iOS Universal, PC/Mac •
It’s been a long time since we’ve had a pure puzzle game worth talking about land on the App Store. The Witness, Jonathan Blow‘s puzzle opus, almost fits. It’s definitely a puzzle game, but it’s also big, beautiful, and mysterious. It feels like there’s much more to do than just solving the maze-like puzzles, but when you get down to it, there really isn’t. It’s kind of weird, but I keep loading it up and exploring the world so there must be something there.
The Witness came to Steam nearly two years ago and became something of a mega hit for Thekla, despite being a bit polarizing. Fans of the genre absolutely loved it, whereas those who were drawn in by the beautiful landscapes and exploration of a desolate island tended to wonder if the line puzzles is all there is to see. In other words, don’t let the graphics and first-person perspective fool you, The Witness is a hardcore puzzle game and you’ll be solving puzzle after puzzle after puzzle after puzzle. (after puzzle…)
It’s out now for iOS Universal and it plays pretty great on both iPad and iPhone. Navigating the world is done via a series of gestures on the screen. Tap to move forward, tap with two fingers to stop, etc. It’s okay, and I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I kind of wish there was a virtual joystick instead. Regardless, I haven’t had issues exploring the lush first island, yet.
If you enjoy not just puzzles, but having to suss out exactly what you’re supposed to do to solve the puzzles, The Witness is going to be right up your alley. If you’re looking for a quick puzzle fix like Threes, look elsewhere. Kelsey should have a full review of The Witness up next week, so if you want to wait and see what a philosopher thinks before you buy (usually a smart move), you don’t have long to wait.