A week off work has actually turned into a week of working. Not on the laptop, but playing The Witness on PS4.
I was drawn in by the visuals, and have stayed on Jonathan Blow’s virtual island for the mind-bending assortment of line puzzles. Who’d have thought there were so many ways fresh ways to present drawing a line between A and B? I certainly didn’t - and now my brain hurts. But it’s just so compelling.
I’ve been slowly rewiring my shattered brain to solve seemingly impossible conundrums. I’ve had to walk away for several hours just to try and forget about it - but The Witness, with its endless snaking lines and multi-coloured boxes, is now starting to invade my dreams.
But I’m moving forward and some of my successes have matched the sheer joy of besting gargantuan beasts in Monster Hunter or seeing the credits roll in Dark Souls.
The island Blow has spewed forth from his devilish mind is a truly stunning creation - and it’s an area ripe for exploration. There’s a run button for the impatient - but I’ve steered clear. After all, what’s the rush? There so much to see around the island that giving the puzzles a body swerve just to stroll around this virtual paradise has been, at times, just what my tired mind needed.
Paying attention to the world around you isn’t a pursuit only to solve some of the riddles - although it has to be said that the work that’s gone into fusing the puzzles with the environment is truly inspired.
There’s loads of amazing little touches scattered around the island. It might be the shape of a rock, a submerged surprise, a shadow depicting a monochrome picture… and there’s more - but go see for yourself. And if the mental gymnastics are getting too much, head down to my favourite spot by the river near the bamboo forest and unwind for 10 minutes. The splashing water soothes the soul. Trust me.