Gameday First Play – Witness (Spoiler Free)

Posted on by Jesta

Has been on my ‘Want to try’ list since Essen.

I finally get to have a go.

Witness is set in the world of Blake and Mortimer, a Belgian comic series started in the 1940s by writer/artist Edgar P. Jacobs. In the game, which is playable strictly by four players, you each represent one of four characters and your goal is to solve mysteries or crimes by sharing information with one another — but you are quite restricted in how you can share information!

As the blurb says this game is 4 player and 4 player only.

You pick one of the 64 cases from the 4 different difficulty levels and each player opens their book to the correct case. On the page it will tell you something…maybe it’s a bit of information, part of an image, an item or a picture of something for you to remember.

I’m being vague as I don’t want to give away anything about this game and potentially spoil cases for you.

There is a book that has a bit of story to set up the case and after reading that the game can begin…

Game play involves you giving and receiving information in pairs. One pair will wander off somewhere so you don’t overhear them. Also, you don’t want them talking over you as that could be very distracting!

I was the yellow player, so my turn went as follows…

Round One, the Blue player told me what they know from their part in the book.

Round Two, I told the Green player what I know and what the Blue player told me.

Round Three, The Blue player reminded me what they know, and told me what the Red player had just told them.

Round Four, I told the Green player what I know, reminded them what the Blue player told me  and added the information they had just learned from the Red player.

Got that?

Witness Components

You can’t make notes and you can’t ask questions. you can only ask for the information to be repeated. Luckily, you can always refer to your own book.

By now, all being well, all 4 players should know everything about each other players starting information… I say ‘all being well’ as mistakes happen, names are forgotten, details left out and general forget-ary occurs. That’s a word now.

Then, everyone gets the same 3 questions relating to the case. 1 point per question, maximum of 12 points, do as well as you can.

This game is VERY fun. It’s hard, and a simple mistake or misunderstanding as to what information is important can cost you the game.

You need to pass on only what you need to, in a few words as possible to make the muddy waters as clear as possible. One person missing one detail could lead to 4 people getting one question wrong. That’s a third of all points right there.

But, as much as mistakes can cost you the game, the game is short enough that you just end up laughing about it and moving on. Not sure about re-playability if you have played a case already but the cases you have are great and well worth one play through.

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