Creator of Braid’s new project – The Witness
In 2008, Jonathan Blow released Braid, a clever puzzle platformer with unique time bending mechanics. His new game, The Witness, seems to have only the clever puzzle bit in common.
For starters, The Witness is in first person and takes place on an island, drawing immediate comparisons to the Myst series. The visual design, however, is far more simplistic. Clean lines and sharp, contrasting colors call to mind a high-res minecraft, if that makes sense. If it doesn’t, then check out a screenshot.
There has been very little gameplay released so far, but a large portion of it seems to revolve around blue panels, each of which has a 2d maze. Solving the maze can open doors, turn on other panels, and unlock who knows what. These puzzles wordlessly introduce new mechanics as the game progresses, encouraging you to discover for yourself how they work (like Portal!). The words are brought in through audio logs, where the architect explains why he built the island, what you’re doing there and who knows what else.
Some puzzles require knowledge of other parts of the island, such as shapes of buildings or symbols carved into trees. It’s an exploration game, where some sections may be unavailable to you without specific knowledge. Like Metroid, but replace super bombs with your powers of observation.
Will The Witness’ plot be as confusing as Braid? Probably. Can it live up to the incredibly high standard set by its predecessor? I don’t know, but I sure hope it does.