Puzzle games are an underappreciated genre. Usually we think of things along the lines of World of Goo, Bejewled, and Tetris. We don’t tend to think of artistic games that play with our perceptions of art and thought. Usually there is a straight forward challenge to be completed. That is, until Antichamber, developed by Alexander Bruce, stepped onto the field.
Antichamber is a first-person puzzle-platform game. That is the only comparison that can be made to Portal. There is no story to pull the player along. The only real text is the initial menu and the scattered hint text/philosophy cards throughout the rooms. This game is all about the puzzles, and there are a lot of them.
There are sixty-three (63) rooms that you can find your way through. Some are as easy as falling off a ledge, while require walking backwards, spinning, and defying geometry. The game is full of non-Euclidian levels that can have you walking in a circle and finding rooms within room. This game is out to mess your brain up. The only thing you do know is that the exit that you see in the starting room is your goal, and you need to figure out how to get there.
To do so, you get various guns that interact with the colored cubes in the rooms. You can store and use an innumerable amount of cubes. They’ll be used to hold open doors, block trip lasers, act as keys, and create paths. You’ll discover a four gun upgrades that allow you to interact with the blocks in new ways.
One of the coolest features of this game is the art direction. Most everything in the game is white. The walls, the gun, basically everything that is nonessential is straight white. Many rooms are colored with bright colors that contrast drastically. Against the white surfaces, all the color that is there pops out and is amazingly detailed.
Antichamber is a game that deserves a lot of attention. Its style and direction are so unique in this day and age. It is simple to understand but requires an incredible amount of deep thought to complete. If you enjoy complex puzzle games and don’t need a story to get you to the end, then this is one you should pick up.
Summary: Antichamer is a puzzle game without rival and is a great title for those who enjoy unconventional problem solving.
Verdict: 9 out of 10
Antichamber is available on Steam