After more than a year of anticipation, The Witness is finally out on iOS
The Witness is a modern puzzle game masterpiece, cut from the same cloth as exploration-puzzlers like Myst. You’re alone on an island, with the only interaction with the world around you through a series of puzzles. Solving these puzzles is the key to unlocking the mysteries of the world around you.
Every puzzle in The Witness takes the form of a superficially simple maze. Draw a line between one spot to another – easy, straightforward, clear. It gets difficult fast. Each group of puzzles adds its own rules, its own language. The gameplay is in solving the trick behind each puzzle, learning the gameplay mechanic it is teaching you, and bringing it with you to ever more difficult puzzles.
Solving puzzles is key to exploring the island. Groups of puzzles unlock new areas, these areas containing even more puzzles. Over time, it becomes apparent that these puzzles, the act of solving them, and the exploration of the island itself, weave together into an intricate narrative – the details of which I won’t be spoiling here. Suffice it to say, if the intelligence of the puzzles and the beauty of the island aren’t enough to make you want to play, solving The Witness’ mysteries probably will be.
Narrative and exploration aside, In any good puzzle game, the biggest reward you can possibly get is the satisfaction that comes with solving the puzzle – the “ah hah!” moment, where everything falls into place, and you finally understand what the puzzle is all about. The Witness is full of this feeling. Every series of puzzles in The Witness incorporates a unique challenge. Some of these challenges are quite clever, and require a great deal of thought to solve. And solving them feels great, because outsmarting the game feels great.
The Witness is a rare gem. It won’t appeal to everyone, but if you’re a fan of puzzles and exploration games, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.