Firmament Review – A familiar puzzle adventure

Reviewed June 8, 2023 on PC




May 18, 2023


Cyan Worlds, Inc.


Cyan Worlds, Inc.

Developed by Cyan Worlds, the studio responsible for the uber-popular Myst series, Firmament is the latest addition to their head-scratching collection. However, while Myst has a variety of memorable puzzles set against surreal landscapes and an absurdist story, Firmament instead feels all too familiar. 

It’s this feeling of familiarity that follows Firmament throughout the game, leading to things being all too reminiscent of Myst. Firmament has all the elements of a strong puzzle-adventure but struggles to find its own unique identity.

Firmament is atmospheric yet uninspired

Firmament’s plot isn’t simple. Its vague narrative is told primarily through fragmented narration. This narration is delivered through a “companion character” that is a voice in your ear. When you explore areas or solve puzzles, this voice offers more insight into the world. At first, this helped the world feel less lonely. However, this feeling quickly wore off as the fragmented exposition consistently had bland delivery. Eventually, this felt like a chore to listen to and the decision to have the story told this way led to disinterest in this plot. 

Insight into the game’s plot is also offered through notes scattered around the world. This is where the storytelling of Firmament is at its strongest. Picking up a book that explained the plot as if it were a poem hooked me immediately. I felt interested and intrigued in knowing more. It is a shame, however, that most of the plot is delivered through the bland voiceover.

Accessible yet tedious gameplay

Despite the confusing narrative, Firmament’s gameplay is more accessible. You are given an Adjunct, a device that is used to solve puzzles. This device helps manipulate the mechanical systems around the game, allowing the player to complete a variety of tasks. From raising bridges, to connecting pathways, and moving cranes, this is your primary device for solving puzzles. This is where Firmament makes its biggest mistake.

Cyan Worlds is known for creating incredible puzzles most notably through their famed Myst series. Puzzles that will offer that oh-so-satisfying “aha” moment. The same cannot be said for Firmament which trades in the various difficult and well-thought-out puzzles of Myst for repetitive and tedious mechanical puzzles. These puzzles mostly boil down to moving the right platforms until the puzzle is solved. 

One puzzle in Firmament has you navigate floating garden beds by mechanically raising and lowering them to get to the exit. Another puzzle requires navigating floating trolleys by raising and lowering them to get to the exit. While another has you raising and lowering a crane to move an ice platform to get to the exit. Do you see where I’m going with this?

It’s this lack of variety and puzzle creativity that really turns Firmament into a tedious slog. The only puzzles in Firmament that are unique unfortunately feel as if they are ripped straight out of the Myst series. This familiarity and repetition lead Firmament to feel completely like an uninspired journey that will have you wanting to play Myst instead. The reduction of Cyan World’s great puzzle engineering to mechanical platform navigation is disappointing.

Beautifully built and immersive steampunk world

Disappointments aside, the strongest aspects of Firmament are its level and audio design. Throughout Firmament, you will be exploring a seemingly apocalyptic, yet beautiful, steampunk world. From the moment you step outside into a frostbitten mountain range, the game wastes no time in showing how beautiful its landscapes are. And this beauty is reiterated when you reach the hub world. Shining lights adorn a mechanical steampunk aesthetic that welcomes you to its level selection. These maps are a joy to explore and are relaxing to take in and this is emphasised by the strong audio design.

With the wisps of wind peppering the cold mountainside, or the moving cogs of the mechanical systems, every sound in Firmament feels intentional. Every sound exists to immerse you in the incredibly detailed and beautiful world. That being said, one level had a looping recording that would play suddenly and frequently. Each time this would startle me and eventually became grating to experience. However, amongst some incredibly immersive sound design, this was just an oddity that doesn’t represent the experience as a whole.

A strong but unsettling atmosphere

Firmament’s level design creates a terrific atmosphere that helps strengthen the uninspired plot. Throughout the adventure, the atmosphere of Firmament kept me engaged. As I hopped from a snowy mountain to a beautiful garden, the world truly felt like it was once lived in. Seeing a world reduced to an abandoned husk of what it once was sometimes made my skin crawl.

This unsettling yet beautiful and picturesque world helped the plot come alive. By itself, the plot is intriguing, yet bland. However, when set against the beautiful level design, the story comes alive and becomes realised. The echo of a world that once was and the stories told within all come together to create something magical.




  • Incredible sound design creates a truly immersive experience
  • A beautiful steampunk world
  • A terrific yet unsettling atmosphere


  • Story is too fragmented and delivered blandly
  • Puzzles are repetitive and tedious
  • An uninspired and familiar experience

Firmament is an immersive experience that facilitates a beautiful, albeit lonely world to explore. This is brought down by lacklustre storytelling and bland narration. With little to show outside of admittedly great audio and sound design, Firmament fails to hold its own amongst great puzzle games. The beautifully quiet and immersive atmosphere of a world abandoned will keep players immersed, unsettled and intrigued. Unfortunately, its tedious gameplay and puzzle-solving present a tired and uninspired experience that will have you looking towards Cyan World’s more notable titles.