The Witness

Adventure 1983 Dos Dosbox Infocom Mystery

Lots of attitude in a detective style text based adventure

You know you're going to have fun when the game tells a hardboiled pulp story, one that doesn't mind going to the next level when it comes to the tropes it breaks and the characters and twists it gets into the narrative. But, along with the classy story, The Witness also gets the puzzles right, the way they're included, the actual reason for their existence, and the info that is offered to you so you can solve these mysteries organically. And, since organicity is rarely something you can attribute these early adventure games, you'll be even happier to know that it best describes the game on so many levels. Therefore, if you like police/detective stories that are original, you'll love it. You'll find the parser/text imputing to be fairly easy, making the game much easier for novel players of such games. If, however you'd like a bit more graphical input in your detective story try Police Quest, which is fun to play and also goes deep into the same detective mode of telling a story, plus having a lot of forensic based portions.

Mystery text adventure

The Witness comes across as rather Philip Marlowe-style, as it's written in hard-boiled style. But it's a very believable plot: how does a cop prove murder when all available evidence says acciental gunshot or suicide? The victim, Freeman Linder, tries to make the cop believe that Ralph Stiles, Virginia Linder's lover, wants revenge for her suicide; however, the real killer is one of Freeman Linder's own household and holds him accountable for Virginia Linder's suicide. A fairly easy mystery to solve, but certainly not boring.

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