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Here’s What Happens in The Witness‘ Irresistible First 5 Minutes

1 minute read

Here’s a brief introduction to Jonathan Blow’s The Witness, an elliptical puzzle game staged on an abandoned island that is likely to absorb, frustrate and delight you. I should warn viewers that I spoil the game’s first handful of puzzles in what amounts to its starter area, but nothing beyond. In reviewing the title for Playstation 4 and PC (coming to iOS devices later this year), I try my best to skirt hyperbole—because I definitely love this thing. As I wrote:

Though more ambitious than Braid, The Witness—partly an homage to and attempt to think past 1993 puzzle-adventure Myst—feels like a continuation of [designer Jonathan] Blow’s need to communicate his ideas about the history and nature of human thought in ways that don’t pander to players. Contemporary games hover like helicopter parents, dragging players through tutorials like flashing neon signs. The Witness, by contrast, tunes you to the mental frequency of a Zen garden.

To read the rest of the review, you can click here.

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Write to Matt Peckham at matt.peckham@time.com