A game that scared me as a kid: Riven

Elizabeth Meade takes a look at Riven, the sequel to Myst.

Elizabeth Meade
25th October 2021
Image: IGDb

About a year ago, I wrote about the classic game Myst. A lot of people have heard of Myst, but few know about the sequel: Riven.

Riven is scary.

In Riven, there's an evil guy named Gehn, who is the father of Myst's narrator Atrus (who is the player character's friend). Over the course of the game, you find out that Gehn created the Age (world within a book) you are walking through. What's more, he has forced the people in that world to worship him as a living deity. The punishment for disobedience? Getting fed to a tusked cetacean-like creature called a 'whark' by being dangled into the water by one's ankles from an elaborate machine.

While you don't see this happening, the game's dark edge is unmistakable. As a seven-year-old, this terrified me. We had to stop playing the game for a while.

The game's scariness doesn't stop there, though. There's also a very frightening wooden statue in a cave and foreboding music on a lot of the islands you visit.

There's a positive side to this game, however--you find out a secret group of rebels is living in a hideout away from Gehn's eyes. You don't learn much about them but their mission adds a touch of hope to the twisted world of Riven.

Runner-ups for scary games include the Story Builder game in the Bonus Features of Disney's Princess Stories 3 and that one room in some of the Webkinz hamster mazes with the scary sharp-looking things.

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AUTHOR: Elizabeth Meade
(she/her) 4th year Chem student. Former Head of Current Affairs and Former Science Sub-Editor. Avid reader. Chaos theorist. Amateur batrachologist and historian. Rock fan. Likes cybersecurity and cooking. Wrote the first article for Puzzles. Probably the first Courier writer to have work featured in one of Justin Whang's videos.

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