. The game’s series of islands, each with distinct ecosystems and intricate details, create a deeply immersive world that players can lose themselves in for hours. The use of pre-rendered graphics was revolutionary at the time and remains impressive.
  2. Complex Puzzles: The puzzles in “Riven” are seamlessly integrated into the environment, demanding attention to detail and logical thinking. They are not just obstacles but part of the story and world-building, offering satisfying challenges that are crucial to progressing in the game.
  3. Rich Storytelling: The narrative of “Riven” is complex and engaging, expanding the lore of the Myst universe. The storytelling is mostly environmental, with minimal direct interaction, which encourages exploration and deduction.
  4. Non-linear Gameplay: Players are not led by the hand but are free to explore the islands of Riven at their own pace. This non-linear approach to gameplay enhances the sense of discovery and adventure.


  1. Steep Learning Curve: “Riven” is not for the faint-hearted when it comes to puzzle difficulty. New players might find the lack of explicit instructions and the complexity of the puzzles daunting, which can lead to frustration.
  2. Pacing Issues: Due to the game’s open-ended nature, players can sometimes feel lost or unsure of their next steps, which might affect pacing and lead to periods of aimlessness.
  3. Limited Interactivity: As with its predecessor, “Riven” relies on a point-and-click interface where interaction with the world is limited to mostly observing and manipulating the environment indirectly. This can be a drawback for players used to more dynamic interactions.
  4. Outdated Technology: While revolutionary at its release, the pre-rendered graphics and the static nature of navigation can feel outdated compared to the fluidity and immersion of modern 3D environments.


“Riven” remains a landmark in the adventure game genre, notable for its intellectual challenges and artistic beauty. While it may not appeal to everyone due to its complex puzzles and slower pace, it continues to be a rewarding experience for those who appreciate meticulous design and thoughtful storytelling. Those new to the genre or looking for fast-paced action might find it less engaging, but for fans of deep, contemplative gameplay, “Riven” is a cherished classic worth exploring.

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