Antichamber Review
Antichamber Box Art
System: PC
Dev: Alexander Bruce
Pub: Demruth
Release: January 31, 2013
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p

At any time, you can go back to your starting room simply by hitting escape, and from there you can view a map of the entire labyrinth in all its non-Euclidian glory. However, the map’s real use is to allow you to teleport to rooms you have been to before. This makes backtracking easy and effortless. In fact, many times the game forces you to go back to the start and contemplate your actions. You can also see all the pieces of advice the game has given you, creating a mural of cartoony drawings outlining a life in itself.

Antichamber Screenshot

Antichamber is actually far more non-linear than it first appears. Your first playthrough of the game will take hours as you explore every single room, solve every single puzzle, and work out every single quirk of the altered laws of physics around you. However, puzzles can be solved in many different ways. For example, you can use blocks to activate switches that open doors, but you can just as easily jam blocks into a door frame to prevent it from closing. Your first romp through Antichamber will likely take you about fifteen hours, but speedruns of the game have been clocked in at as little as five minutes. That’s how much hidden freedom the game actually has to offer.

There is no real plot to Antichamber, but there certainly is a tone. The whole game feels foreboding. The very fact that you are trapped makes the game almost feel like some sort of weird scientific horror. The end of the game in particular makes you go “what the heck just happened?” In a good way. The theories and hypotheses about what’s actually happening in Antichamber are many, and the Internet has been set ablaze in a fire of speculation and fan fiction.

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Antichamber is so much more than a first-person puzzle game. It’s indie development at its best. It’s simple in premise but it makes you question everything you know. It tells its entire story and expresses its entire theme through gameplay and gameplay alone. This is art—admittedly abstract art, but art nonetheless. If you like Portal, Quantum Conundrum, or any other first-person puzzle game, then Antichamber will make you explode with non-Euclidean delight.

Antichamber is one game you do not want to miss. It’s available at a budget price on Steam right now, and you are doing yourself a disservice every minute you do not pick it up.

By
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Contributing Writer
Date: February 14, 2013

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
White walls aren’t that impressive, but seeing non-Euclidean space rendered in a FPS game engine certainly is.
3.9
Control
The first-person controls work fine, but the mouse controls for the block-placing gun can feel cramped.
3.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sounds design is haunting but minimalistic.
5.0
Play Value
This is what indie games are all about. Purchase this game now!
4.4
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • A deeply psychological experience that will make you question everything you know about how a game works.
  • Mind-bending challenges that will subvert your expectations at every twist and turn.
  • An enormous, seamless non-Euclidean world to explore.
  • Lifelike soundscapes developed by Robin Arnott and an ambient soundtrack composed by Siddhartha Barnhoorn.
  • A gun that can create, destroy, and manipulate matter, allowing you to discover new ways to overcome your surroundings.


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