Antichamber is a game about different perspectives.
It’s about looking at problems from different angles, as the solution is usually not as obvious as it appears. It’s about paying close attention to your surroundings, and learning from everything you see, hear, and touch. It’s about building off of previous experiences to look at other situations in a different way. It’s about realizing that sometimes, you need to take a few steps backward in order to move forward. But most importantly, Antichamber is a game about removing yourself from conventional thinking, and attacking problems in ways you’d never think of otherwise.
It’s hard to explain exactly what Antichamber is without spoiling what makes it special, so I’ll do my best to dance around it. Inspired by non-Euclidean geometry, Antichamber is a first-person puzzle game whose goal seems simplistic: make it to the exit. Look at that door – the exit is right there, just out of reach. But it’ll take some serious brainpower to get from the starting area to the final room of the game, and the shortest distance between two points is definitely not a straight line.
And yet, despite all of its crazy geometry, puzzle arrangement, and room placement (the map helps in a way by letting you instantly zip to most of the rooms you’ve accessed, but it takes a while to get the hang of how rooms connect to one another), Antichamber has its own logic that it drip feeds to you as you progress through the game. It never explicitly explains how you’re supposed to solve the different puzzles – all you get is a general list of controls – but each puzzle you complete will directly feed into the rest of the game. Just when you think you have a handle on its rules, Antichamber will throw you a curve ball, keeping things interesting. It constantly builds on itself, and it will take some incredible perception and persistence to figure out some of the more devious puzzles here. There are a few progression halting moments that require especially astute observation, but all of the puzzles make sense, in its own twisted way.
To say that Antichamber is a striking game is an understatement. Using bold strokes and minimalist design, the game looks gorgeous in its own unique way. Lines fade into nothingness and various effects and colors will play tricks with your eyes. The entire game looks like a living Escher painting, and the minimalism only highlights its abstract nature. There are some low-res drawings strewn about the game, which only become highlighted by how clean everything else looks, but honestly, the game’s aesthetic is fantastic.