Idle Weekend February 12, 2016: Mad Skills in Idle Weekend Episodes Posted February 14, 2016 I understood the criticism as saying that those other games have more stuff going on in them (story, non-deterministic solutions, etc.) whereas The Witness is really just puzzles about puzzles. I would compare it to The Talos Principle which was also exclusively a puzzle game, gameplay wise, but included a narrative with light philosophical musings and character dialogue. So if the statues had been NPCs or the tape recorders were audio logs by some ancient imaginary civilization, that would have made the Witness a better game? Personally I don't think so. I mean, point taken on the desert ruin area. That wasn't very fun (I also really disliked the puzzles in the bamboo forest... if you can even call them puzzles), but most of the rest were very enjoyable to me. Solving them was easily its own reward and I never felt like I needed some extra motivation to keep going. But I guess not everyone felt that way. I would add to paradi6m's point that most other video games teach you to be good at video games of that genre, at least to some degree. The Witness, because it focuses so strongly on rather specific versions of rather few types of puzzles, does kind of only teach you to play The Witness. Isn't that true for any game that's the first of its kind? Not that I expect The Witness to start a new genre, but still... it seems unfair criticism. (Besides, even if a game helps you become good at other games, it's still essentially a useless skill ). But can you blame people when the game is filled with audio clips containing philosophical ponderings on the nature of knowledge. Or James Burke. That's a good point. I think it's likely Jonathan Blow did hide some "deeper meaning" somewhere in those audio clips and statues, but just like with Braid I didn't need that to enjoy the game. Alot. (For reference: I finished The Witness, but didn't solve all the "extra" puzzles. So there might be a secret ending I haven't found yet).