If you like first-person puzzle games…

… you may wish to see Antichamber, which has just been released on Steam.

The game’s web site.
The Steam page.

The game is primarily the work of one designer, Alexander Bruce, who has been working on it for six years. Players seem to be really into the game, and it’s been the top-selling game on Steam for two days so far.

This entry was posted in Other Games. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

25 Comments

  1. Charles Wenzel
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Explores its potential without wasting the player’s time. Refreshing! Definitely worth picking up even for its price. Very happy this game was funded!

  2. Sami
    Posted February 2, 2013 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    Looks like a very interesting game! A bit pricey but if I can get it it might keep me occupied until The Witness comes out ;)

  3. Martijn
    Posted February 2, 2013 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    PC only, so sad ;(

  4. Zoom
    Posted February 2, 2013 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Hey, I remember this game from a couple of years ago! Wasn’t it called Hazard or something like that?

  5. Sean Boocock
    Posted February 2, 2013 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    It would be helpful if you disclosed your involvement in the game via the Indie Fund so people can put your endorsement in proper context.

    • Evan
      Posted February 2, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Here we go

      http://indie-fund.com/

      “Indie Fund aims to support the growth of games as a medium by helping indie developers get financially independent and stay financially independent.”

      “ANTiCHAMBER recouped its Indie Fund investment less than an hour after launch. Alex needed very little money from us, so that by itself doesn’t say much, but the game did have an amazingly excellent launch day, both financially and critically. Congratulations again, Alex!”

      Jonathan waited two days after the public release on Steam of Antichamber before making this post.

      http://indie-fund.com/about/

      You should take the time to read the terms they offer, these people dont preach, they practice.

  6. M.M
    Posted February 2, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I dislike the game. I have watched some of gameplay movies, and i found the visuals unacceptable. Not that i care that much about graphics, but visuals here give me headaches just as the old Wolfenstein 3d give me.

    • James
      Posted February 3, 2013 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      In 20 years of playing FPS games, I have never gotten motion sickness (from Wolfenstein to Portal). However, after about 15-30 minutes of game, I start feeling nauseous enough to need to stop playing. Another short session last night gave me a severe headache.

      I am assuming the visual style is the culprit here, as the movement/interaction/speed of the game doesn’t outdo any other FPS’s out there. I wonder what exactly it is that does this– apparently a few other players have suffered the same effects. Perhaps the sparseness of the visuals and the high contrast colors?

      Unfortunately, I’m probably going to abandon the game after this.

      • Jozape
        Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:07 am | Permalink

        I would try the game again in a day or two. Could have been a coincidence.

      • Sebastian
        Posted February 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        Had the same issues. It worked for me when I changed the mouse sensitivity to low.

  7. Anon
    Posted February 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Sean Boocock above is correct–It’s a little dishonest to link this as an earnest recommendation without disclosing that through your financial involvement in Indie Fund, you are an investor in this game and stand to profit from purchases.

    • Jonathan Blow
      Posted February 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      It is an earnest recommendation; I have been an enthusiastic supporter of the game for years, much longer than Indie Fund has been involved (we provided some completion funding).

      I do have a very small financial stake in the game but it is already covered; due to the way our terms work in this case, we stop getting paid once we have recouped 2X our investment, which has already happened. So I do not get anything more if the game sells more copies.

  8. Paul
    Posted February 2, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m enjoying the game, but I have a few complaints. Chief among them is that I don’t always feel like I know whether or not I have the right tools at my disposal to solve a problem. It’s not nearly as bad as Fez, which totally wrecked itself by throwing a few QR codes into the game, but it’s still a bit of an issue.

  9. Posted February 2, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Antichamber provides quite a wonder-ful and unique experience, provided that you enjoy puzzles. It would be a shame to miss it due to something like the knee-jerk reaction from the graphics. Also the price turned out to be worthwhile; I didn’t expect to spend 15+ hours on this puzzle game (I still have 6 more cartoon signs to unlock). The last time it took me that long was Riven, or Spellbreaker.

    Thank you for showing me this game Jonathan (among others as well, esp. Trinity via misc. interviews). Patiently awaiting the Witness.

  10. Peter Hamilton
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Antichamber is an unforgettable experience and I’m glad the Indie Fund was able to help bring it to the public. It’s different in that it really, fundamentally, is about you the player, how you think, how you act, and how you respond to your environment. It will not cheat you with cheap solutions nor will it spare you when it comes time to prove your skill at the fundamentals you’ve been taught in earlier situations. Some of the later puzzles are quite challenging but the onus is on you to experiment and examine your abilities to discover the solutions. The game itself is intelligent as well, directing you to more fundamental puzzles when you fail to solve advanced areas, guiding and reminding you about what you may have forgotten or misunderstood. There are always multiple avenues you can explore and frequently you will come upon new skills that make solving older, unsolved puzzles quite trivial.

    The graphics and audio deserve a word as well, simply because they mesh and yet clash so well together. Rooms and hallways shift from an austere, clinical white, where up can just as easily be confused with down, to violently vivid color spectrums that provide anything from a simple pattern break to solution hints and even spatial directions. The ambient soundtrack starts off as simple tonal patterns, interspersed gradually with natural sound effects like the roar of a thunderclap and the chirping of frogs. As you progress these effects begin to layer on top of one another, creating a soundscape that is refreshing, never boring nor distracting. The sounds themselves are also hints and directional cues if you listen carefully.

    tl,dr – Antichamber is a unique experience that respects you and your time. You will not regret purchasing it.

  11. Posted February 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    For those still pondering on whether to buy this game, I’ve done a one-hour let’s-play if anyone’s interested:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOHRaFpg4cQ&list=UUIDIbUnYHi6mcvYHKjE1fOg&index=2&noredirect=1

    It really is a phenomenal game, and I HIGHLY recommend it. Please don’t let the price put you off – money should be no object when it comes to things like this. (Please don’t be put off by my idiocy in not being able to solve certain puzzles either, hehe.)

    Gary

    xx

  12. Posted February 6, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    So far I’m really enjoying it. The way you figure things out is different from any game I have ever played. I also like how sometimes when I solve something I’m not sure if it was really the intended solution, it seems to encourage creative problem solving. Frequently when playing puzzles games I’ve had an idea that I though was cool but doesn’t work. In Antichamber those kinds of solutions often do work which is awesome.

  13. Nathan
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think there are any spoilers in this comment, but if you have not played the game at all yet, I’d still recommend not reading further.

    I finished most of the puzzles on my first sit-down with the game.
    It was late at night, and though I promised myself I’d be getting to bed soon, I wound up playing Antichamber for three and a half hours. The first sit-down with this game was one of the best gaming experiences (the best?) I’ve ever had.
    I went to sleep excited to play the game again, worrying that I had thrown myself too hard at it. I doubted a second experience would be able to match that first.

    When I went back to play it again, I realized that my worry was probably true. A bit of the magic was lost. It was amazing to fall into this game without having any expectations, but once you’re used to the way the world works, it’s not quite as exciting.

    The end of the game felt a little bit lacking. I had hoped for a few more puzzles in the last chamber, something to really make me feel like my journey was complete. One of the last puzzles was pretty tough, but the others were a bit boring and obvious.
    To have another hour or so of game play in the ending sequence, and a more definitive feeling of accomplishment might have made the ending much better. Now that I think about it though, perhaps the lackluster ending had more to do with the final “objective” than I’m giving credit for.

    On that note, this game made me think and feel. A lot.
    The initial countdown clock, the art gallery, the developer rooms, each individual “life lesson”, and the puzzles themselves played vital roles in making me think about what this game was, what I was, and the connection between myself and the game. The thoughtful feelings lasted throughout my play-through, but as my awareness of the world I was in and my standing in that world changed, my feelings changed as well. Towards the end, I was no longer baffled and excited by the mechanics of the altered universe. As I had to spend more and more time looking for the puzzles I had yet to solve, I felt as though I had aged, and that my experience with the game was soon to be at its end. I was saddened, but felt good looking back. Eventually, I had to accept my position in the world and move on.

    If I could, I would wipe my mind and go back to play this game anew. Exploring, solving, and getting lost in this world was uplifting, enlightening, and rewarding. For the first few hours, I thought Antichamber was the best game I had ever played, and for those few hours, I might even say it was. But I’d have little integrity if I called a spasm of euphoria (and truly euphoric it was) the “best game I’ve ever played.”

  14. Alex C
    Posted February 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Jon, will The Witness be as good as Antichamber? I’ve been anticipating the Witness for years and I’ve got to say that Antichamber is exactly what I was looking for, and it caught me completely unawares. At every turn I was thinking ‘Jon Blow would approve of that’ or simply ‘wow’. Now, after playing it, I can’t imagine The Witness exceeding it in terms of innovation and poignancy, but I’d love to hear you say otherwise.

    • Jonathan Blow
      Posted February 13, 2013 at 12:09 am | Permalink

      It will be as good as we can make it. As for whether it is better or worse than Antichamber, I suspect different people like different things.

  15. Owen
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    My critique of the game is much the same as “From Dust” – once you’ve figured out the trick or gimmick to the puzzles, you’ve pretty much killed all replay value of the game. Or a lot of the gameplay rests on your ignorance of the rules of the world (and the world itself) and once you learn the rules, you’ve played the game. The only way you’ll ever play it again is when you’ve forgotten the rules (and the world), which takes a good chunk of time.

    I did like the whole perception of reality thing going on there, looking at things changes the world. I think that’s the future of games, if you ask me. More noneuclidean, more perception-is-reality type rules.

    It’s amazing how far you can go making a game without having any substantial art assets. This is all game and no fluff. I like that.

    • Jonathan Blow
      Posted February 26, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Replay value can be a good thing, but not all games need replay value to be good.

      Think of it like a really good novel; once you have read it, you know what happens, but if you like it enough you might re-read it again later anyway.

      The Witness is big enough that people who have played it 6 months ago just don’t remember all the details and are able to come back and play it again and have an interesting time.

      • justin
        Posted February 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

        I have a question about that. I don’t know how to phrase it but: Can you redo puzzle you have successfully completed (Like in Braid, except you don’t get the puzzle piece because you already have it) or does the onscreen maze stay completed once it’s successfully done? Can you undo it? Will it be permanently solved?

      • Owen
        Posted February 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Single player games have a real problem though if they don’t have replay value – and that’s youtube (and teh intarwebs in general), because it may be a great novel, but you have an army of people all collaborating on speed reading the novel, or at least posting to the world – “Hey guys, look how fast I can read this! Look! I read the novel in 2 minutes by skipping the subplot in chapters 5-10!”

        I’ll put it this way – the hours played for anitchamber is in the low double digits and there is now an ocean of antichamber videos on youtube. I’ve got hours played, for say, Civilization 5 in the high triple digits and there are very few videos of people beating that game :P

  16. yloquen
    Posted March 25, 2013 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    I saw in interviews that The Witness’ theme is “epiphany”, and after finishing Antichamber, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I thought that it had moments of epiphany. If The Witness provides more such experiences, I’d be really happy, though I’m getting it regardless ;)

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> <pre lang="" line="" escaped="" highlight="">

 
  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta