The Witness Image
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 82 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 670 Ratings

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  • Summary: You awaken, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that challenge and surprise you. You can't remember who you are, and you don't remember how you came to be here, but there's one thing you can do: explore the island in hope of discovering clues, regaining your memory, and somehowYou awaken, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that challenge and surprise you. You can't remember who you are, and you don't remember how you came to be 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 to solve. 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. Expand

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The Witness Announcement Trailer (PS4)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 82
  2. Negative: 2 out of 82
  1. Play UK
    Mar 25, 2016
    100
    An intensely satisfying and stupendously intelligent puzzle game that's incredibly well crafted, making it a very early, yet solid, Game of the Year contender. [Issue#267, p.62]
  2. Jan 25, 2016
    100
    The intricate puzzles and tantalizing secrets of this starkly gorgeous, mystical island are enough to lose yourself in for dozens of hours.
  3. Feb 1, 2016
    95
    I don’t think The Witness is a contender of the best game ever, but I do think it’s one of the best puzzle games out there. It does everything a puzzle game should do and does it well. I would like to see a bit more opportunities to interact with objects in the world, but I completely understand why that wasn’t part of the “deliberate” design architecture. Quite simply, The Witness has been one of the best experiences in gaming I’ve had in a long time, probably in about 7 years.
  4. 90
    It’s a brilliant, beautiful, masterfully crafted work, and the more you discover, the more apparent it is.
  5. Feb 4, 2016
    90
    The Witness is an expansive and wickedly smart follow-up to Braid, with puzzles to test even the brightest minds. Its mental gymnastics are well worth the occasional frustration, and you'll come out feeling like a genius.
  6. Feb 3, 2016
    83
    The Witness is one of the most elegant puzzlers around. It'll make you think, it'll make you laugh, and it'll make you yell. Above all else, though, it'll take you on one memorable journey that will stay with you for a long time.
  7. Jan 25, 2016
    40
    It's easy to fall in love with The Witness, and even easier to have your heart broken by the callous indifference of Jonathan Blow's beautiful island. A healthy challenge is good for any game, but the puzzles on display here offer few inroads to understanding for those who can't think exactly like their creator.

See all 83 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 143
  2. Negative: 27 out of 143
  1. Aug 11, 2020
    10
    I've been playing video games for 36 years, and this is my favourite so far. What more can I say.
  2. Jan 29, 2016
    10
    The amount of work went into this is astonishing. People need to realize that it's not a game that you are supposed to rush through, finish asThe amount of work went into this is astonishing. People need to realize that it's not a game that you are supposed to rush through, finish as fast as you can. You should play it from time to time, you can finish it in 6 months if you want to, playing it whenever you feel like giving your mind a challange, giving yourself something to think on. Stop crying because it's too hard, because you can't finish the game in 2 days. This game is not made to be rushed through in 2 days, or a week, you just take your time and enjoy the admiring work went into making these beatiful puzzles. I also think it would make a great game to play with your friends, everyone putting some input and solving puzzles together sounds like it would be fun. Expand
  3. Jan 26, 2016
    10
    The Witness is a puzzle game that essentially revolves around only one type of puzzle. Although there are variations to it, you’ll basicallyThe Witness is a puzzle game that essentially revolves around only one type of puzzle. Although there are variations to it, you’ll basically spend your time going around solving finger maze puzzles. However there is an environmental element to the puzzles where you’ll find solutions in the world around you. That in my opinion is a really clever implementation by Jonathan Blow (the genius who made Braid). But don’t let finger puzzles put you off... play this game, the world of The Witness is absolutely breathtaking and there is a good story behind all the puzzles even though it is quite subtle.
    In my honest opinion this game is better than The Talos Principle and is on par if not better than the original Myst Games. However my biggest concern is the price, 40 dollars is just too much for an indie game with only one mechanic. The game itself however is an absolute joy and possibly one of the games of the year.
    Expand
  4. Feb 21, 2016
    8
    Slightly down graded my score after finishing the game. The puzzles and the complexity were first rate. They and the stunning use of color inSlightly down graded my score after finishing the game. The puzzles and the complexity were first rate. They and the stunning use of color in the landscape deserve the highest praise. Indeed the entire game deserves the highest praise for providing a game that takes patience, thought and dedication to complete. It is rare that a game is willing to offer a challenge other than a test of motor skills. Most games reward pattern memorization over pattern recognition and I congratulate the creators on such a fine puzzle. That said I am left empty on completion. No overarching sense of purpose for the puzzles and a fairly flat cheerful ambiance deprived the game of a drama that has made other puzzle games more enjoyable with frankly inferior puzzles. This isn't a condemnation. If you enjoy puzzles and the reward of thinking through some fairly difficult ones this game offers a nice balance of needing to remain aware of the environment, think laterally but also requiring a player to dig in and actually work out the solutions. If you are more given to word puzzles and cryptography than to shape, color and pattern puzzles then this might not be the game for you. The same for the more casual puzzler. If you aren't willing to get out your colored pencils and graph paper you could have a very hard time with this game. Expand
  5. Dec 8, 2016
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Witness is a really good puzzle game, some very tricky challenges in a lovely setting. This game has you doing unusual things, at one point I was sitting right at the TV tracing a path, the next I was turning up the volume really loud. Looking back through my notepad is like viewing the scribes from an alien language.

    I completed the main story and felt great satisfaction, only to then realise one extra challenge! I still have not beaten this challenge, I had plenty of attempts and I know I could do it with enough time, but finally the frustration got the better of me and there are other games to play. I feel this challenge has slightly detracted from the rest of the game which was enjoyable the whole way through.

    The puzzles are very clever but they all revolve around the central grid based theme. I cant help but think this limits the creativity. If they expanded the puzzle type I could imagine much more interesting gameplay and utilise even more of the environment, with more hidden mysteries. I feel this would make a good sequel.

    For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and exploring every corner of this enticing world. The developers deserve credit for making what is a dull mechanic very engaging, though this will always limit the games full potential.
    Expand
  6. Feb 8, 2016
    5
    I really wanted to play this game, but after purchasing and within 5 minutes of playing it made me incredibly motion sick to the point whereI really wanted to play this game, but after purchasing and within 5 minutes of playing it made me incredibly motion sick to the point where the game is unplayable. Apparently this game causes simulation sickness for a lot of people who don't typically suffer from it, and the dev is working on a patch.

    Making a game comfortable to play and knowing how to make a 1st person game have the correct FoV to keep the player from barfing - this falls under design competency. Until this is fixed, the game is literally unplayable for about 33% of gamers.

    Once it's patched, I'll update my review.
    Expand
  7. Jun 28, 2016
    0
    I had an issue installing The Witness which resulted in every file on my desktop being irretrievably deleted - yep, every pic, video,I had an issue installing The Witness which resulted in every file on my desktop being irretrievably deleted - yep, every pic, video, document. Absolute disaster. The distributor of the game, Steam, were utterly disinterested and even their parent company, Valve, made no effort whatever to try to help resolve the issue and basically told me to stop bothering them. You don't often come across customer service this bad these days.
    I'm a reasonably tech-savvy person and if it happened to me, it could happen to anyone.
    My advice - don't touch it with a bargepole.
    Expand

See all 143 User Reviews

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