You wake up, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that will challenge and surprise you.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (93 reviews) - 78% of the 93 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (2,144 reviews) - 84% of the 2,144 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 ), 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:

19 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

    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000 series
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
    • 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 Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mostly Positive (93 reviews)
Very Positive (2,144 reviews)
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1,481 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
65 of 80 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
44.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
If you like challenging puzzle games, and have patience when you can't solve a puzzle immediately, The Witness is very rewarding and highly recommended.
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18 of 23 people (78%) found this review helpful
24.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
The Witness is a beutiful looking game with a unique mechanic that teaches you as you go along, but without using words at all. It's like a cross between Harpo Marx and a cryptic crossword, but with shapes and colours instead of letters!

It seems, initially, like a small island, but there are many, many more layers than are first apparent. It's a pretty big game and will take dozens of hours (at least) to get the full experience.

The puzzels have been very cleavery designed and (eventually) seem to keep you right at the limit of your intellect. Depending on how your brain is wired, you might sail through some things than others find difficult and get stuck for a while on things that other people find easy. Chances are though that you will, usually, find the last few puzzles of each section a head-scratcher, at least for a while.

Personally, I find the spatial (pattern, colour, position) challenges easy, but the logical (chess-type) ones more difficult. The unlocks in the Ewok-style section were a particular nightmare for me and I confess I cheated a couple of times by looking up solutions on-line when it all became too much. For some of the others, I persevered but only got the solution by sheer fluke! That may sound as though it's a frustrating and unrewarding game, but that's not so. Sometimes those "WTF, how did that work" solutins are a major revelation and you suddenly see how to move on to a new large section of the game. When those great "Ah-ha!" moments come though, it's really satisfying and you feel wonderful.

Overall, a firm recommendation from me. Stick with it, even through the tough times, or just wander away to another part of the island and try something different and new: or you may find that what you just learned will help you unlock another puzzle that seemed impossibe before.

8/10 for me. Would have been highter, but the game sometimes made me feel so cross and stupid that I switched the PC off! Get it though, especially if on sale.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
Jump into a game that will slowly challenge your mind in a very well done way until you stop playing and don't pick it up for a few weeks until you forget how all of the puzzles work and have to look them up all online.
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22 of 39 people (56%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
Tedious and without reward, The Witness tries desperately to capture the spirit of something much grander than the sum of its parts can deliver, but fails at virtually every conceivable turn. Offering only occasionally interesting puzzle mechanics that long overstay their welcome, pseudo pensive and ultimately pointless commentary in the form of purposefully abstract quotes delivered as if read the night before by failed art students, and agonizingly slow video clips picked straight from the brain of a teenage philosopher, all to pad the corpse of a treatise written by someone that values the appearance of thought more than the content of thought, and culminating in the weakest non-ending ever laid to disc.

If you've ever had anyone attempt to convince you that their well trodden ideas are deceptively deep, you've experienced the bulk of The Witness and the rest isn't worth anyone's time. Armchair philosophy in pixel form.

The visuals are occasionally pretty.

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
If you're into hardcore puzzles, play this and make sure you know nothing about it before you play it. 10/10
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
16.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
The Witness is a brilliant example of how the exploration component may turn a simple lines puzzle game into a masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
37.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
You definitely need to approach this game with an open mind. It's essentially puzzles for the sake of puzzles. A bare-bones plot, minimalist art style, and a nearly absent soundtrack make for an unusual video game experience.

It might not sound like it, but I had an amazing time playing The Witness. I had only the most basic idea of what I was buying (I watched someone play through the 'tutorial') and I loved every minute of it. Exploring an (almost) completely open world filled with puzzles that had little direction to them other than what could be inferred was refreshing.

The puzzles themselves are rarely Challenging*. It's more about understanding the theme of each area and how it applies. The reward for completing a puzzle isn't some cosmetic item or plot device, it's more puzzles. To that end, the real pleasure of the game comes from making the aformentioned connections, the "Ah-ha!" moments.

However, it is very likely that this game will test your patience. There is no hint system. If you don't get something, too bad. Mull it over, sketch out a diagram, try a different puzzle, sleep on it, come back to it later - whatever works for you. When it says it respects you as an intelligent player in the description, it's a pledge of faith in your ability. Every unspoken rule is simple, and the clues are there, but it really is up to you to discover it.

*One exception (or rather, 14). Yes, it's a pun. Here's my insincere apology.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
It's a game design wet dream of how to subtly implement a whole array of mechanics through increasingly complex, but similar, puzzles. The use of background and scenery to solve puzzles put the biggest smile on my face. Extrensic motivation through exploration helps too. It's nothing but puzzles, some secrets, and a beautiful world. I adore it but I know some people will hate it or not appreciate it (which is absoultely fine!). It's made for the people who smile when finishing a puzzle, who do jigsaws in their spare time, and crosswords when they're bored.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
32.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
On the surface, Witness is a clever puzzle game in which fans of titles such as Portal or The Talos Principle will feel right at home.

What makes it really shine though is how well everything plays together. All aspects of the game - gameplay, narrative, visuals - work together to form a really unique experience.

The game purposefully doesn't hold your hand - rules must be figured out by observing what works and what doesn't, and deriving your theories from your observations. There's no roadsign showing you the next puzzle - it's one big open world full of mysteries to discover. And just when you think you know how it works, The Witness will throw another puzzle at you that quickly invalidates your established rules and lets you question everything you've learned so far. In other words - the game not only forces you to think outside the box, but whenever you do that it shows you that you're just in a bigger box now.

There's so much that could be said about the game, but it'd be a shame to not experience it yourself. The Witness features beautiful visuals, clever and surprising puzzles, implicit storytelling and will keep you busy for at least 15 hours, possibly quite more if you want to discover every secret this island has to offer.

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recently Posted
15.1 hrs
Posted: October 24
It's definitely not for everyone, but definitely consider it if you enjoy puzzle/logic games. I haven't finished it yet, but I'd put it in my Top 10 of all time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
24.4 hrs
Posted: October 24
The Witness is a good looking game with some very clever puzzles. I strongly recommend it for those who really like puzzles and who appreciate not being catered for like a small child. It means you are left on your own on the lone island, and nobody is going to explain you anything. What the game brings you in abundance is a sense of discovery of the places and of the rules governing the world.

I had only one problem, the monastery section, I completely abandoned the small tree inside and didn't think it was important and necessary for opening the windows, because you can solve the first of the three walls by looking at the rocks arrangement closest to it. But probably I'd rather blame myself there.

I'd also point out the narrative. It is a complete ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥t. I listened to it at first but then just didn't bother, it is plain pretentious words soup. Of the videos, I have only seen the first and the last ones. And the last video, I don't know who that woman is, but I hope she had been taken care of. Sounded like some kind of religious indoctrination.

In any case, this is a great puzzle game, and I totally recommend it as that.
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A Real Mom
20.4 hrs
Posted: October 23
F dis
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lucid Σ
7.5 hrs
Posted: October 23
I liked it for the first two hours or so, then I realized it was all the same puzzle just with different gimmicks. "Oh use shadows here." "Make this shape there." It's a good time waster but that's about it. Good for benchmarking your PC's graphics card too though.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.5 hrs
Posted: October 23
The puzzles on this game are very repititive and limited. I was expecting more diversity (the good kind) but all this game seems to be is drawing lines. I mean sure, it's fun for a while but it's so damn limited. After doing the puzzles for an hour it gets so repetitive that it kinda feels more like work than gaming. I usually love doing puzzles but this game is like doing Sudokus for 12 hours, it gets boring as ♥♥♥♥.
Okayish game i guess, still wouldn't recommend it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.2 hrs
Posted: October 23
A challenging puzzle game that makes you really become patient and attempt to think outside of the box. The stunning visuals are the icing and cherries on the cake. Puzzles can come out of things you never dreamed would be capable of being a puzzle
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.4 hrs
Posted: October 22
This isn't a game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.8 hrs
Posted: October 21
Unlike Braid, this game feels rather flat and one-dimensional. The map feels a little too big, and the puzzles a little too tough to get through. I like challenging puzzle games, but there wasn't much feeling of progress/satisfaction. I lost interest in this game and never finished it. The story wasn't that compelling, and solving the puzzles felt more a chore than a delight.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
caseyc (VEGAN)
1.3 hrs
Posted: October 21
First Impressions:

Its been compared to puzzle games like Talos Principle and Portal, made by Johnathan Blow who made Braid. Nice calm puzzle game. It lacks any music so far and doesn't have gamepad support (update its now working?) as advertised, otherwise its a nice game. Its a quick download that takes up little space due to the unique graphic style. The emphasis is on creative or critical thinking, deductive reasoning, finding trends and themes to apply to puzzles, trial and error and some searching.

Just some another puzzle game recommendation: VHS Rewind.
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3.3 hrs
Posted: October 21
Omg! Don't buy this game unless you're a freaking Zen Buddhist!

I like puzzle games. I even like walking simulators and I love the artwork of The Witness. So I figured I'd ignore the bad reviews and give it a shot since it was on sale for 35% off. Oh man I wish I hadn't. I played a good amount on my first two play throughs and then I wandered into an area where the walkway I was standing on turned into a moving platform when I solved the puzzle. Cool. Only the next two puzzles were too confusing to figure out. No big deal, I'll just go back. Hmm... can't jump back there's no jump key... I know, I'll fail the puzzle and it should put the walkway back to it's original position. Nope? That's frustrating. Oh well, I'll start a new game because I finally made sense of some earlier nonsense.

An hour and a half later I'm feeling better cause I'm making a lot more progress than I did before. Hmmm what's this? A puzzle where it incorporates the rocks in the background into the solution. Oh that's neat! Next... ok these are interesting but... hmmm why can't I figure out this one with only a single rock in it? 20 minutes and a hundred attempts later "Eff it, I don't care if I can't solve them all let's check a walkthrough. Ok WTF? You have to position your character 45 degrees to the left of the sign and then you'll see some rocks that line up properly so you can solve it. Urgh that was lame... next puzzle... oh, looks like they want me to do it again? Check the walkthrough. Nope, it's these trees in the background... but wait a minute that solution doesn't even make sense when they tell me the answer!
Ok Eff this game!

My hat is off to those that can actually solve these isoteric nonsensical puzzles and somehow enoy themselves at the same time, but holy crap I haven't had a game make me want to rage quit this much since... ever! If it wasn't a digital download I'd turn the disc into a shuriken and throw it at the wall!
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