The Witness is developer Jonathan Blow’s second game after releasing the critically acclaimed breakout hit Braid over eight years ago.
With such a gap between titles buzz has only grown for the game and players finally get the chance to explore and complete the intricate puzzles on the island. Below is a sampling of editors opinions and review scores for the open-world puzzle game.
The Witness was developed by Thekla Inc. and released on January 26, 2016 for the PS4 and PC. An iOS version is expected to be released at a later date. The game retails for $40.
EGM – 8.5/10
“Jonathan Blow, by all outward appearances, viewed The Witness as a chance to deliver gaming’s equivalent of a difficult novel: long, complex, and rich with meaning in a way that only the chosen medium can capture. There were moments while playing when that project seemed like a wild success. Other times—perhaps the majority, in hindsight—I felt Blow was a little too caught up in his own attention to detail, falling short of a great novel and landing in the obtuse didacticism of a grammar textbook instead. But even still: What a textbook it is.” – Josh Harmon [Full Review]
IGN – 10/10
“Like everything else in The Witness, finding more concrete answers about this abandoned island and the people who once occupied it requires patience. There’s plenty there to dissect and it was all enough to keep me enthralled in the mysteries it built across my 40- to 50-hour playthrough. Most of the time it’s more questions than answers, and I enjoyed that it left things open to interpretation.” – Chloi Rad [Full Review]
GAMESPOT – 9/10
“In many cases, the knowledge you acquire elsewhere helps you better understand the puzzle you just put down. The Witness isn’t open-world just for the sake of exploration; its structure encourages learning at your own pace. I’m reminded of how we, as humans, have great ideas in the shower, or driving down the highway at night. The same rings true when wandering the lush island–you reach revelations through less intensive thinking, when conundrums fade from the front of your mind.” – Mike Mahardy [Full Review]
DESTRUCTOID – 10/10
“The Witness smartly preys on the curiosity of human nature. Every direction has an inviting setting just begging to be explored. It’s a given that those settings will contain challenges — challenges that are imperative to continue exploring. It’s cyclical and gives way to a competitive mindset to not be bested even if we’re not necessarily mentally equipped yet. It’s all in the pursuit of just seeing more. We want to see more because seeing is learning, and that’s in the fiber of our being.” – Brett Makedonski [Full Review]
GAMEINFORMER – 9.25/10
“The Witness is about a different kind of discovery. It steers your mind in unconventional directions, and makes you feel clever as you build on your knowledge and uncover new layers about the game’s language and logic. Even when I wasn’t playing it, I was thinking about puzzles that had me stumped. Some puzzles are tough, but all of them are fair, and the fun of solving them is only topped by seeing what awaits you on the next series of monitors.” – Joe Juba [Full Review]