The Witness

For lovers of puzzle games, the game to own is Witness. Jonathan Blow, lead designer at Thekla Inc. published the game in January, 2016. Their game, a 3D puzzle game, is set on a vast deserted island, and challenges the player with over 600 puzzles to solve. Players awaken with no memory of where they are or who they are. Only by searching the island and solving the puzzles, with the obvious and sometimes not so obvious clues, can the player figure out who he or she is and how to get home.

“The Witness” is available on most platforms. These include PlayStation, Xbox, and PCs, as well as Androids and iPhones. By exploring the surroundings, one discovers patterns, sounds and colors that the puzzle solver traces on a panel to solve each puzzle. As one progresses and figures out each puzzle solution, a new path and puzzle appears, and the gamer continues. While solving puzzles is challenging and exciting, some might be frustrating enough to have gamers banging their heads and screaming at the computer in frustration. The puzzles seemed to be directed more towards those that think logically and rationally and not “outside-the-box.”

“The Witness” is beautiful, colorful, and covers a vast area of a deserted island. On this island, among the over 600 puzzles, are strange, serious statues and recordings and video clips of science and philosophy. One area of the game has a movie theater that plays over 40 minutes of video clips. The game is aimed at the more intelligent, logical, rational, puzzle solving player and not at the hack-and-slash or shoot’em up players. Those players will almost feel as if the game is mocking their lack of intelligence for not being able to solve all the puzzles. However, having sold 100,000 copies within its first week, those numbers tells us what was always expected: gamers are an intelligent breed.

Can you complete the challenge and make it to the game’s secret ending?