The Witness

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a game by Thekla, Inc.
Platform: PC (2016)
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 2 reviews, 1 review is shown
User Rating: 9.5/10 - 4 votes
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See also: Puzzle Games
The Witness
The Witness
The Witness
The Witness

The Witness is a first-person puzzle game that places players on a tropical island and tasks them with solving deceptively simple puzzles as they explore. Created by one of the most talented indie developers in the gaming world, this evocative adventure will surely stump you, but offers some of the most satisfying moments in any puzzle title. As you delve deeper into the island, you'll uncover surprising secrets while becoming better at figuring out its more mysterious elements. Despite some truly frustrating moments, The Witness is simply one of the best puzzle games ever made and a title that every gamer should experience.

Main Game Features

  • Solve puzzles as you explore a lush island
  • Easy-to-understand but tough to master
  • Utilizes sound and visuals in inventive ways


The storytelling in The Witness is pretty light, as most of the experience revolves around a sense of discovery and awe. You start the game in a long, dark tunnel, and must find a way out. Once you escape, you'll be greeted by a bustling island full of puzzles, split into a handful of distinct areas. Similar to other first-person puzzle games like Myst, there are no characters to guide you or any hints on where to go, as the experience is open-ended and puzzles can be completed in a variety of orders. As you spend more time on the island, you'll begin to notice odd shapes and figures, which hint at the land's history. Beyond that, most of the story of The Witness is a personal one, involving the player and their will to persist.


Every puzzle in The Witness is simple in design and revolves around the same basic concept. You can find the puzzles on easily identifiable boards, which resemble a maze of pathways. To successfully complete a puzzle, you must trace a path through the maze, starting at a circular spot and ending at a rounded line. Your path cannot cross or intersect, so the solution is always one unbroken line. While this could grow boring after a while, the game shakes things up by adding additional rules in each of the game's distinct areas. Each area has a theme that affects the puzzles, and it's up to the player to figure it out. For example, in one forested area, players must avoid shadows that are cast onto the puzzle space by the surrounding trees. In another area, players can only successfully solve puzzles by listening to the animal calls and appropriately tracing the wavelengths.

Unfortunately, the game does very little to explain these rules to you, which can be frustrating at times. As the game progresses, puzzles can become exceptionally difficult. If you're not sure about the specific rules of any given area, you may spend hours searching for the solution. Due to the nature of the puzzle design, none of them can be brute-forced or guessed, which can create roadblocks during your adventure. Luckily, players are free to take on the areas in any order they want, allowing you to abandon tougher puzzles and make progress on a different part of the island.


All told, The Witness offers nearly 100 hours of gameplay time, with tons of secrets to find. Despite its seemingly simple premise, it's a tough game, but immensely rewarding for those who stick with it. Patience, thoughtfulness, and critical thinking are all very important if you want to succeed, as it's also one of the most difficult puzzle games ever made.


However, if you have a knack for navigating mazes and enjoy exploring exotic locations, this is one puzzle game you won't want to miss.


  • Beautiful graphics
  • Exploring the island is captivating
  • Very unique concepts


  • Some puzzles are very frustrating
  • Very few tutorials or guiding elements
  • Lack of plot and storytelling

Download The Witness


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

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