CON­NECT THE LINES

The Wit­ness

HWM (Malaysia) - - GAX - Wit­ness Braid, Minesweeper? The The Wit­ness, MichaelLow The Wit­ness

MIN­I­MAL IN­STRUC­TIONS Who can for­get the first time they scored a four-line-clear­ing Tetris, or touched a land­mine in a game of While the puz­zle genre un­der­went tremen­dous shifts in pre­sen­ta­tion and play style over the years, one thing re­mains un­changed: the “Aha!” mo­ment where ev­ery­thing clicks into place. There’s cer­tainly no short­age of puz­zle games to­day, but the del­uge of hid­den ob­ject and match-three games can only ‘en­ter­tain’ you for so long be­fore you’re fac­ing the slip­pery slope that is mi­cro­trans­ac­tions.

For those who crave for some­thing more sub­stan­tial,

has fi­nally ar­rived af­ter eight long years of de­vel­op­ment. The brain­child of Jonathan Blow – who you may re­mem­ber as the cre­ator be­hind puz­zle-plat­former

is de­signed to give the player a men­tal work­out through a se­ries of in­creas­ingly com­plex chal­lenges. The is­land, in which the player can freely tra­verse in first per­son, is beau­ti­fully re­al­ized and so var­ied in en­vi­ron­ments that it ef­fort­lessly evokes that feel­ing of eerie iso­la­tion as you at­tempt to piece the events that led to your cu­ri­ous ar­rival.

Many of to­day’s games are typ­i­cally laden with tu­to­ri­als to fa­mil­iar­ize play­ers with the ba­sic con­trols and game­play me­chan­ics to the point of over­bear­ing. Play­ers, in turn, are made to feel em­pow­ered when­ever they per­form some ar­bi­trary ac­tions that re­quire noth­ing more than sim­ple but­ton presses. Not so with as the only tu­to­rial you’ll see con­cerns the move­ment con­trols. Given that there’s no in­ven­tory sys­tem to speak of, the screen is also free from HUD clut­ter. POWER OF OB­SER­VA­TION Pep­pered through­out the is­land are maze pan­els, which the player will need to solve by trac­ing a path from its start to end node. It sounds sim­ple enough, but new me­chan­ics come into play as you at­tempt the puz­zles in each new area that the is­land has to of­fer. It’s nat­u­ral to be stumped on cer­tain puz­zles, and the so­lu­tions do present them­selves once you get the right fun­da­men­tals in place – usu­ally from step­ping back and roam­ing other parts of the is­land. To re­veal more would ruin the fun of dis­cov­ery, but suf­fice to say that the en­vi­ron­ment plays a ma­jor role in de­ter­min­ing the so­lu­tions, and there’s more to the game than meets the eye. With that said, there are a num­ber of puz­zles that will be dif­fi­cult for some color-blind and hearingim­paired play­ers.

Given its non-lin­ear struc­ture, much of the back­story are doled out in piece­meal fash­ion, tak­ing the form of seem­ingly-un­re­lated au­dio logs and video clips for play­ers to form their own con­clu­sions. All in all, may just be the most clev­erly de­signed puz­zler we’ve had the plea­sure of play­ing to date.

by

CON­CLU­SION

There’s some­thing about this

river stream…

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