quinta-feira, 1 de dezembro de 2016

The Witness

Jonathan Blow is the game designer behind Braid, one awesome 2D platform game that uses time distortion as gameplay. In Braid, you can manipulate time to avoid death, solve puzzles, send a shadow to the future to perform an action, create “bubbles” of time lapse and many others cool mechanics. It’s one of my top 10 games. Check the trailer below:

In January of this year, Blow launched his new game: The Witness. Similar to Braid, it’s a puzzle game, but in a first person point of view. The mysterious narrative puts you in an abandoned and colorful island, full of digital screens. Each screen has a kind of an enigma that conducts you to the next one. Each puzzle solved gives you a small piece about the enigmatic history. You can check the main idea in the game’s trailer:

Points to highlight in the experience of the game:

1) Jonathan Blow recreates the classic mechanics of drawing a line through a labyrinth. Using colors, spatial restrictions, different shapes and logical reasoning, the game designer put the players’ mind to work, many times. The level of resolution of some puzzles is impressive.

2) The scenario is part of the narrative, and it works as a tool. Every single detail and object in the ambient contributes with the history. The island is full of statues and behind them there are hints for the plot. There are also some digital recorders with voices saying facts about the place. The colors of the trees, the direction of the light, the passing of time etc. everything could be an element for the story.

3) The game is full of references from movies, literature and other games. I found lots of similarities with Adolfo Bioy Casares’ “The Invention of Morel” book.

4) It’s a daring production. The Witness is a very artistic game. It explains little to the player and, most of the time, it’s essential to explore and use your mind to try to solve the puzzles.

I’m still playing the game, but the experience – till this moment – is strange, difficult and relaxing.


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