Games like Myst require you to think outside of the box. Find clues and interpret them to produce results.
IMO, it just requires thinking at all
, something very few games being made today actually do.
Old school adventure games, whether they be pre-rendered FPS like Myst or 2D third perspective point-and-click can be hard to push into the first few games, once you learn the 'tropes' of the genre they get gradually easier.
Here are a few things to think about while playing:
-What am I doing? Is there a story, if so, did I bother to read it?
-What is the situation and goal of my character? Once I know, it's easier to understand what each puzzle is meant to accomplish.
-Did something happen when I moved/activated this puzzle part? If nothing is apparent, did something happen somewhere else
-Are there parts of the world I am locked out of? If so, are any of the puzzles relevant in opening up those things to me?
If a puzzle/ machine/activator doesn't make sense to you, it's best to reset it to it's original state and try one thing at a time, and every time you do, check all around the place.