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The Witness

The Witness review

WITNESS ME, BLOOD BAG

139

8 months ago

Feature: Philosopher? I hardly know her!

How The Witness fooled us all with a postmodern bait and switch

I love The Witness. It’s a great game. But the more I play it, the more I’m sure that Jonathan Blow was taking the mick out of everyone with it. In an interview with The Guardian, he said he wanted to make video games for people who read Gravity's Rainbow. Widely considered to be Thomas Pynchon’s magnum opus, Gravity’s Rainbow made TIME magazine’s list of…

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2 years ago

Feature: 2016's best puzzle game

The RPS 2016 Advent Calendar, Dec 8th – The Witness

It's the end of another puzzling year in which plenty of things have made us scratch our head and frown so hard that we have permanent crease-marks in our foreheads. The RPS Advent Calendar highlights our favourite games of the year, daily, and behind today’s door is... The year's best puzzle game: blow me down, it's The Witness [official site].

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3 years ago

Feature: A bonus bestest best!

The Bestest Best Games Of 2016 So Far

We usually do our enormous GAMES OF THE YEAR posting fest at the end of the year (as would seem logical) but because it seems silly to reserve praise for special occasions we're doing a Games Of The Half Year collection to tell you about everything we've loved playing so far. It can double as a summer holiday recommendations list too! We've listed ours in…

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Feature: How to build an island

The Great Outdoors: The Witness

While attending GDC I was thinking a lot about how "outdoors" works in videogames and speaking to artists and designers about how they had approached those environments. I was relatively early on in my experience of The Witness [official site] but I was intrigued by how many biomes were crammed onto a small island space without it ever feeling overcrowded. With that in mind I…

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Feature: It ain't easy

Dark Souls’ Uncompromising Design Leaves No Space For An Easy Mode

Dark Souls [official site] isn't for everyone in the same way that a bowl of piping hot broth isn't for everyone. Let it cool for a while, add some seasoning, and people might happily tuck in and enjoy, but if you expect them to eat it exactly as you would – whether that's by chugging it down in a few swift gulps or taking tiny…

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Feature: "I had a picture of how it would work and how people would play it"

How Does The Witness Teach Without Words?

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites a developer to help him put their game up on blocks and take a wrench to hack out its best feature, just to see how it works. The Witness [official site] is generally considered to be very hard. It is frequently very hard! I’m feeling a little brutalised by a succession of puzzles that I encountered last…

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Feature: Brights and lights

The Witness And Its Colour Palettes

So this is the irritating situation I find myself in. I want to talk about the things I've found and seen and taken pictures of in The Witness [official site]. Except because of the infernal "environmental clue-giving" aspect I can't do that without running the risk of giving spoilers or whatnot by accident - spoilers I might not even know exist. But! I have uploaded…

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Feature: Pen and paper at the ready

The Witness And The Joy Of Note-Taking

Inspired by recent experiences with The Witness' [official site] puzzles, Robert Zak has been reminiscing about the art of note-taking while playing games. From graph paper for dungeon crawlers to suspicions and clues for Her Story [official site], many genres are represented, with only the noble pen and paper to hold them together.

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4 years ago

Feature: The aesthetics of puzzle game design

A Good Puzzle Game Is Hard To Build

I love puzzle games. But it’s not beating them that’s the exciting part: it’s understanding them. Whether mulling over a cryptic crossword or somersaulting through Portal’s portals, there’s a moment of epiphany which, for me, pretty much transcends all other moments in gaming. But how do you design a puzzle to best provoke that eureka moment? What gives a puzzle its aesthetic, its pace and…

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7 years ago

Feature: Press "Use" On Every Wall

A People’s History Of The FPS, Part 1: The WAD

"A People's History" is a three part essay series by Robert Yang. He told us that he wanted to write an alternate view of the traditionally accepted history of the FPS genre as entirely dominated and driven by the mainstream, commercial industry, and to "argue for a long-standing but suppressed tradition of non-industry involvement in the first-person genre". This is part one. In 1994, the…

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8 years ago

Feature: Jonathan Blow Talks Games, Books, Shadows

Coming to Blow’s: The Witness Interview

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Master Jonathan Blow has achieved unexpected fame and fortune through the creation of a logistical contrivance called Braid. Glad of this success, he has travelled far from his native San Francisco to take lodgings in riotous London's Clerkenwell district, so that he might demonstrate his his newest invention - rudely entitled "The Witness" - to the skeptical souls of the old…

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Feature: The whole universe is in a glass of wine

The Witness: Hands On

In an antiquarian hotel room in London's historic Clerkenwell, Braid creator Jonathan Blow is shaking his shaven head. His laptop has decided it doesn't want to run The Witness, his new game and he's copying all the files over to his spare laptop. (If you want to know what it says about Blow that he's the sort of man who carries a spare laptop... go…

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9 years ago

The Witness Debuts To Few Witnesses

While Spyparty and Monaco were rocking PAX as hard as their mighty indie thews could manage, Jonathan Blow wanted to do something a little subtler. In a corner of the Spyparty/Monaco booth, with no fanfare or sign-age whatsoever, the Braid-creator set up the Witness and let people come and play. Why unveil his work in such a way? As opposed to the general melee of…

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10 years ago