Review The Witness
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Actual platform: PC

At 2008m the programmer Jonathan Blow with his game Braid made a certain revolution in the industry. He proved that indium can be not only highly directional joy "for their", but also a full hit, sabotage universal applause. A games as art - it's not just a provocative phrase that serves as fuel for the fruitless disputes, and quite tangible reality. Use a unique time management mechanics, Blow's Braid told in a very emotional and very personal, adult story, which was full of complex metaphors and quotations, with the player said about the crisis of middle age, of regret and alcoholism, but disguised as a typical story of the rescue of the princess. It was after Braid started a real boom of indie developers and dozens of singles began to express themselves in the language of video games.

Eight years later, Blow, collected during this time Thekla own studio, Inc., has released his new work - The Witness, which was announced back in 2009. Again, he got a very unusual, copyright statement, which is also quite possible to have an impact, if not the entire industry, then certainly in the genre of "mistoidov" exactly.


If you solve all the puzzles, including optional, it will take at least 100 hours.

Island of bad luck

Yes, when he create The Witness he is inspired by Myst and never hide it. Among the more understandable to the modern player is unique - Dear Esther and The Talos Principle. It was at last joined the Croats from Croteam is unhurried, devoid of gameplay study terrain, characteristic of Dear Esther and her peers, with a decision quite challenging puzzles in the spirit of Myst.

Riddles of snake

The Witness quickly proves - this is a game where the first impression is deceptive. Yes, it is does not seek to produce the impressed.

It is necessary to go a little further opening of puzzles, and the phrase "monotonous puzzle" will seem the greatest stupidity, you have spoken in your life. Yes, the basic structure (as in The Talos Principle) one: throughout the island are scattered panel on which should draw line from point A to point B, to activate the cable, open the door, lower the lift and so on. However, variations are lot - more than six hundred puzzles.

Despite such excess paint, the island and its attractions look very beautiful.

Despite such excess paint, the island and its attractions look very beautiful.

Somewhere you need to draw a snake through a certain point where, on the contrary, to avoid them. Somewhere you have to separate some of the points of each other, and then - the circle and connect them, or repeat some figures. Some puzzles involve mathematical thinking, others - spatial, third involved two screens at once, reflecting in the water, and that you know - the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection ...

In some situations, you have to go "snake"on the platform or, for example, through a maze of bushes, look for the right path leading to the exit, guided by the sound of footsteps or bushes, and then write the correct answer on the screen with a puzzle. Moreover, there is a puzzle on a play of light and shadow, where you have a look at a right angle to the screen to display the correct path of the snake, or to move it and change the lighting. Either altogether to focus on how to cast a shadow on the screen branches of neighboring trees (!!!).

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Many of the puzzles put to a standstill even those who like math and geometry. The situation is complicated by the fact that in The Witness fundamentally nobody explains how to solve brainteasers and no one gives hints. There are only faint hints that you can find if you carefully look around and explore the island. Similarly, there is no customary and rewards that would have rewarded for the successful solution of the puzzle or another for the promotion of the island.

Jonathan Blow did it all on purpose, christened style that made The Witness, as "anti-Nintendo» - that is, no instructions, no carrot and stick! Is it impossible to immediately solve any puzzle? Do not worry, no one will lock you in the room. Go to another location, look around, solve other mysteries, and perhaps, after some time, even while on the other side of the world, you exclaim "Eureka!" And will cry with happiness, by knowing that you are a small but still a genius!

Some screens can be operated from a distance.

Some screens can be operated from a distance.

The Witness - Dark Souls is the world-puzzle quest, where the solution of some particularly tricky puzzle is the same sense of satisfaction as a long-awaited victory over the plague some horny "boss." You can search solutions for days or weeks - by  himselfor or with your friends (and some puzzles require is a collective "brainstorming" on the web, work, home).

Interpretations and rumors

The notion that the Witness is not plot also incorrect. The entire island is divided into eleven regions - there is a castle with sand figures, quarry mill, very beautiful garden, some dilapidated or an unfinished ancient temple. And in each sequence is necessary to solve certain puzzles, something open, activate, go down, or, conversely, to climb the mountain, to eventually run the laser beam. In a place where the beams intersect, and you need to understand where we are, why and what is going on here.

Rather, try to understand, to find some clues. Around the island are voice records with lengthy quotations from the Chinese philosophers, Einstein, Skinner, referring to Francis Bacon and Buddhist phrases in the spirit of "one reality contains all reality." As Braid, Blow plays with metaphors and symbols, makes us think and puzzle over the ending. This game is not talking only about the meaning of life, but also about the relationship between the controlling and controlled between, conditionally, the creator and the fact that he has created, - interpretations and versions still lot. By the way there are a few endings. And exactly there is an alternative, which can be opened from the very beginning - Jonathan in his style.

Himself Jonathan Blow has walk the game with a little over six hours, he knows all the decisions in advance.

Himself Jonathan Blow has walk the game with a little over six hours, he knows all the decisions in advance.

The Witness - product is not for everyone. It is wrapped in video format on the IQ test, perseverance, attentiveness, flexibility of mind and imagination on the subtlety of perception. Not only intellect, but also in intelligence. Jonathan Blow said that he is developing a game for inquisitive, intelligent people. If you belong to those, then just have to try The Witness.

Pros: complicated but interesting puzzles; rich in metaphor and interpretation of the story; beautiful, detailed island.

Cons: lurid paint can cause epilepsy and vertigo - like some, too complicated puzzle to which there are no clues and instructions.


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