To say that some of the puzzles in The Witness can be frustrating would be to put it mildly. Sure, developer Jonathan Blow and his team at Thekla, Inc. have provided players with all of the “tools” necessary to solve each puzzle, but sometimes the answer doesn’t seem apparent at first blush. Like with Blow's other title, Braid, it’s the fact that you know the solution is there that can make the puzzles that much more difficult to grasp; there’s no superhuman logic required.
With that being said, we’d recommend The Witness players try to solve each puzzle themselves, and avoid consulting a guide. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing each line puzzle is what makes the game so addicting, and there’s nothing better then finishing a whole section and watching the laser beam zip off towards to the mountain in the distance.
But, for those players who simply “have to know,” the fine folks at PS4 Trophies have put together a video guide to assist with one of the earliest puzzles groups in The Witness, commonly referred to as the ‘Symmetry’ section. Perhaps once players understand some of the rules learned in this section they might even have an easier time wrapping their minds around future sections.
For the most part, the Symmetry puzzles are fairly straightforward, requiring a little bit of critical thinking and some trial and error. Essentially, what players must do is complete the line puzzles while navigating two pathways at once. It starts out pretty simple and then gets more complex as things progress.
This is likely also the first place that players will begin to see how The Witness “bends” or modifies its rules. For example, the earlier puzzles teach players to match colors (i.e. the blue lines absorb the blue pellets and the yellow lines absorb the yellow pellets), but later ones require they use the opposite colors. It's this teach a rule, and then break it scenario that plays out throughout a lot of the game.
Eventually the Symmetry section will test player’s critical thinking skills, as they try to solve a puzzle without being able to see one of the symmetrical lines. It’s likely these last few puzzles that will give players the most trouble if they don’t make the 1-to-1 connection that the yellow line is fading out but still staying on the board.
Ultimately, the Symmetry puzzle is the tip of the iceberg as far as The Witness’ puzzles are concerned, but it does teach players some important skills that apply throughout the rest of the game. Knowing that the rules can switch from puzzle to puzzle is important, and visualizing without being able to see is also a huge part of later puzzles as well.
Also, feel free to let us know what other puzzles you are struggling with in The Witness, and perhaps we can put together some helpful tips for those sections as well. And don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone that you asked for help.
The Witness is out now for PC and PS4.
Source: PS4 Trophies