Geek Trivia

Which Of These Iconic Video Games Originally Ran On HyperCard?

Grim Fandango
Maniac Mansion
Sim City
Central Park Features A Clever 19th Century Geolocation System Based On?

Answer: Myst

Myst, released on the Macintosh platform way back in 1993, deserves every bit of praise and high standing it has in the game world. Though the graphics and mechanics are dated by modern standards, at the time, it was a revolutionary game that combined point-and-click navigation, animation sequences, and—for the time period—incredible graphics that required all the storage the emerging CD-ROM market could bear. In fact, Myst itself was a catalyst for many people buying CD-ROM drives in the first place.

If you’ve played Myst and take a moment to think about the actual game play, however, something becomes clear. The game, as fun as it was, is essentially a really, really, awesome slide show. You move from one slide to another, click on elements of the slide that you can interact with and, sometimes, even get rewarded with a little movie too.

With that in mind, it will come as absolutely no surprise that the game was designed and even implemented (for the initial Macintosh release anyway) using HyperCard. Although long since out of development, HyperCard was an Apple offering that merged programming, database abilities, easy to use Graphic User Interface design and implementation, and more—it was one of the first and few successful “hypermedia” platforms that existed before the advent of the World Wide Web.

HyperCard made it very easy to design software demos, interactive tutorials, and even, in the case of Myst and some lesser known titles, games. We’re not knocking their methods, by the way. We’d be delighted if we’d somehow turned a supercharged slideshow into one of the best selling games of all time. Myst sold so well that until it was dethroned in 2002 by The Sims, it was the best selling PC game of all time. Not bad for a bit of experimental work.

Image courtesy of Cyan/Brøderbund.