As human beings, we often take a lot of things for granted. Every now and again, something comes along that challenges our perceptions and the way we look at things. “Antichamber” would certainly fall into one such category. While there are other games on the market that task the player with completing puzzles in a first person view, this particular game does it in a way that is both unique and refreshing. Before we start bending reality as we know it, I’d like to thank Alexander Bruce for providing me with a free review copy.
When you first start the game up, you’ll be plopped into the center of a dark room with the ability to look at four walls. This serves as your main menu, allowing you to view the controls, change the screen resolution, toggle fullscreen, invert your mouse, view messages that you’ve discovered in your travels, warp to various sections of the game, and other things. The fixed control scheme is very simple and I had no trouble navigating around the environment, despite the fact that I’m more of an arrow key person. You’ll also be able to reset your profile and play the game anew, should you wish to.
The game is indeed an adventure, one that will take you from one puzzle to next in unexpected ways. Some puzzles bring you back to where you may have been, but with small differences that allow you to see new paths that weren’t visible before. You’ll find notes along the wall that give you hints and you can view them at any time by hitting escape, which brings you back to the “main menu”.
Some may compare this game to “Portal”, but there are some very large differences that separate the two games. For one, there is no AI mocking you in the background, though there is a countdown clock on the main menu slowly ticking away for reasons I won’t spoil. While both games lead you from puzzle to puzzle, “Portal” often leaves behind levels once you are done with them, never to be seen again. “Antichamber” is one large puzzle, sometimes requiring you to travel to different rooms or return to the main menu to progress to the next area. You can revisit places you’ve been and more often than not, you’ll need to.
In terms of content, the environment is unique to say the least. You’ll run into objects and various things you’ll have no idea what to make of, which is a tribute to the developer’s imagination. I like being challenged and forced to think outside of the box, something that this game delivers in spades. At first, the puzzles may seem somewhat simple, but I still enjoyed the scenery and the way they played out. Down the line, you’ll have access to guns that collect blocks, which can be used to manipulate doors and other objects in the environment. I won’t lie…some puzzles stumped me for a good half hour, but once I figured them out I felt an overwhelming sense of satisfaction.
When it comes down to it, “Antichamber” is an incredible experience that will keep you entertained for hours on end. The environment is quirky enough to keep you on your toes and the puzzles are complex enough to keep your mind engaged. My eleven year old son was entranced by it as he was watching me play, even going so far as to offer solutions that I hadn’t considered myself (and had worked). I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. If you enjoy games that challenge both your perceptions and your logic, then I highly recommend that you pick this up. Whether you’re in it for the puzzles or the experience, it’s a psychological thrill ride that you won’t soon forget.
Final Verdict: 8/10
You can learn more about and purchase “Antichamber” by visiting the following websites:
You can view video play sessions here: