The Witness is a first-person open world puzzle game, in which you explore an abandoned island attempting to solve 100’s of puzzles to unlock the end. Is The Witness worth witnessing? Read our review below to find out..
The Witness is one of those games that people will either love or outright hate, If you don’t like puzzle games then don’t even consider picking it up. On the other hand if you do like puzzlers then you will definitely want to give it a look. The game starts out giving you simple puzzles to solve, consisting of drawing a line from point A to point B in a maze.
The first area of the game serves as a mini tutorial in which you have to solve 5 maze puzzles in the area to open some metal plates covering the puzzle that unlocks the gate. Once this is done you then have full access to the island and can go about solving the puzzles in whichever order you please.
On the surface all the puzzles are more or less the same, having to be solved using the maze panels, but as you progress through the game you are introduced to different elements which have an effect on how you solve them. You are introduced to a couple of these just after exiting the first area, and these show you how to solve some of the puzzle elements by introducing a simplified version of the puzzle variant and increase in complexity as you move along the panel.
In one set you have to navigate the maze whilst drawing your line over black dots to be able to complete the maze. the other introduces coloured squares which you must separate by drawing a line between them, putting them in to separate groups. At other points in the game you will have to use the environment around you to help solve each maze, this can be anything from looking at specific objects which translate to the maze, looking through objects at certain angles to find the correct path and even shadows cast across the maze will an have effect on how it is solved. There’s a few more but not enough time in the day to translate how they work in a review.
As you can probably imagine, there are some points in the game where the puzzles will include a few of these puzzle types in the same puzzle making them much more difficult to complete. Now I have played a few puzzle games recently, and The Witness has got some of the best puzzles in terms of complexity, thus giving a really good feeling of accomplishment once you complete them, especially some of the more intricate ones.
Aside from the puzzles though, there’s really not much to The Witness other than it’s visuals, which are really pleasing and colourful. The lack of story will put some people off and other than the sounds of your own footsteps and the environment, the audio is none existent. It would have been nice to at least have some form of music to accompany you along the way.
The point of the game is to find and complete the main puzzle in each area of the game and activating each areas laser enabling you to solve the puzzles at the top of the mountain which then leads on to the end game puzzles, these are some of the trickiest in the game, some will include broken maze panels where the screen is flickering and/or scrolling, Plus a few others including one or two where you have to draw a path across rooms using the maze panel. I’m trying not to put spoilers in to this review as usual, but it is worth mentioning the end of the game is quite anti climactic once you get there.
A download code was provided for this review by the developer/publisher