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Antichamber

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By Merc28-02-2013
Bobfish (editor)
StuntmanLT (editor)
Antichamber

The Defence

Developer:
Alexander Bruce
Publisher:
Demruth
Genre:
Puzzle, Indie
Release Date:
31-01-2013

The Prosecution

CPU:
Intel Dual Core 2.0 GHz
AMD equivalent
VGA:
Nvidia GeForce 8800
AMD equivalent
RAM:
2 GB
HDD:
1 GB
DirectX:
9.0c

The Case

 

What is reality? Every human on earth will have a definition of reality, but how do we know it is actually real? Antichamber challenges your perception, it also tears into your pre-defined definition of reality. There are not many games that have met this challenge, Portal is maybe the closest, but Antichamber blows even that out of the water. From the moment the game begins your perception of how the world works will be twisted and many truths learned will have to be forgotten. The fact that it was developed by one man is a remarkable achievement and puts many triple A titles to shame.

The Trial

 

There are many games out there that take you to fantastic places or challenge your beliefs. We see it all the time in gameplay, mechanics and settings. What makes Antichamber special is that it challenges what you think you know about how games work and, for that matter, how actual life works. When the game starts you are in the options menu, the map, and your collection of simple pictures you found along the way. In case you missed it, you are IN the options menu! It is clear right from the beginning that this game will be a weird journey, and man, it is weirder than you can imagine.

Shut up - you are not my mother!

Shut up - you are not my mother!

There is no real story per se in Antichamber, it is not really necessary because the mystery of it all is what makes it fun. I mean come on, it was completely developed by one man. Throughout the game you will find rudimentary pictures on the wall and a short statements that go along with them. Many times they do not make sense in the context of the game until something clicks into place, many times a lightbulb goes off, and you understand what is being told. It is extremely enlightening, leaving a smile, and offers a rewarding experience. This game does not need an engaging story because it will give you an experience unlike any other.

Moving through the world is interesting and many times will leave you feeling dizzy because nothing makes logical sense, at least what we would think is logical. Antichamber has it’s own set of rules, sometimes they were clear, other times they are brain melting. You will not be shooting, slashing, or killing enemies in any way. In fact, your greatest enemy in the game is yourself. This game is all about puzzles but it is also way more than that. The game will give you the tools to solve puzzles, in fact if you knew what you are doing the game can be beaten in minutes! Most people will not be able to do that because you will not have the answers you need. Most of the puzzles will require you to find the correct solution and eventually you will get a gun (kinda like portal) that can build blocks out of the world. The guns have their function and are color coded to help you figure out which blocks you can use or not. So when you play, make sure you have your thinking cap on.

Graphically the game first appears to be kind of bland because there is a lot of white. That seems to be on purpose because the game eventually turns into a color and light show. It is a great looking game that will defy expectations by throwing new and interesting things at you. It is wonderful to be in this world because it is so unlike our own. Not in the same way that other games take you to another place, this is different. For example, walking into a room with a square cut into the ceiling there is a sentence, “Don’t look down”. As soon as the player looks down the floor disintegrates like you're in the Matrix or something. It just looks cool but is very simplistic. The sound design is also great but minimalistic. There are sounds that do not make sense being in the world, like walking down a hallway and hearing the ocean and seagulls. Every action has a crisp, clean, electronic sound, another well designed part of the game.

The more extravagant member of the ‘Companion Cube’ family.

The more extravagant member of the ‘Companion Cube’ family.

There is not much to criticize Antichamber for, because it does a wonderful job at taking you out of your comfort zone and teleporting the player into another world. The only thing that was frustrating was the lack of helping the player know what to do. It is a puzzle game but it does not always convey what should be done. It may sound weird because the fun part is figuring out how to solve the puzzles but it is not always clear how to solve the puzzles with the tools you have. It is good to be stumped but Antichamber can be confusing for no reason. It didn't happen much, but it is a small minus in the game.

The Verdict

 

If you love puzzle games, or are interested in the game at all you should check it out. It is $20 and well worth the price of admission. It cannot be stressed enough how remarkable this game is because one man developed it, he should be rewarded for his efforts. It is also an amazing game because it makes the player feel like their logic is not correct in the game world, it also gives some interesting life lessons along the way that I would not dare spoil. Many times during the game all I could think was “what the hell just happened to me”, it is truly mind bending.

Case Review

  • Where am I: the game will take you to a wonderfully weird place that you won't want to leave.
  • Pretty colors: the game looks great even though it is not a technical powerhouse.
  • Wait, what happened again?: the game leaves you questioning reality and the logic needed to solve puzzles.
  • Where do I go now: Puzzle games should be brain teasing but Antichamber can leave you guessing in a bad way.
4.5
Score: 4.5/5
From the moment the game begins your perception of how the world works will be twisted and many truths learned will have to be forgotten

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Comments (3)
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Posts: 350

Yeah it is really great.

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Posts: 240

Hope to pick this up in the future; looks really amazing by all accounts.

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Posts: 9

One guy made this?? Lord!