Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

The Witness: a short review, admission of failure

Spoilers of course.

I wrapped up The Witness tonight -- just the main ending, didn't 100% / see the other ending. Overall I had a fun time. It either took me 15 hours or 20 hours (my connection went out during one session so may have killed ~5 hours of time being logged). But by the end I was pretty done with the game. Last weekend I got to the endgame area in the Mountain (minimum lasers), and almost gave up during the area before the two-light-path-puzzle floor because the puzzles there are bullshit. I continued until I completed that, and stopped. I could have played again several times since last weekend but didn't, I knew more bullshit would await me to wrap up the endgame. Sure enough there was more, but I wrapped it up tonight, and now I'm done.

The only puzzle I remember successfully bruteforcing was the final tree area one. All the previous puzzles were pretty straightforward since you just look for the apple / broken branches or whatever. The last one I couldn't make sense of even after I found the solution by brute force. Whatever.

The Jungle puzzles with their audio tricks were the ones that made me relent and use a guide. I told myself I wasn't going to use a guide for this game, but one of the audio puzzles made me relent. I think it was the last one in the second batch? I knew what I had to do from the first puzzle in the set. I even pulled out my phone so I could take an audio spectrogram on some of them and could see the solution. But one of them defied even that. So a guide helped me there.

Later on in the flower building, the first puzzle you have to see the 'true' colors through colored glass got me. I spent a long time on it. Gave up, looked up the guide, saw first a hint of 'try looking at the puzzle from a new perspective', so I wandered around some more, happened to see it through colored glass, and kicked myself. I similarly needed guide hints for the puzzle 'concepts' on the red panels with the sun glare revealing lines, and the tetris blocks. (Specifically one of the 'intro' tetris block puzzles stumped me because the concept of one whole tetris shape for all blocks eluded me.)

During the endgame I was sick of playing and used a guide for the final pillar puzzles. And the reward for all that was being transported back to the start with the puzzles shutting off, and the game closing. Awesome. So if I launch the game again I have to start over? All the puzzles will be off? I don't know, I don't plan to find out soon.

Then I watched this video since I remembered its existence:

That review nails the game. Also makes me sad because I didn't get the "holy shit" moment of linking the river environment as a puzzle in itself. Oh well. I also didn't bother writing down the paper-puzzle-solutions for the theater room (though I found a few of them) so I didn't even know that was a thing.

Anyway, that wraps up what I wanted to talk about. A fun game, unfortunately pissed me off near the end, and while I'm kind of sad I missed the whole thing about environmental puzzles I'm not sad enough to launch it again and see if I can find them all without help. I don't think I'll launch the game again for quite some time, if ever. I had help completing the game so that makes me a scrub, but whatever. It'd be funny to watch someone with color blindness try the flower building.

Posted on 2017-03-06 by Jach

Tags: games, reviews


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