“Antichamber is a mind-bending psychological exploration game where nothing can be taken for granted.” Alexander Bruce, the creator and mastermind behind Antichamber has created his own world which you will visit and attempt to escape from. You might even discover something about yourself, as your common sense and preconceptions will be challenged like never before.
Antichamber takes place in a Escher-like world, where answers lay down a path of thought and deduction, while secrets hide right in front of you. The main goal of the game is to navigate through interlinked chambers to solve a variety of puzzles which will strain your logical thinking in each. When logic fails you’ll find yourself adapting to certain rules of this world which aren’t necessarily the same as the rules of reality. The first person style of the game promotes confusion in the most innovative ways. Doors and walkways might appear out of nowhere, turning around might reveal the previous area totally changed and sometimes looking at the ground will make it melt away. The game develops lateral thinking; some of the puzzles require you to have components from other chambers and in some cases trial and error must be applied to find a solution. The game sometimes gives you subtle hints in a form of general advice and proverbs. While playing, you’ll wonder if the game is trying to teach you something, as well as constantly challenging you.
‘Antichamber’ not only is a unique game but it’s also a major step for the gaming industry
The most surprising aspect of the game is the vast variety of puzzles, tasks and brainteasers which I have not seen in other games. Antichamber not only is a unique game but it’s also a major step for the gaming industry, with its original approach and method of targeting the your perception and using it against you. Players with extensive gaming experience will struggle due to their previous experiences holding them back.
Antichamber is not trying to be realistic or follow certain rules. The game can have you trapped in paradoxes and its own alternate reality where moving forward will get you trapped in an endless loop which can seem physically impossible. Sometimes to advance you have to move backwards.
Antichamber’s graphics aren’t ground-breaking but the game isn’t fussed about that. A combination of vibrant colour and the absence of a HUD allow you to effectively experience Antichamber without distraction.
Surprisingly, a strong point of this visually-based puzzle game is the sound. One of the great things about Indie games is the effort put into how the game sounds. The ambient music composed by Siddhartha Barnhoorn guides you through the chambers, this masterfully developed soundtrack allowing greater immersion in the world.
The game is lacking a story or something that would drive you forward. While I was playing the game the pure enjoyment of the game and challenges kept me going, but when I stopped it took me some time to get back playing it. The absence of a gripping plot also damages Anitchamber’s replayability. There is no set time limit in which you have to perform the task or challenge, but that isn’t the main aim – as the game points out itself- “Life isn’t about getting to the end”.
While I was playing the game the pure enjoyment of the game and challenges kept me going, but when I stopped it took me some time to get back playing it.
I have to say Antichamber delivered one of the most unexpected experiences that I have encountered whilst gaming. It’s definitely become one of my favourite games with its clever, innovative design, excellent challenges and being something more than just a game. It teaches you how to overcome problems, develop your creativity and train skills. It hasn’t got a specific story but is one of those immerser experiences that you just have to try out.
Image: Daniil Vasiliev via Flickr