The first of Xbox’s Games With Gold free games of the month for April is The Witness, a first-person 3D puzzle game from publisher/developer Thekla, Inc. I have played enough of the game to be able to bring you my thoughts. so with that being said, here is my The Witness Games With Gold Review.
The Witness involves walking around a giant island solving puzzles on electronic grids spread out across 11 different sections. Each section has several puzzles that are required to solve in order to activate a turret. Every section has a turret, and when all 11 turrets are activated, it unlocks the mountain level need to reach the final puzzle.
All of the puzzles are solved the same way: by tracing a path along a grid, all while completing certain goals in the puzzle. Such goals include tracing over all of the black dots on the grid, or making sure each set of coloured dots are separated. The puzzles have a range of difficulties and are often times solved by taking cues from the environment around the player. With no verbal or visual cues as to where to go or what exactly to do, The Witness can become confusing.
I made it through what I believe can be considered the first section of the game, Symmetry Island, without any help. All of the puzzles in that section had the theme of symmetry, meaning you had to control two paths of light on the grid that move in the opposite direction of each other. With some thinking, and a bunch of mistakes, I figured out each puzzle. However, as I progressed through the island, I found myself in need of a walkthrough to figure out the key to solve some of the puzzles.
As with Symmetry Island, all of the sections have an overarching theme on how to solve the puzzles. In the Desert Ruins, for example, you have to line up beams of light to discover the correct path to trace. Once you figure out the key, the puzzles start to make more sense. There are more than 600 puzzles in The Witness spread across the 11 sections, so you can come back to the game over and over again to get your puzzle-solving fix.
The Witness has something for everyone. If you like a challenge and solving puzzles, then it is perfect for you. If you’re looking for a fun, free game that will give your brain a workout, then The Witness will be a great download.
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