You wake up, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that will challenge and surprise you.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (67 reviews) - 86% of the 67 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,066 reviews) - 84% of the 2,066 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 26, 2016

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy The Witness

 

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

16 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 (67 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,066 reviews)
Recently Posted
afivechip's New GTX 1070
1.7 hrs
Posted: August 27
The Witness is an absolutely beautiful game with a deceptively simple premise that makes for some of the most satisfying puzzles I've seen in any game. Exploring the island, whether to find new puzzles or just gaze at the incredible art direction is surreal. Unless you utterly despise puzzles, this is a must play.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mollikka
17.2 hrs
Posted: August 27
At face value, The Witness is a pretty version of the puzzle you solve to unlock your phone. But really, it's a very well made adventure game. I can't think of another puzzle game that lets you freely explore such a large area filled with brain teasers of all sizes. The harder puzzles are frustrating, as they should be. They never feel cheap, just too clever for you - until you solve them.

Best mysterious island I've been stuck on since Myst.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TahBahFah
4.4 hrs
Posted: August 26
It's a bunch of boring line puzzles. Yes, really.

I wouldn't advise buying this even if it was $5.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Just_Some_Poor_Ass_Kid
16.1 hrs
Posted: August 25
A game with tear-jerkingly beautiful visuals and rage-inducing puzzles.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dapgo
3.1 hrs
Posted: August 25
I was expecting so much more...

I LOVE puzzle games, from a story driven masterpiece as the 999 series to a simple puzzle game like Hexcells. In this case, when I read the description for The Witness I was amazed, and was expecting an island full of all kinds of clever and distinct puzzles, I was imagining that in every area you would se a different kind of puzzle and be entertained for hours.

The truth about this game is, you better enjoy labyrinth puzzles, because thats all you're getting! What they meant by having different types of puzzles per island area is that in one part you might have to use shadows of trees to solve a labyrinth and in another area you need the sun's reflection, but it is all done with LABYRINTH TYPE PUZZLES. after a couple of hours I was bored out of my mind. Just compare the gameplay with 999 or Puzzle Agent, in those games you truly get a variety of puzzle types with different themes.

Also another thing I hated is how the island feels like a huge rail, because when you walk somewhere you have to follow a path, you cant jump or get over small obstacles, it feels VERY restrictive and its frustrating that you have to circle around to get where you want to go.

I can see why a lot of people like this game, but not me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Can't Melt
73.0 hrs
Posted: August 24
Exploration coupled with puzzles leaves the player highly satisfied as they progress throughout the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
debrisplease
29.7 hrs
Posted: August 23
The only two words I've said out loud while playing this game are "♥♥♥♥" and "A-ha!". Have fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ages 5 and up
39.9 hrs
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.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
RabidJellyfish
161.2 hrs
Posted: August 23
I reviewed this really shortly after the game came out, but I feel differently about it now that it's had time to sink in, so I deleted it and am leaving this one instead.

On the surface, this is a puzzle game. You explore an island while solving puzzles involving drawing lines on panels. Despite how repetitive it may sound, you can get a lot of enjoyment, surprise, and satisfaction out of this game just from that surface layer. There are some preachy sounding quotes you can find, and there isn't much of a story, but if you focus on the puzzles and you like puzzles, you'll like this game.

However. The game goes deeper than that. If you really pay attention to everything you're doing, and pay attention to the environment, and really listen to what the quotes are saying in relation to the game's design rather than just dismissing them for sounding pretentious, it's like a whole other game. My first playthrough took about 14 hours to activate all the lasers and reach the "minimum completion" ending. Since then, I've probably put in three times as much time just going back and understanding the significance of random things in the game (the rest has been speedrunning mostly). You can solve all the puzzles multiple times and still notice new things in consecutive playthroughs. This game has layers, but they're subtle layers; the game gives back what you put into it. And I think that's what makes this game truly special.

Anyway, back to surface level stuff: eventually you realize there is a story. Finding that is cool. And the "Complete a certain challenge" achievement is ♥♥♥♥ing awesome. Art and sound design are great, although there is no soundtrack, so the silence can make the game feel "empty" at times, depending on your take of it.

tl;dr - Fantastic puzzle and art design. Game may feel empty and pointless at times, but look a little deeper and you'll find a reason for pretty much everything.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Axelon
40.4 hrs
Posted: August 22
While you will swear a lot, this game really does push the entire concept of what a game is in new directions.

A long time ago Myst did this, and now we have The Witness.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
34 of 41 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
21.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
Product received for free
A great puzzle game with a very discouraging first 2 hours. At first you'll say, "Surely the entire game won't be solving mazes?" And it is. But 4 things happen along the way (no spoilers):

1) There's dozens of rules for how the mazes work that you'll need to teach yourself, unlearn, relearn, and combine.

2) Some mazes make physical changes to platforms that you need to navigate and the multiple solutions to a maze is how you select the position.

3) The mazes get REALLY hard. Like, "10 minutes of poking at it, take a break and sleep on it, graph it, run around the map staring at it from different angles for 5 minutes, go do some other puzzles, come back, AH HA, poke at it for 10 minutes, solved!" hard.

4) There are puzzles absolutely everywhere that you can't see until you know what you're looking for. And then you get paranoid seeing bits and pieces of them, trying to make your hallucinations connect together into a complete puzzle.

Through all this the game becomes pretty excellent and is constantly surprising when you least expect it. The major puzzle areas are pretty open to tackle in any order. The island itself looks great and there's some amazing visual surprises that are fun to discover. Everywhere you look you have to wonder if you're seeing all the hidden layers.

There's hidden recordings and videos of real deep quotes/essays. Some are interesting and some are sort of philosophically embarrassing. This is the weakest part of the game for me, but they can be ignored entirely. I think they're just things that Blow finds inspiring and that's fine. I feel like I have my own interpretation of what the game is saying, but don't believe there's a plot or story to be uncovered. It's just a self contained exhibit to interactive art. The ending has a tiny bit of meaningful closure, but I don't think it works as a climax or reward. The whole final section is intersting, but a little obnoxious with how it indroduces difficulty.

It played it a little at a time over many months and love many parts of it. It's got some of the most mind blowing and beautiful things I've ever seen in a game. It has literally made me say, "OH ♥♥♥♥, I JUST GOT WITNESSED," several times. But its for a very niche audience of people who will have the patience for the puzzles and revelations. But it has its flaws: slow start, meandering VO, meh ending. I recommend it. If you gave up on it early I recommend you go back to it occasionally to see if it clicks. If you love classic puzzle games like Sudoku and Picross, this is once of the most insanely polished package of puzzles you'll ever see. If you hate those kinds of puzzles, stay away.

Thanks Mr. Blow for pouring your life into this game! The craft and dedication shows, and there's nothing else like it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
30 of 43 people (70%) 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
6 of 8 people (75%) 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
6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
3 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
2 of 3 people (67%) 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
3 of 5 people (60%) 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
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
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
45.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
You can't even imagine how many things you can do with dots and lines.
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
2 of 4 people (50%) 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