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14 Games Like The Witness

The Witness combines maze puzzles in an abandoned world with its own mythology, secrets, themes and story. It’s a game with puzzles at the core, but the real mystery is solving what has happened in the world you find yourself in.
 

These games offer a similar experience or are about a theme that The Witness addresses. Also, if you want to play a game like The Witness but don’t have PC, PS4, Xbox One or iOS, these are a good alternative.

 

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 14/12/2015, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS.

Genres: Narrative, Open World and Puzzle.

 

 

Tint

Platforms: iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Puzzle

Duration: Between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Tint is a puzzle game you solve by painting. You mix watercolours to match the colour of the origami. The aesthetic and the low-pressure puzzles make for a soothing experience. There are no timers, no countdowns, no points and certainly no rush,...


Sable

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Sable is an adventure game where you play a young girl, Sable, alone in the world, but bravely exploring ancient monuments, ruined architecture, and fallen ships to uncover her place in it.


Baba is You

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Puzzle

Duration: Between 5 hours and 8 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

Baba is You requires some lateral thinking. Each level is controlled by rules written on the screen, such as ‘Lava is Hot’, ‘Wall is Stop’ and ‘Flag is Move’. By moving the words around with your pixilated character, you subvert the...


Everything

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Duration: Between 3 hours and 7 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

This is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in between.


Pushy and Pully

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Puzzle

Duration: Between 1 minute and 3 minutes to play a round.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Pushy and Pully is a puzzle game where you push blocks into enemies to kill them, or into each other to gain special attacks. The action takes place on a single screen with up to two players. After 10 levels there is a large enemy to defeat before...


Fling Smash

Platforms: Nintendo Wii

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Duration: Between 6 hours and 9 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Fling Smash is an action throwing game where you direct a ball-shaped hero by flicking the controller.


Carto

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Puzzle

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Carto is an adventure puzzle game that is unusual in letting you rearrange the map tiles while you are playing. This enables you to access new areas of the world previously impossible to get to. This can be as simple as redirecting a river out of your...


A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Creative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 1 minute and 2 minutes to play a round.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

A Good Snowman (Is Hard To Build) is puzzle game about being a monster and making snowmen. On each level you must roll your snowballs to be the right size and then position them on each other to make a snowman.


Traffix

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Duration: Between 1 minute and 3 minutes to play a round.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Traffix is a puzzle game that puts you in charge of traffic lights on different road systems. By changing the lights to red, orange and green you work to get traffic to flow on increasingly complex and busy roads. It sounds complex, but with simple...


A Dark Room

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Strategy and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 4 hours and 5 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

A Dark Room is an adventure where you try and survive in the wild. It has a similarly simple start – a single option to stoke a fire – but also evolves into an incrementally complex system of resource management as a larger story unfolds.


Heaven’s Vault

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 18 hours and 22 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

In Heaven’s Vault you play an archaeologist translating an ancient alien language whose decrypting weaves through an unfolding drama. While doing real linguistic work you interact with companions and locals. Your choices can open or close vast swathes...


Braid

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Platform

Duration: Between 5 hours and 9 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Braid is a platform game, not dissimilar to Mario World, that appears simple but has a twist. The movement of your character is connected to the progression of time in a mind-bending manner. The resulting puzzles are fascinating and connected to a story...


Grindstone

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Action, Fighting and Puzzle

Duration: Between 6 hours and 7 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Grindstone is a colour matching puzzle game, where you plot the right path through each grid-level to attack enemies and gain treasure. The aim it to join together as many similar coloured monsters as possible in once go.


The Forest

Platforms: PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Duration: Between 20 hours and 25 hours to complete.

Players: You can play this with 4 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Forest is a survival horror game where you are the only passenger to live after a plane crash. You explore a mysterious forest to find food, shelter and safety but soon have to battle strange cannibalistic people.


 
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The Witness is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to The Witness in the following lists:

Solve a Mystery

Like a good crime drama or whodunnit novel, solving mysteries and puzzles is a good way to engage in a story. However, rather than just watching these mysteries while someone else does the heavy lifting, these video games place you firmly in the role of the detective. Gathering statements, sifting evidence and making intelligent leaps of deduction requires care and attention. These investigations makes these games slower than others, but it’s worth the effort each time you find the correct conclusion and move the story on.

These games present you with a mysterious scenario to be solved. Whether with direct puzzles, locations to investigate or crime scenarios to deduce, they offer a unique, first-hand sleuthing challenge.
 

BAFTA Nominated Games

The British Academy Games Awards are presented annually to recognise, honour and reward outstanding creative achievement in Games. The awards categories reflect the wealth and diversity of the games sector.

The awards started in 2004 and are presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). For parents, they are a great way of discovering brilliant games to play in their family. The games included here are from the:
  • The Family Games award highlights games that will work really well for parents and children. These often include multiplayer features and feature a cast of family-friendly characters.
  • The Games Beyond Entertainment award is also of interest as this highlights more unusual games with an emphasis on storytelling that addresses topics that parents may find appealing themselves.

 

Educational Games That Are Also Good Games

These games have an educational element to them, but also offer experiences that are good games in their own right. This isn't busywork to trick you into learning, but clever and innovative ways to encounter history, physics, engineering, maths, geography and language subjects without feeling like you are in school. They also teach softer, deeper skills like long term strategy, planning, balancing systems, emotional intelligence, compassion, team-work and self-care.

Some of these games are aimed at younger players to play on their own, but others (as indicated by their PEGI ratings) are better for teenagers or played together in a family. Find some games that pique your interest, read through the details and decide how your child might benefit from playing them.
 

Commit No Violence

While a significant portion of video games focus on combat and competition, these titles offer a less aggressive way to progress and win. None of these games enable or require the player to cause harm to another living thing -- even Mario's merciless campaign to stomp on every Goomba he meets bars him from this list. Or then there's catching and selling fish in Animal Crossing that rule that one out.

Many of them are aimed at children and families, but you'll be surprised how many explore deeper, more mature themes in their narratives, or require just as much skill as a fast-paced first-person shooter. This means there's plenty of offer for parents who might lack the reflexes (or interest) to survive a round of Fortnite.

We've focused on the games you might not expect to be played non-violently here, but you can find the full list at Non-Violent Games Of the Day curated by James Batchelor.
 
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