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The Witness is a first-person adventure game with a strong focus on puzzles and it is set on an abandoned island. It starts with an unnamed protagonist at the end of a tunnel. The exit leads to a large, uninhabited island with various modern structures. Almost immediately the island can be explored entirely and in any direction without restrictions. The small story elements are revealed indirectly, but the main goal is to regain memory and find a way off the island. Clues can often be found through elements in the environment and there are also some audio segments, usually with quotes from very different contexts, that can be found through left behind audio logs.

The main focus is the exploration of the island and solving more than 500 puzzles in different forms. No guidance or help is provided and the player has to figure out the mechanics through trial and error, logic or careful observation. The puzzle mode is accessed through a click or button, allowing the character to interact with electronic panels in the environment that usually represent a single puzzle. Most of these puzzles have a maze-like structure with a starting point and an end. A puzzle is solved by connecting start and end in a specific way. This often activates power, through cables, opening up a part of the environment or activating another panel. Through small effects or by following the cables, the effect can be traced. The general concept of the puzzles is largely the same for all of them, but many variants are introduced, such as separating maze items in a certain way, taking into account tetromino shapes, using colours and so on.

There are often panels in areas that gradually introduce new elements, but the player can still tackle them generally in any order. A large amount of puzzles cannot be solved through logic alone, but requires more thorough observation of the environment, similar to the Myst games. Some patterns can only be found on other locations or require the manipulation of parts in the environment that are not obvious. The puzzle mode can be accessed at any moment and this is often used in very different ways, but still according to the concept of the panels. Next to walking on foot, a boat is discovered soon to circle the island and get around quicker.


The Witness Windows Solving puzzles is often needed to open doors.
The Witness Windows A lobby
The Witness Windows Standing on a large wreck.
The Witness Windows A curious series of puzzles with colours

Promo Images

The Witness Screenshot
The Witness Screenshot
The Witness Screenshot
The Witness Screenshot


User Reviews

Puzzle after puzzle after puzzle Windows Nowhere Girl (4059)

Critic Reviews

IGN Windows Jan 25, 2016 10 out of 10 100
Game Rant Windows Feb 03, 2016 5 out of 5 100
IGN PlayStation 4 Jan 25, 2016 10 out of 10 100
ActionTrip Windows Feb 04, 2016 9.3 out of 10 93
PC Gamer Windows Jan 24, 2016 89 out of 100 89
GamePro (Germany) (IDG) PlayStation 4 Jan 25, 2016 85 out of 100 85 PlayStation 4 Jan 28, 2016 16 out of 20 80 Windows Jan 28, 2016 79 out of 100 79 PlayStation 4 Jan 28, 2016 79 out of 100 79
PC Games (Germany) Windows Feb 04, 2016 72 out of 100 72


Topic # Posts Last Post
The game loads once and doesn't run again 2 vedder (40720)
Sep 14, 2017


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Contributed to by Sciere (515106) and jaXen (189063)