THE WIT­NESS

De­vel­oper/pub­lisher Thekla, Inc For­mat PC, PS4

EDGE - - THE EDGE AWARDS -

It’s ev­ery­where you look. Ev­ery com­po­nent, ev­ery sur­face of Thekla, Inc’s be­guil­ing is­land has sig­nif­i­cance, and has been placed with un­prece­dented de­lib­er­a­tion. Few, if any, games are so mul­ti­fac­eted, or un­furl to such a de­gree, sur­pris­ing you each time you reach what ap­pears to be the end of one rab­bit hole, only to dis­cover a line of en­quiry that runs even deeper. Even on its most su­per­fi­cial level, in the hun­dreds of line-draw­ing puz­zles that dec­o­rate the is­land, Thekla wrings as­ton­ish­ing va­ri­ety from its core idea. While ini­tially just labyrinthian, point-to-point nav­i­ga­tion, an as­sort­ment of os­ten­si­bly sim­ple rules com­pli­cate co­nun­drums to the point that they ini­tially seem im­pos­si­ble. Grad­u­ally, the en­vi­ron­ment around you be­comes an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion in so­lu­tions, too, be­fore the idea ex­tends much fur­ther than you imag­ine it ever could, en­velop­ing the en­tire game in the process. To re­gard The Wit­ness as too dif­fi­cult, or too ob­tuse, is to miss the point en­tirely: this is a game that truly be­lieves in the player, and ac­tively seeks to draw out the best in them.

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