Puzzle Game 'The Witness' Launches on Mac App Store, iOS Version Still Coming Soon

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Jonathan Blow's console and PC puzzle game The Witness has launched on the Mac App Store a little over a year after first debuting on PS4 and Windows PCs. Like other platforms, the game costs $39.99 [Direct Link] and tasks players with deciphering hundreds of puzzles set on a mysterious island.

    Since its release early last year the game has received critical acclaim for its puzzle design, graphics, and secrets-filled backstory. The macOS version ports the same game and experience over to Apple computers running macOS 10.11.6 or later with 4GB of RAM and 5GB available storage space. The game also requires Apple's new Metal graphics technology to run.

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    An iOS port of the game has long been in development, and a few developers at Thekla -- the game's creators -- mentioned in passing recently that the game is still being worked on for iOS, but a launch date is unspecified. Since The Witness is so graphically intensive, the iOS port will require a longer gestation to pare down the visuals in order to run properly on Apple's smartphones and tablets.


    The Witness is available today for $39.99 on the Mac App Store [Direct Link]. A Mac version of the game on Steam is also said to be coming in the next few weeks.

    Article Link: Puzzle Game 'The Witness' Launches on Mac App Store, iOS Version Still Coming Soon
     
  2. Xavier macrumors 68020

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    #2
    Seems like it has a Myst vibe to me. Having loved Myst, I might give this a look.
     
  3. earthTOmitchel Contributing Editor

    earthTOmitchel

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    #3
    Ya, a lot of people compared it to Myst when it first came out. I'd love a mobile version but I'm not sure how inferior iOS will be..
     
  4. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #4
    I'm interested in this game mostly because it's from the guy who made Braid.
     
  5. earthTOmitchel Contributing Editor

    earthTOmitchel

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    #5
    Braid is truly incredible, probably my favorite XBLA game on the 360.
     
  6. Billberryjuice macrumors regular

    Billberryjuice

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    #6
    FYI it's currently the primary reward game on Humble Monthly, meaning for $12 you get it and a bunch of other (as yet unrevealed) games, with no subscription committment. I'm assuming you get a steam key that will work on both PC and Mac when the MacOS Steam version becomes available. Either way, definitely not worth paying full price if you're interested!

    https://www.humblebundle.com/monthly
     
  7. vertical smile macrumors 68000

    vertical smile

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    #7
    I wonder if the ATV will get this.....
     
  8. iZac macrumors 68000

    iZac

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    #8
    to steal someone else's Dad joke:

    "I normally like puzzle games, but this one is where I draw the line"

    I did really love this game for it's Eureka moments, but it can get frustrating at times.
     
  9. earthTOmitchel Contributing Editor

    earthTOmitchel

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    #9
    The level of frustration has been my biggest caution before buying it. I've seen people go NUTS online, drawing maps on paper and stuff, and I just have no idea if I have the patience to play the game and not just search for answers online.
     
  10. jandep macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Whatever you do, do NOT look up answers for this game. If you are done, completed, then go read the reams of info about it. Maybe walk through things you missed. But this game is a master class in game design where the process of solving one puzzle is almost always training for solving another by building on an implied and explicit rule set. If you can't solve a puzzle, it's likely that you haven't found the requisite ones that would inform you as to how that one works. But there are only a few that stand out that way that you have access to before you are "ready." The majority are couched as series within their individual zones. So if you don't understand one puzzle, you likely only need to back up one or two in the series to reexamine how your assumptions might be wrong and how you've gotten the right answer but for the wrong reasons. Honestly, a little frustration here and there will make the solves and the entire experience that much more gratifying when it clicks. Every puzzle is absolutely fair. It may sound trite, but I truly feel that you'll only be cheating yourself and compromising the experience, intent and message of the game if you use or even infrequently reference a guide.
     
  11. earthTOmitchel Contributing Editor

    earthTOmitchel

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    I figured as such. Going online isn't something I do -- I can't say how many times I had to put Portal 2 down to come back later and figure it out in a few moments. Just for some reason The Witness has always just seemed particularly intricate to me.
     
  12. iZac macrumors 68000

    iZac

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    #12
    The one warning I would give a new player (without spoiling anything) is that there are a couple of areas where the puzzles are impossible to solve because the game hasn't introduced the 'rule' to you yet, which may be on the other side of the island. Don't frustrate yourself trying to brute force it and just enjoy the simple pleasure of exploring the island until you find the area that introduces that rule.

    It's brilliantly rewarding when you do solve those hard puzzles though and all the puzzle themes have a logical process that try to teach you each 'rule'. Aside from the puzzles, there really is a beautiful attention to detail, thoughtfulness and deliberateness to nearly every part of the islands design.

    Sorry, I sound like some shill trying to flog you the game, I just really enjoyed it. If the prospect of doing hundreds of line puzzles bores you though, your caution may well be deserved.
     
  13. earthTOmitchel Contributing Editor

    earthTOmitchel

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    Haha, nah I appreciate it. This is all my problem, I just honestly can't tell whether I will love it or hate it. I'll have to just bite the bullet one day. I love good "aha" moments in games and this sounds like it's jam packed with them.
     
  14. jandep macrumors newbie

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    It definitely has puzzles that could seem intricate without all the preceding steps. But each puzzle naturally follows or relates to another, though that sequence or relationship might not always be immediately evident at first encounter. Every graduation is so slight from one puzzle to another at least in the set of ostensibly available puzzles that you won't ever be asking "what? Where did that come from? How am I supposed to do that?" IF you have been exposed to the other elements of that specific puzzle in other forms on other puzzles. Now, there's some metanarrative and deeper puzzles and definitely a large set of puzzles (avoiding spoilers) that are...less intuitive...but will absolutely reward your efforts and seeking of wonder still without being intentionally frustrating. I recognize that I am biased because this game, on so many different levels, spoke exactly to my sensibilities and desires in a game. JBlow knows how to make a strong and powerful game that is truly fun and rewarding. So, though biased, I can't help but recommend this game to anyone that enjoys games as well as recommending minimal exposure beforehand and definitely during the process. Also, it wouldn't *hurt* to take notes if that's what you like. But it's not necessary. You can definitely keep what you need to know in order to enjoy the game (at least on your first playthrough ;)) in your head alone without resorting to paper. Though I'm betting that if you do decide to play, you'll resort to paper at least a few times just due to the nature of some puzzles. Good luck with the decision. I don't think you'd regret it. And if you happen to have a windows machine, I'd be willing to give you access to the DRM free version (humble bundle) as I haven't used that license (I already had a copy on windows and PS4 and got the bundle for other games). That's how strongly I recommend this game.
     
  15. earthTOmitchel Contributing Editor

    earthTOmitchel

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    #15
    Y'all are winning me over :) I don't have a Windows PC, but I crazily appreciate the gesture! Right now it'd be on PS4 that I'd likely purchase it. But tbh Zelda is kind of taking up my life right now haha. I'm gonna keep a watch on the PS4 store though, I know it's been on sale like 50% before.
     
  16. Mattsasa macrumors 68020

    Mattsasa

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  17. jandep macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Well, I normally read macrumors but don't post to the forums much at all. (Further evidence of my fervor for this game).

    Zelda is now compromising my planned annual re-playthrough of The Witness, which I'll likely resume when I'm "done," whatever that means. If you like the sense of being rewarded simply by playing the game instead of with tasked objectives (as this Zelda offers both in spades) then you'll like the Witness. It's truly a piece of art and simple exploration and observation can be rewarding in itself. Regardless of whether it results in knowledge of how to solve the puzzle you thought you were working on or not, I promise your interest will be rewarded in other ways. Tangible and intangible. Like when you follow the objective path in Zelda but get distracted with cooking or horses or hunting or a new shrine or whatever while on the way.

    Sorry, I got distracted. I'm replying because though you can't take advantage of it, I'm sure there are a few other dual-owners here with windows machines, I'll keep the offer open to get my copy of the Witness to you. It can't be a steam copy (sorry) because if I redeem that it rolls into my existing copy. But I can claim (or allow you to) the DRM-free version for you. Just send me a PM.

    As much as I'd like to explore the world of The Witness on an iPad (I hope that JBlow feels at least a little bit like David Lynch regarding small screen cinematic experiences and doesn't put it on the iPhone), I think the experience will be somewhat compromised. You can play the game in snippets and with distraction around, but I would recommend immersion. So playing on iOS devices is going to require a good set of headphones to do it justice.

    One final tip, rather than simply writing things down, play with another person around. Even if they're a non-gamer. They may spot a crucial element or clue that you miss. Or, like what happened with me, in explaining to my sons or wife what I was doing or thinking, I clarified exactly what and how I was thinking and often led myself to the proper solutions verbally when it would have never come about had I left my thoughts in my head, swirling inchoate, or even scribbled them out on a piece of paper because they would have been necessarily perfunctory.

    Can't recommend this game enough, regardless of system.
     
  18. chriscrk macrumors 6502

    chriscrk

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    #18
    Breath of the Wild is the best game ever.
     
  19. dwaltwhit macrumors 6502

    dwaltwhit

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    #19
    i am intrigued but $40 is a bit steep for me IF i am not certain I will like it/play it. I'm not even sure it will work on my '09 27" iMac. Anyone know if there is a trial of any kind?
     
  20. Szarky macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Frustrating? FRUSTRATING?! More like... I'm about to throw this controller out the window!! I really did love the game though. Had to quit (my guess) about 3/4 of the way through as the frustration greatly outweighed the fun I was having anymore. Some of the puzzles really do get out of hand.

    Tip: If you take too long breaks between playing, you are totally screwed near the end of the game. The key is to play often BUT, do take breaks. Walk away. It's amazing how different/clear your mind is sometimes when you come back to it. But even a week break near the end of the game will destroy you (unless you have really good memory).
     
  21. mr.bee macrumors 6502a

    mr.bee

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    #21
    They know very well that the iOS market is much bigger then the Mac market and yet the Mac versions shows up first. As both are built from scratch on metal... :confused:

    So what's the chance of this guy showing the witness on iOS on the next iPad event?:D
     
  22. smirking macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I don't need to know anything more. I'm sold. Buying. Today.
     
  23. lunarworks macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Thanks for your input.
     
  24. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #24
    I haven't played BotW yet so I can't say (I own a copy of it for Switch, but I own no Switch... because a store had a copy of the game in stock, but not the console, and I figured sooner or later I'd get my hands on the console, and maybe that hypothetical future store wouldn't have BotW in stock.)

    I will say, the game that I currently consider to be the best I've ever played is Zelda: Majora's Mask. And I didn't realize it until ~10 years after I first played it. Based on that experience, I would say it's hard to say what game today is the best ever. You won't know until the game is 10 years old whether it really aged well or not.
     
  25. 6836838 Suspended

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    #25
    Is it on steam? I never buy games form the Apple Store.
     

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