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  1. 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).

  2. Didn't really understand the criticism on The Witness. Aren't most games tutorials that teach you how to play that game? Mario is a jumping tutorial. Dark Souls teaches you how to be good at Dark Souls. Tetris shows you how to stack blocks and Guitar Hero teaches you how to play plastic instruments. These are all essentially useless skills, but we learn them anyway because it's fun. Can't that be enough? I'm not sure why people expect The Witness to be more than just entertaining. If you don't enjoy it, doesn't that just mean you don't like these types of puzzles?


    Interesting episode otherwise. I'd never heard Tom Chick before, and I really liked some of his insights. I'll have to start reading more of his stuff.

  3. So English is not my primary language, but I can understand it just fine. Well enough to listen to Idle Thumbs and Idle Weekend (2 of my favorite podcasts!). Even if I occasionally don't recognize a word or a phrase, I can usually figure it out through context.


    However, I haven't been able to figure out what it means when Danielle adds "ass" to the end of random words. It's usually Video game-ass, which I took to mean a pure "Video game-like" game. Like the opposite of an experimental indiegame.


    But in this episode she said athletes are cheesy-ass people, and now I'm just confused. I know what cheesy movies are, but what does it mean to be cheesy-ass?