The Witness Review Roundup

Here's what critics thought of Jonathan Blow's new game.

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After many years of development, Braid developer Jonathan Blow's next game, The Witness, is finally being released. Ahead of its January 26 launch on PS4 and PC, reviews have been published and GameSpot has gathered a selection of them from around the Internet.

Take a look below to find a list of scores, along with a short excerpt from each review. By the time you're done reading, you'll have a good overview of the game's critical reception.

For a wider view on the game's critical reception, head to GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: The Witness
  • Developer: Thekla, Inc.
  • Platform: PS4, PC, iOS
  • Release Date: January 26
  • Price: $40
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GameSpot -- 9/10

"There are still things about The Witness I can't make sense of--some clues I might never notice, and some puzzles I might never solve. But the hints are there. It might not all be clear at first, but that's okay, because I'm always learning." -- Mike Mahardy [Full review]

Polygon -- 8/10

"It's a beautiful game and knowing that I finished it with minimal help actually does make me feel smarter. It also contains some subtle messages about human potential that I found surprisingly uplifting (when I wasn't pulling my hair out). Despite feeling deeply satisfied by the experience, it's hard for me to ignore how much time I spent frustrated and bored and angry. Maybe contrasting those two ends of the emotional spectrum is essential to the experience of playing The Witness, but an era when they can skip the frustration, I'm not convinced most players will have the patience to obtain it." -- Justin McElroy [Full review]

Destructoid -- 10/10

"What truly makes The Witness everything that it is lies somewhere between the fundamentals of the puzzles and the deeply philosophical of everything else. These two work in tandem, complementing each other even when they seem worlds apart. There are so many layers of separation between the two that it's almost impossible to perceive or even conceive. But, they're there, working hand-in-hand and, on some level, one in the same. You'd be hard-pressed to declare that one of these components is closer to defining The Witness than the other." -- Brett Makedonski [Full review]

IGN -- 10/10

"The Witness has a power and pull that carried me throughout the more than 40 hours it took to complete it for the first time, and that, even now, beckons me back to confront the mysteries I left unsolved. Its graceful combination of tangible goals, obscurity, and freedom creates ample opportunity for small victories and grand revelations alike. For the most part, its themes weave themselves beautifully throughout the gorgeous world and wide variety of puzzles, but even when it breaks subtlety in favor of a more heavy-handed approach to exposition, it never detracts from the truly fulfilling moments The Witness offers in terms of solving its physical puzzles and unlocking its deepest mysteries." -- Chloi Rad [Full review]

PC Gamer -- 89/100

"The Witness might be constructed around mechanical challenges with unambiguous outcomes, but as the choice of title implies, what it ultimately seeks to offer is a vantage point, a perspective on life's mysteries, rather than answers." -- Edwin Evans-Thirlwell [Full review]

VideoGamer -- 10/10

"Coming from Jonathan Blow, the man behind puzzle platformer Braid, it should be no surprise that The Witness isn't exactly as it seems. After a slow start (I'll admit that I wondered how such a simple-seeming game had taken so many years to make) the whole thing builds and builds until your mind has seemingly no space left. You have no quiet moments; Tetris shapes, black, white, green, blue, orange, grids, lines, are everywhere ... Playing The Witness is a real emotional rollercoaster, with flashes of anger, despondency, jubilation, awe, smugness, and admiration. Who would have thought you could get all that from a game about drawing lines?" -- Tom Orry [Full review]

GamesRadar+ -- 3/5

"As brilliant as it is infuriating, The Witness' ingenious puzzles all too easily have their shine worn away by length and a constantly extending complexity." -- Leon Hurley [Full review]

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