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The Myst-like Adventure game The Witness is both amazing and infuriating. Being developed by Jonathan Blow of Braid fame, it was somewhat to be expected that the game’s puzzles would be somewhat hard, but some players were taken a bit by surprise.
Basically, The Witness is a 1st person adventure game that puts you on an island without any Heads Up Display or any tutorial at all. Because the island is structured in a way to entice players into exploring it, some of the maze-like puzzles may prove to be completely foreign if you wind up in a place where you weren’t supposed to be.
All of the game’s puzzles are based on getting through a maze with your mouse from start to finish while completing some tasks along the way. If you go north from where you first wake up, you will find a tutorial level of sorts for puzzles based on gathering dots or isolating white squares from black squares, easing you into the concept of the game.
But in regards to other types of maze puzzles, you will be left alone with the goal of completing them. If you think you can just finish every zone you enter without any hitch, you are thoroughly mistaken. For instance, maze-puzzles based on Tetris puzzles or colored circles will leave you scratching your head most of the times because their “tutorial” level is further East instead of being near to where you enter the island.
True, you are expected to leave puzzles behind if you don’t know how to solve them, but that isn’t a viable option for those who have a completionist spirit. You need to always keep in mind that a majority of maze puzzles are based on trial an error. Once you finish two or three pertaining to one type, you will be able to finish most of them by the end of the game.
Probably the hardest maze puzzles are the ones based on perspective. You will have to move your point of view in order for the puzzle to make sense, with shadows showing how the puzzle should be completed or using light’s reflection in order for the solution to shine.
Because The Witness is both amazing and infuriating, one may be tempted to use a guide in order to complete some of its puzzles. This should be viewed as a last resort, because the main joy of the game, besides uncovering the story and concepts behind it, is to finish each and every last puzzle on your own.