Riven for iPad Presents an Old School Puzzle Solving Challenge – iPad Game Review

rivenMyst and its sequel Riven are the games that inspired an entire genre of adventure puzzle titles. First released in 1997, Riven is set after Myst chronologically, and asks players to help Atrus free his wife from Gehn, his father. Unlike Myst, Riven takes place in one world during the Age of Riven.

When I fired the app I was immediately transported back to the day when I opened Riven on my computer for the first time so many years ago. The game is the same as it was then, even down to the graphics. If you’ve played Riven before, you will want to revisit it again on the iPad, and if you haven’t, this is a great opportunity to play an iconic game.

Because Riven was a simple point and click computer game, it translates well to the iPad. The game has actually been on the iPhone for over a year now, which means that the iPad release has few bugs. It may not look quite as sharp as other iPad titles, but this is history, people. For those of you who have played realMYST, Riven is not quite the same and does not have dynamic movement, so be aware of that.

Riven is an exploration game. The goal is to look around, discover things, and immerse yourself in another world.


You tap on the screen to explore different areas, solving puzzles in the game to progress through the storyline and figuring out how to use objects in order to venture to new areas. Interacting with items and objects in the environment is also as simple as tapping.

Since this game was designed for a different era, it may be more difficult than the mystery exploration games you are used to on the iPad, but the experience is well worth the trouble. I want to emphasize that Riven is a fairly difficult adventure game. Though it does have an integrated hint system, figuring out puzzles is still a tough task.

You do have a diary that can be tapped from the bottom corner of the screen. The diary contains the story information and keeps a log of what you have discovered in the game so far. You can bookmark specific pages by tapping the info button, which is a handy resource when you need to remember information for puzzles. You may also want to take notes in real life – that’s how challenging this game can be at at times.


Though this game was designed years ago, it has been updated for the iPad, adding updated movies and animations, improved music, and Game Center support with achievements. Before you download Riven, make sure you’ve got space on your iPad. This game will take up a whopping 1.93 GB.

Riven for iPad is a blast from the past. It’s a retooling of a game that was originally published more than 15 years ago, and it is worth playing because it was one of the first adventure mystery games. It really set the tone for the entire genre, so if you want to experience the game that spawned hundreds of others, Riven is worth the cost.


What I liked: Riven is still one of the best adventure games of all time, especially if you enjoy a challenge and like to take your time when you play a game.

What I didn’t like: Tapping Help takes you to a website outside of the app, which is disappointing. It wouldn’t have taken much effort to design a help system and a tutorial, which Riven could definitely use. I would have liked to see updated graphics for the iPad.

To buy or not to buy: If you are a fan of the original game and want to replay tit, I suggest purchasing the app. It is priced a bit high at $5.99 for the quality of the graphics, so you may want to wait for a sale. If you’re new to Riven, make sure to read up on it so you’re prepared for the challenge before downloading the game.

  • App Name: Riven for iPad
  • Version Reviewed: 1.0.16
  • Category: Games
  • Developer: Cyan Worlds
  • Price: $5.99
  • Score:

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