You wake up, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that will challenge and surprise you.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (76 reviews) - 86% of the 76 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,083 reviews) - 84% of the 2,083 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 26, 2016

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Recent updates View all (7)

August 22

NVIDIA Ansel Update

We have now updated The Witness with support for NVIDIA's Ansel imaging tool.

We did this because Ansel adds a lot of interesting ways to take images from the game; because The Witness is highly visual, this should be some good fun.

Capabilities include:

* Super-resolution screenshots (waaaay higher than your monitor resolution)
* 360-degree panoramic screenshots
* Image tweaks for brightness, contrast, color control
* Postprocessing filters

To use this stuff, make sure The Witness is updated, that you are running a supported NVIDIA GPU (GeForce GTX 600-series or later; for a list of compatible GPUs, see http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/ansel/supported-gpus ), and that you have recent drivers for your NVIDIA GPU, then press alt-F2 during gameplay. The Ansel control panel should appear.

When in Ansel mode, you get a bit of control to fly a free-floating camera around. So as not to break the game, if you are in the entry castle at the very beginning, you can't fly very high; but once you turn off the force field and exit the courtyard, you can go much higher.

Here's the announcement on NVIDIA's site: http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/nvidia-ansel-for-the-witness-available-now

17 comments Read more

April 1

New version is now live.



Changes:

* Switched default vsync mode to 0 on Nvidia and AMD now that their drivers seem to be fixed; this should eliminate microstutter for many people who had it.

* Fixed crackling audio that happened on some AMD processors.

* Added translations into many languages for the menu options added in the previous update.

* Increased frequency of automatic backup save games.

* Minor gameplay tweaks to several puzzles.

* Bugfix: Prevent the player from being able to fall off the boat in a particular location.

* Bugfix: Fix bug where boat path could become corrupt in save games.

* Bugfix: Prevent the player from outrunning the streaming.

* Bugfix: Several minor audio fixes.
* Bugfix: Several collision fixes.
* Bugfix: Many minor art fixes.

20 comments Read more

About This Game

You wake up, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that will challenge and surprise you.

You don't remember who you are, and you don't remember how you got here, but there's one thing you can do: explore the island in hope of discovering clues, regaining your memory, and somehow finding your way home.

The Witness is a single-player game in an open world with dozens of locations to explore and over 500 puzzles. This game respects you as an intelligent player and it treats your time as precious. There's no filler; each of those puzzles brings its own new idea into the mix. So, this is a game full of ideas.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000 series
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 2.4GHz
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 780
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (76 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,083 reviews)
Recently Posted
<<Scorpio Uprising>>
14.7 hrs
Posted: August 31
The World's Finest Play an Insanely Difficult Puzzle Game Then Watch a 40 minute GDC Talk to Unlock the Final Puzzle Simulator!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
onyx
0.2 hrs
Posted: August 31
Did you love Myst? Then you want to play The Witness RIGHT NOW.
This will go down as one of my top 10 favorite games of all time. At first it appears to be a simple collection of easy maze-based games, but once you play long enough you realize that there is another level of puzzles going on around you... and then when you have a grasp on that, you uncover a third layer. The game just kept giving and giving... challenging and rewarding, non-stop.
I played through the entire game twice, back-to-back, because I found the world so engaging and peaceful/wonderful to be in and experience.
I originally received the game for free (not for this review) but after playing through it twice I went and paid for it anyway just because I want developers like Jonathan Blow (who also gave us the incredible "Braid") to be supported so that they will continue to bring us unbelievably original and immersive games such as this.
It impacted me much like "Journey" from ThatGameCompany (PS3), so if you're looking for a memorable experience, do yourself (and the world, by supporting this work) a favor and get The Witness immediately. Again... if you loved Myst, this is what you want... if you hated Myst, then just go on about your way. :)
Oh, and do yourself a HUGE favor... don't ruin anything by going online looking for solutions. I stumbled across an entire aspect of the game that I had missed up to that point, one which would have been much more impactful had I eventually just figured it out for myself.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ElDuderino
55.1 hrs
Posted: August 30
Antone who doesn't like this game is part of the problem. This is a huge step towards more mature gaming community. Masterpiece in any regards. Only criticism can be coldness to the player's achievements.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
def tatted P4U
4.7 hrs
Posted: August 29
The game has a beautiful art style. But I just can't comprehend how this game deserves more than 5/10 for anyone. It's not really a game? There are puzzles. But the puzzles could be done on paper. Don't get me wrong, the puzzles are difficult, but there isn't anything that requires this to be on a computer if that makes any sense.

I kind of get the vibe that this game is more of an "experience" than it is a game... IE: Supposed to be meditative. Would explain why "the witness" (Buddhism reference) is used as the title. If I'm correct on this, its fine for what it is. But its definitely not what I would call an enjoyable experience.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
notkrd
7.9 hrs
Posted: August 29
Every single object in this game is where it is for a reason, and has something to say. The Witness is one of the most interesting games I have played and does everything that I want good art to do - it offers a new and useful perspective on the world, and great pleasure in trying to work out what it is telling me
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Galecko
2.0 hrs
Posted: August 29
I can't believe I witnessed this crap fest
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Omabroodje
18.5 hrs
Posted: August 29
I don't know how anyone could ever design this, it's really clever.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Flauschi #yüah
16.1 hrs
Posted: August 28
Very beautiful game, had a lot of fun playing it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
StevenSeagal
12.3 hrs
Posted: August 28
Think of The Witness as less of a traditional game you might find on steam, as an artistic gameplay showcase. It may seem simple on the surface of just click and drag puzzles to solve, but the way they are presented and taught are absolute genius. The game's art is phenomenal and an absolute necessity for the puzzle solving involved. Playing through this with intentionally no help really made me appreciate all the design decisions around the various puzzles and themes they have scattered throughout. The Witness is slow, repetitive, and you don't get much (if any) of a story out of it, but it's probably one of the best puzzle games I've ever played. Some might scoff at the price tag, but I think it's worth every penny.

Story time. I had been banging my head against some puzzle with almost no way to solve it that was immediately apparent. Yet, when the envionrment interacted with me just right (shadow, or direct sunlight, or obscuring my line of sight) the solution was right in front of me the whole time. Cracking the puzzles and getting to that "ah ha!" step of learning is what The Witness is all about. It's not action-oriented, it's not hipster indie artsy-for-its-own-sake, but it's raw and simple genius.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PT_Mighty
25.2 hrs
Posted: August 28
This is a great game, well worth the asking price -- there was more care and attention put into this than any recent AAA title that I can recall.

The world is gorgeous and well put together as a cohesive whole. It rewards exploration with little bits of explicit or implied lore, as well as heaps of hidden puzzles and locations.

The puzzles are well done for the most part and the difficulty hits just the right note. There were a couple places where I either felt like a total genius for deducing a really difficult puzzle mechanic or a ♥♥♥♥♥ for not being able to figure something out, only to have the game "teach" me about the puzzle mechanic half an hour later. Basically, it can be tough if you "sequence break", but quite manageable otherwise.

That said, I do have a couple bits of minor criticism for The Witness:
  • It isn't quite as mind bending as Braid was: the puzzle mechanism in that game (time manipulation) involved your entire perception, and the mechanic in this game simply isn't as immersive (although the environment is certainly more immersive).
  • The end-game feels a bit tedious and on-rails as opposed to the rest of the game. It would have been nice to continue with the theme of exploration and discovery right up to the conclusion.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
33 of 54 people (61%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
12.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
I appreciate The Witness for its great style and elegant design, but cannot recommend it as a whole.

The puzzle aspect is well-designed, but not really clever. It simply doesn't bend the mind and bring the same levels of satisfaction like truly great puzzle games do, such as Blow's earlier Braid. There isn't enough substance behind the mechanics to keep things interesting. Latter half feels more tedious than anything, endgame puzzles introducing artificial difficulty with flashing or moving images are straight-up annoying and insulting, and the atmosphere of the island is as cryptic as it is pretentious - I say atmosphere, because there isn't much of a real story.

Definitely not a complete faliure, I don't regret experiencing it, but ultimately it's pretty underwhelming.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
121.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
The witness is honestly one of my favourite games of all time. It has a beautiful art style, and the puzzles are fun, and provide a good challenge. Even after completing it 100% the island still provides a lot of mysteries and unanswered questions
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
39.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
"This is just a dumb grid based puzzle game that could be a free app" is what I typically hear when I talk about The Witness to anyone that has NEVER played it. Key word there is never... This game is much more than any dumb old free puzzle game on the apple store, this is an incredibly well developed, immersive, difficult, interesting, and different kind of puzzle game. The game's main mechanic may make the whole experience seem very lacking at first glance, however, when you are in this world you realize how these 2d puzzles interact in their 3d environment and feel like it makes sense in the world presented to you. With every new puzzle you learn how to conquer them by good game design, the game literally has you teach yourself how to beat each one of these puzzles so that when completing even simple puzzles you still have a great sense of achievement opposed to a tutorial line guiding you through how to solve puzzles with mechanics foreign to you. This game is worth any puzzle lovers time and is worth the 40 dollars. You will get your money's worth.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
44.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
This game makes my brain hurt in the best way possible.

If you want a game that takes you on an "I'm brilliant/dumb" rollercoaster, well then this game should suit you just fine.

It's worth mentioning that the game is super stable. I've had zero issues.

The game is also gorgeous. Lots of bright colors and pretty vistas to be had.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
29.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
The only two words I've said out loud while playing this game are "♥♥♥♥" and "A-ha!". Have fun.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
25.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
This is a great game, well worth the asking price -- there was more care and attention put into this than any recent AAA title that I can recall.

The world is gorgeous and well put together as a cohesive whole. It rewards exploration with little bits of explicit or implied lore, as well as heaps of hidden puzzles and locations.

The puzzles are well done for the most part and the difficulty hits just the right note. There were a couple places where I either felt like a total genius for deducing a really difficult puzzle mechanic or a ♥♥♥♥♥ for not being able to figure something out, only to have the game "teach" me about the puzzle mechanic half an hour later. Basically, it can be tough if you "sequence break", but quite manageable otherwise.

That said, I do have a couple bits of minor criticism for The Witness:
  • It isn't quite as mind bending as Braid was: the puzzle mechanism in that game (time manipulation) involved your entire perception, and the mechanic in this game simply isn't as immersive (although the environment is certainly more immersive).
  • The end-game feels a bit tedious and on-rails as opposed to the rest of the game. It would have been nice to continue with the theme of exploration and discovery right up to the conclusion.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
Think of The Witness as less of a traditional game you might find on steam, as an artistic gameplay showcase. It may seem simple on the surface of just click and drag puzzles to solve, but the way they are presented and taught are absolute genius. The game's art is phenomenal and an absolute necessity for the puzzle solving involved. Playing through this with intentionally no help really made me appreciate all the design decisions around the various puzzles and themes they have scattered throughout. The Witness is slow, repetitive, and you don't get much (if any) of a story out of it, but it's probably one of the best puzzle games I've ever played. Some might scoff at the price tag, but I think it's worth every penny.

Story time. I had been banging my head against some puzzle with almost no way to solve it that was immediately apparent. Yet, when the envionrment interacted with me just right (shadow, or direct sunlight, or obscuring my line of sight) the solution was right in front of me the whole time. Cracking the puzzles and getting to that "ah ha!" step of learning is what The Witness is all about. It's not action-oriented, it's not hipster indie artsy-for-its-own-sake, but it's raw and simple genius.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
Recommended
32.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
If you like solving logic puzzles, and I'm not talking like in an adventure game, I mean like in puzzle magazines and such, then you'll love this. I just wish they hadn't been so infuriatingly pretentious about the whole experience. The first soundbite you get is a quote from Albert Einstein, for Pete's sake! I mean, it's not one of the most worn out ones, but it just goes to show you where the creator (Jonathan Blow, I guess) thinks good philosophy comes from.

This game is a lot like Talos Principle, which I would recommend you start with before going to this one. Mainly because the puzzles in Talos Principle are a lot more reliant on the medium (first person perspective) than The Witness. This game could really have been made in any format on any platform.

That being said, the world built is very pretty and I personally like this kind of puzzle solving. The free roaming nature of the island sometimes mean you have to leave a particularly hard puzzle for a while until you've gathered enough information to solve it elsewhere. There is almost no hand-holding in the game, you have to figure out what to do by yourself. This is by design, however, so again, if you're the kind that is unable to leave a puzzle unsolved, you might not enjoy this. :)

Some puzzle sequences are badly constructed. Two easy puzzles followed by one that is 50 times more complicated followed by one that is simple again. But I guess that's down to play-testing, something that Indie-games can't afford as much of, I guess (or is that wrong? sometimes I feel that AAA-companies seem less likely to playtest enough than Indie-game developers).

Jonathan Blow may be smart, but I fear that maybe he has surrounded himself with one or two too-many yes-men. He probably should try playing "Magic Circle". Instead of the "Inspirational quotes" strewn about the island, maybe he should have written some kind of story for the game that we could take part of, or a bunch of little stories. These quotes just make me tired, listening to them drone on and on.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
Recommended
63.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 14
One of the best puzzle games in a long, long time.

It shouldn't need to be said, but don't look anything up when playing this game. Some of the puzzles are frustrating, but you can do it! This game is about epiphanies! Every puzzle you look up is an epiphany you rob yourself of.

Just play it. Trust me.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
What to expect
A puzzle/exploration game. Nothing is made explicit, all elements are slowly introduced, so you as a player have to connect the dots. Personal GOTY 2016.

Plus
  • Phenomenal integration of scenery and puzzle elements
  • Great visual and audio design

Minus
  • -
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny