Somebody's going to take the deep six!
You've got a bird's-eye lowdown on the caper... and 12 hours to solve the case.
In The Witness, an interactive fiction game created by the legendary company Infocom, you play a police detective working near Los Angeles. The game is set in the year 1938, and a stormy February night a wealthy man has asked your for protection. Even though you try your best, a death will occur, and you will have twelve hours to solve the mystery and arrest the killer.
The great thing about this game is that it's a lot less linear than most other Infocom titles. The goal of the game is to gather enough evidence to convince a jury that one of your suspects is indeed guilty. Once you think you can make that claim, you go ahead and arrest your suspect, which may or may not turn out the way you want it to. Remember, you can not put a man in jail without proving his guilt without a reasonable doubt.
This is a hard game, and even harder if you count by today's standards. Do not expect to conquer over the water proof planning of Stu Galley, the creator of this game. Infocom is famous for creating amazing stories with complicated puzzles designed to give you the great experience of waking up in the middle of the night to try another method of solving a problem.
For a game being over 20 years old, it is still extremely playable. It does provide quite a contrast to today's Quakes, Halos and Everquests, and can be played several times to try out new approaches to the mystery. The environments are very well described, and the text of the game bears the rich atmosphere of every room, event and item.