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Six Years Later, The Witness Gets A Release Date

The Witness [official site] always sounds to me like a Lynda La Plante two-part drama which would air on ITV and feature foreboding music and chilling crime. Braid creator J.Blo thinks differently and has now presented a taster of his brightly-coloured, six years in the making puzzle island in the form of a launch date trailer.

Video and thoughts below:

1. Jonathan Blow believes in really punchy wisteria. Perhaps he liked Desperate Housewives. Is this his tribute?

2. The puzzles themselves have a really mobile gamey aesthetic. That’s not a value judgement, I just didn’t realise I had a mental category marked “things that a mobile puzzle game probably looks like on some elemental level”.

3. It feels like there are maybe elements of games like The Talos Principle (I am saying this because I saw lasers) but far more strongly I’m getting a sense of one of those Usborne puzzle books. Is that reference too British? The books would follow kids on these daring adventures in these cool locations and every double page would have a puzzle for you to solve before you could advance. The Usborne books had loads of people in usually but I’m definitely getting a similar vibe from this.

4. I do like the look of the water. Can I just borrow the game engine and go for a swim?

5. But seriously that is some intense wisteria.

6. Actually, y’know what, I really like a lot of the environmental shots. The autumn one particularly.

7. RPS chatroom is keen on the music. It’s by Zoe Keating and you can find her here.

8. The game will arrive on the 0126th of 2016. Or 26 January, 2016. The way it’s written made me start thinking about numbers and Usborne-style puzzles so I got a bit caught up in that for a while. If it was using the octal system, 0126 translates to decimal as 86, so it could also be 6 August or 8 June. WHO KNOWS. If this were a real Usborne book there would be a hint in the back in mirror writing.

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Philippa Warr

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