Antichamber requires a lot of time and effort to make any progress. For a game that does a lot of smart things, one of it’s most respectable is that it never holds your hand, and it doesn’t want to. Antichamber throws you right into a puzzle box and expects you to either find your way out, or go play something else.
It has some of the most striking visuals of the year, with stark white walls and bright painted colors. The hints you find around the world add such a fun sense of progression, and add some extra humor to a game that already has a ton of fun screwing with your expectations. And that moment of realization when everything comes together and you solve that one puzzle you’ve been confused about for the entire game? There will be multiple different revelations for everyone, but one moment in particular will be shared and discussed by everyone who ever plays it.
Some puzzle solutions are so obscure you’ll eventually feel like you’re breaking the game to solve them. Maybe you are breaking the game, or maybe you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to. Antichamber is full of twists, surprises, and eventually becomes an incredible power fantasy by the time you’ve unlocked almost all the game has to offer. You’re own knowledge of the game’s tricks allows you to progress further the longer you play it, and trying to learn its rules made for some of the most twisted mental gymnastics I’ve performed this year.
Antichamber is a new Portal that makes fun of you without having to speak a word. Running to the end of a hallway, turning around, and having a different room be behind you says enough. If you want to be surprised, laugh, and brilliant for over a dozen hours, Antichamber is one of the most unique and worthwhile experiences of 2013.