The Looker is a funny, free take on The Witness

The Looker

It’s best if you’ve got past experience to pull from, but this parody game also holds up on its own

One of Steam’s popular new releases this week is a parody of The Witness, and whether you liked that game or ended up bouncing off it, there’s fun to be had. The Looker goes to surprisingly great lengths to capture that island-exploring puzzle-solving experience, except it’s much more concise — above all, it just wants to make you laugh. Also, it’s free!

I think it’s something anyone could enjoy, but you’ll likely appreciate it more if you’ve cracked far enough into The Witness to know that it’s not just a typical “puzzle game.”

Solving a puzzle from Start to End
The Looker‘s main game mechanic.

Just like in the source material, you’ll walk around an island and look for puzzle panels to solve so that you can expand the game’s explorable area, rinse and repeat.

The Looker‘s puzzle mechanic is the equivalent of a maze on a kid’s placemat, and also similar to The Witness, it’s a simple premise that goes to some unexpected places. If you’ve finished The Witness and know how its puzzles progress, you’ll know what I mean to a certain extent — but it also goes a step further with some funny games within a game.

It’s a parody game through and through, but Subcreation Studio put enough time, energy, and care into The Looker that it also holds up as its own thing. I’m… impressed!

The Looker isn’t too long, and it sticks the landing

An audio log in The Looker
One of many amusingly long-winded audio logs.

While not every joke or gag hit its mark, I ended up chuckling or outright laughing at a handful of them — an early one being a hint button that just kept giving me friendly non-advice. And there are some good a-ha moments, too. As much as The Looker leans into Big Shitpost Energy when there’s an opportunity, it’s an honest-to-goodness video game.

If you’ve got an hour (or less if you’re smart!) to burn, The Looker is worth checking out. Or if you’ve only got five minutes to spare, Dunkey has an abbreviated playthrough.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.