The Witness Review (2016)
The Witness Review: Essentially, The Witness is a game that will satisfy you and make you hate yourself at the same time.
As I am not one for puzzle games, I wasn’t too overenthusiastic to try out The Witness. Sure, puzzles are fun, maybe for mobile games, but puzzle games on a console? Count me out. Imagine my surprise though when I found myself not being able to quit playing this game. Puzzle games usually get so boring and repetitive, but The Witness manages to pull you in and keep you hooked for hours on end.
This game is hard. Looking for a challenge? Try playing The Witness, without having to look up at least one of its puzzles. I dare you. This game will make you want to throw tantrums while also giving you a somewhat satisfying feeling when figuring out a puzzle on your own. The Witness is a first-person puzzle game mixed in with a little adventure. You find yourself on a strange island with different structures and puzzles to solve. The twist? There are only two instructions in the game. One of them teaches you which button to press to sprint, and the other teaches you which button that allows you to start drawing lines on the puzzle surfaces. That’s it. You must solve these puzzles by making your own observations to determine the rules of each puzzle.
The Witness teaches you very early on that you might not be as observant as you thought you were at first. Then it teaches you that if you think something is a clue, it probably is. That leaves you scouring each section of the island based off of paranoia alone. Some puzzles are quite obvious, others are more elusive and require you to pay extra attention to the environment and what you are doing. An environment, by the way, that is absolutely gorgeous, even for the cartoon-ish look.
The Witness Review
With ominous messages and hard-to-solve-alone puzzles, it is a game that really makes you think. The only let down is the story itself, which still remains shrouded in mystery as far as I’m concerned. However, that doesn’t take away from the main purpose of the game, which is to solve difficult puzzles. If you find that the puzzles are too hard, but you don’t want to cheat by looking up guides, The Witness is a lot of fun to play with a friend or partner. Having someone to bounce your ideas off of makes the game less stressful and things slightly easier. If you are playing alone, sometimes you just have to take a break in order to come back with a fresh outlook on a certain puzzle. It might be hard to leave though, I found myself on many occasions not being able to stop myself from trying to figure some problems out.
All in all, The Witness is a great game. I applaud Thelka Inc. for not only making such a great puzzle game, but for making a great puzzle game on a console. And not only for making a great console puzzle game, but for adding a sense of adventure that makes The Witness feel different from other puzzle games. I would highly, highly recommend giving this game a whirl.