Let me begin by saying you have not played anything like AntiChamber before and there is definitely nothing in existence like it.
From the eerie looking desktop icon being an cube with an abstract 3D triangle around it, double clicking it makes you wonder what you’ve got yourself into. Developed by Alexander Bruce and published by Demruth and available on Steam from the 31st January, AntiChamber is a psychological, mind bending puzzle game from a first person perspective and from the start up you know that this game is going to mess with your mind.
Not a lot of story or background motives, just a get-in-and-lets-go expression that motivates you throughout the entire game. The basis of AntiChamber is very simple, you are trapped in a bizarre maze from which you have to try and find the exit, that’s it, simple right? Oh no no no not that simple at all, the maze is filled with bright trippy bold colours, traps, plain white walls, stairs, upside down stairs, bizarre objects and obstacles and so much more. It gives you the feeling that you’ve stepped into the mind of an unconscious junkie high on whatever they’ve had their hands on.
The game plays like a first person game should, keys W, A, S and D allow you to move whilst the mouse enables you to look in any direction and the space bar is jump, that’s it, no fire buttons or any kind of attack because there are no enemies, the only enemy is your mind. It’s easy to get the hang of the gameplay and first person shooter veterans will need no training. The maze is filled with black and white pictures on walls that when clicked on, they change to a mind boggling clue as to how to proceed ahead. There was many times I stood staring at these things, reading them over and over trying to find a quick solution but there isn’t any quick solutions as they are riddles created to rack your brains. It’s extremely cleverly constructed and it quickly becomes addictive however there is no replayability values upon finding the exit and after the brain ache of looking for it, who would want to go through it again even though the puzzles are the same?
AntiChamber looks just as bizarre as it plays with blank white walls with splashes of bright and bold colours thrown at you from every angle as you walk these blank corridors. It’s like walking on a rainbow at times and unless the contrast is set to low on your monitor, it quickly will induce a headache. Each puzzle in the maze is expertly constructed and some even have a can’t-see-for-looking solution under your nose, it really impressed me. You begin in a room with all of the graphics, sound and controls options on one wall ,a huge map of the maze from which you can choose to start at different discovered points on another wall and the exit door behind a transparent wall on the opposite side of the room placed to tease you. Puzzles have taunts attached to some of them; one instance is stepping on the side of a colourful cavern with “Walk?” displayed above it causing you to decide whether you should walk across or not. You can’t die in AntiChamber, you can only get stuck.
AntiChamber has made a mark on me by being the weirdest yet the most cleverly made video game I’ve ever played and its accolades show with its multiple awards it has earned before even being released. Whilst a simple looking game, this is not for the faint hearted with its mind bending and confusing puzzles engineered to test even the smartest of minds. Are you smart enough?
Developer: Alexander Bruce
Release Date: 31st January 2013
Story – 3/5
Graphics – 4.5/5
Gameplay – 5/5
Overall – 4.5/5