January 18th, 2013 | By Emerson Smith
For the uninitiated, Antichamber is an Escher-inspired puzzle game with a focus on exploration and immersion by Australian developer Alexander Bruce. After four years of development, during which the game has seen many changes and refinements, Bruce is releasing his labor of love to the world.
After winning the Make Something Unreal Grand Prize under the name Hazard: The Journey Of Life, Antichamber developed into more than just an Unreal mod. The last time I was able to see it in person was during the IndieCade festival of 2010.
With a heavy atmosphere and almost dark ambiance, Antichamber is about making choices. These choices are focused around how you perceive the environment. When you move in one direction, the game acts almost like an interactive flow chart, with puzzles determining which path you’re going to take. Little black screens mounted on the walls provide visuals and little subtexts that give a context to the abstract decisions you’re making, and how they might translate to real world scenarios. This makes every small puzzle feel much more important.
In the two versions I’ve played, the player is always allowed to go back to this black room which acts as a sort of hub. On one wall is a large map and by clicking on nodes, they can revisit any area they have discovered. This makes the game to focus on exploration as well as allow for some trial and error through the many branching paths.
Antichamber is dated to be released for Steam on January 31st. Stay tuned here at The Indie Game Magazine for our review.