The Witness ($9.99) by Thekla is the official mobile port of the critically acclaimed video game that came out in 2016. If you're a fan of puzzle games, then The Witness is a must have. It's inspired by Myst, and definitely a game that encourages critical thinking.
With the ever increasing power of the iPhone and iPad, they're perfect for mobile gaming. If there's any solid proof of this, it's all of the ports of previously console and PC-only games that are making their way to mobile. Some popular ones we've had recently include The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Danmaku Unlimited 3, Injustice 2, and more. And now we have The Witness, an open world puzzle game that has captured the hearts of many with it's creativity. If you've never played The Witness before (like me), then there's no better time to jump in than now.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, The Witness is gorgeous. The graphics are fully rendered in 3D, and the environments are lush and realistic. The colors range from bright and vibrant hues to muted earth tones to soft pastels and even dark and gloomy shades. The combination of this wide range of colors results in an incredible world that is truly eye candy and rather immersive. Animations are buttery smooth on my iPhone 8 Plus, and I experienced no lag whatsoever during play.
Usually, video games have soundtracks that add to the overall feel of the game that they're in. With The Witness, it's different. In fact, there is almost no music in the game at all. This is done on purpose, according to the developers. The Witness is a game about being perceptive, so you want to pay attention to the subtleties in puzzles as well as details in the game world. However, the sound effects in The Witness are important, because it fully immerses the player in the island, adding depth and texture.
In The Witness, players will find themselves waking up on a remote island, and that's pretty much it. The island itself is full of puzzles (over 500), and there are many different types of puzzles to solve. Some are simple enough to solve, but things do get tricky as you progress. Solving the puzzles are a critical part of the game, as they will help you discover your identity (it's unknown in the beginning) and how you got on the island in the first place.
Controls in The Witness are simple and intuitive, with the game teaching you the ropes as you go in the start. To move, just tap on where you want to go, and you'll walk over there. Swiping horizontally on the screen lets you move the camera around so you can check what's surrounding you. Tapping on puzzle screens takes you into the puzzle. If you double-tap where you want to go, it makes your character run instead of walk. A tap with two fingers stops you in your tracks.
As mentioned earlier, there's a large variety of puzzles to be found in The Witness, and the controls may not always be the same. In the beginning, at least, the puzzles involve finding the right path from the large circle area to the end point, which is indicated by a pulsating circle. Players must drag their finger from the starting circle to the end, but they'll have to navigate a labyrinth, and can't cross over their own path.
Sometimes you'll even need to separate the white and black squares before getting to the end. The game introduces new puzzle mechanics at a gradual pace, and one can pretty much figure it out after a few attempts. Fortunately, The Witness is fairly relaxing, as there aren't any penalties nailed on players for being wrong, nor are there any move restrictions or time limits.
A beautiful 3D puzzle adventure awaits you.
The Witness is an amazing port for mobile. The game retains the same beautiful graphics from the original versions, but it's been optimized for iPhones and iPads. The lack of music is an interesting choice but works out well, plus the sound effects are realistic and engaging. Controls are easy enough for anyone to pick up and play, and the puzzles are quite stimulating. The entire game is great as a whole, since it encourages free exploration and problem solving.
While The Witness is a fantastic game, it may not be for everyone. If you're seeking something that's more action-packed or just want some mindless arcade fun, then The Witness is not for you. If you prefer some hand-holding when it comes to your games, then you won't really find that here either. Players must discover things on their own in The Witness, and that's part of the charm. Plus, it means more freedom in terms of exploration, which is always nice.
I never played The Witness before, nor did I know much about it, so I'm glad that it's now available on iOS. The game is packed with stunning visuals, and everything runs smoothly. The lack of music was a bit strange to me at first, but after reading the reason behind it, I completely understand. The lack of a soundtrack only adds to the experience, oddly enough. Sound effects were spot on and immersive. Controls are easy to learn and feel natural on a touch screen. I'm a big puzzle game fan, so I love the variety of puzzles in The Witness, and with over 500 to find and solve, you do get some bang for your buck.
I highly recommend grabbing The Witness if you're a fan of open world puzzle games, or enjoyed classics like Myst. The Witness is on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for $9.99. You can also get The Witness on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 for $39.99.