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Overview

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The Witness is a first-person puzzle-adventure game developed and digitally published by Thekla for the PlayStation 4 and PC on January 26, 2016. It was later ported to the Xbox One on September 13, 2016, to the Nvidia Shield on January 16, 2017, to the Mac on March 8, 2017, and to iOS devices on September 20, 2017.

In the game, players explore a colorful and quiet island filled with simple electronic maze-like puzzle consoles. As players progress through different parts of the island (in a mostly non-linear fashion), the puzzles get more difficult with new complex rules (including puzzles which require visual or audio cues from the environment) and minimal game assistance.

The game's story is very minimal, with the overall goal of activating eleven lasers scattered throughout the island. While the island is void of life, it is filled with man-made structures, visual illusions, and hidden content (including audio recordings of philosophical quotes).

The indie game team behind The Witness was led by Jonathan Blow, who previously led the development of the 2008 game Braid. Development of the game began shortly after the release of Braid, with a lengthy seven-year development cycle (which includes the development of a custom game engine).

Gameplay

The gameplay is highly focused on exploration and discovery. Puzzles all involve drawing a path from a starting point to an end point but variations on the concept are introduced throughout the game. The player can solve puzzles at their own pace; puzzles that are too difficult can be left behind and be solved later after the player gains a better understanding of the mechanics. Puzzles quickly ramp up and become more complicated. Little instruction is provided, allowing the player to explore on their own and achieve the satisfaction of figuring out the puzzles for themselves.

On October 16, 2013, in a posting on the Playstation.Blog, Blow said this about the length of the game:

Originally I had meant to design an 8-hour game, but The Witness is more like 25-40 hours depending on how much you play (some of the game is optional!)

PC System Requirements

Minimum

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: 1.8GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD 4000 series
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 4 GB available space

Recommended

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: 2.4GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce 780
  • DirectX: Version 10
  • Storage: 4 GB available space

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