When you start Antichamber, after leaving the titular antechamber, you are immediately introduced to illogical spaces and a reassurance that nothing is what it first looks like. At this point, it feels a bit like an art game – more about getting lost in the Escher-esque setting than beating it – but soon patterns start to emerge and it turns into an intriguing puzzle where you are trying to figure out the rules. In fact, if it weren’t for the odd ways rooms connect to each other I would almost call it a traditional puzzle-game, but the contrast between the overview in the antechamber and the confusing pathways of the world is a big part of the game.

In a way, it takes the Fez approach to puzzles – a solution may be logically tough to figure out, obscured by unknown rules or just require good reflexes and fps-controls-savvy. This makes them hard to figure out as a solution that almost works might be the completely wrong approach – for a game that has very few and insignificant penalties for failing, it can become frustrating. But that’s a matter of preference – the difficulty in figuring out what the rules are is an individual thing and everything else is a very well-designed experience.

It is unreasonably demanding of your computer, and it relies heavily on first-person precision platforming that no-one has done very well yet. But it is also weird, interesting and above all intelligent.

In addition, a couple of games I neglected to write about…

Kentucky Route Zero, chapter one

At first, you wonder when this game is going to start and what it is about. After awhile you realize that it has been going since the beginning – and it is wonderful. At least I did.

1000 amps

Another solid puzzle game with exploration elements. It is a very solid experience but towards the end you unlock a few powers that essentially let you cheat past the puzzles you haven’t solved yet. This makes it a bit discouraging but still a good game. Antichamber also had this issue to a lesser extent.

Posted on Feb 04/13 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »