What is it?
The Witness is an open-world puzzle game which has been in development since 2008. The game’s creator, Jonathan Blow, is best known for his work on the critically acclaimed 2008 release, Braid.
In The Witness, players explore an island filled with mazes which give clues and rules to solving larger interconnected puzzles. Though the game is navigated in the first person, players solve these mazes on 2D panels, drawing the path between a circular starting point to a rounded end point.
Defined through a clear sense of both challenge and fairness, The Witness’ puzzles are hard. Yet, this difficulty is generated not through cheap tricks, but rather through the player’s need to solve puzzles in a loose sequence that will teach them rules of future challenges. Given this difficulty, players are not expected to complete every puzzle they stumble upon. The game actually encourages players to walk away from puzzles that have stumped them and find other puzzles that may educate them further.