Few seasons invite lazy puzzle solving like summer does. But we’ve already left some of this year’s great puzzle titles in the dust, among those Jonathan Blow’s The Witness. The game sold more in one week than the developer’s previous game, Braid, had sold in a year. That’s despite having a rather high price tag for a game that many still count as an indie developer title. So the game set new standards in terms of what pricing indie developers can reach as well as establish the developer as something capable of more than a one-hit wonder.
And as if we didn’t have enough fun imagining playing Game Boy Color games by combining old Burger King toys with Raspberry Pi Zero hardware, somebody’s gone through the trouble of “demaking” The Witness for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Now all we can dream about is playing The Wit.nes on a Game Boy in the backseat of a car headed to the next vacation destination.
The Wit.nes is the title of Itch user Dustmop‘s demake of the original game. It recreates some of the atmosphere and mechanics from the original game, and what is there is rather well done. But there’s no promise that we’ll see a fully realized version of The Witness on the NES. For now it’s just a demo, but judging from Twitter and the developer’s response to the community, it seems like development at the very least is continuing. Even Jonathan Blow retweeted the announcement of the demake.
Currently there’s only the starting area to explore, but it’s enough to appease the mind. Among the included content you’ll find “32 puzzles with different rules,” “16 full screens of map,” and an “Overhead world with 4-way scrolling.” In theory, it’s playable on any established NES emulators or on all-in-one cassette solutions like the Everdrive or Powerpak, which that let you have a ton of games on one cassette.
The demo is available for download on Itch and can be played on any NES emulator regardless of platform. just make sure you pick one of the more popular emulators to stay on the safe side.