This puzzling mystery game is the creation of Jonathan Blow, developer of the award-winning game Braid.
You’re in a hallway, in a basement, in a house. You have no memory of who you are or why you are here. Exploring outward, you find yourself on a strange island, full of puzzles, which are placed in themed areas: a castle, a desert ruin, some kind of hybrid laboratory-art-gallery. Here and there you find audio recordings, narrated by someone who seems to know a great deal about this island. Is that guy responsible for your situation? How did you come to be here, and how can you get home?
•By the designer of Braid, it’s a bigger, more-seasoned puzzle game that questions what it means to be here, in a place, seeing and hearing things.
•Open world, nonlinear progression. Go where you want, do what you want. If stuck on a puzzle, you are free to go elsewhere and come back later. Most games’ open worlds try to be big, but here the world is as small and as dense as possible, so that there are new things to do everywhere you look, just within reach.
•Nonlinear story, serious story. It is not an entertainment story, with the usual video game trappings; it is part of a heartfelt inquiry into the nature of existence, delivered in an open and honest way.
•No over-tutorialization. No hand-holding. The Witness assumes that you are a reasonable, intelligent human being with the initiative to make the best of your situation. Controls are very simple and are introduced quickly; puzzles are designed to communicate nonverbally in a way that does not pander to the player.
•Modernized, experimental gameplay. The Witness inherits many aesthetics from the tradition of graphic adventures. However, its gameplay is very different, the result of a two-year process of asking what happens when we take that old genre and apply modern design ideas from platformers or action games?