Never have I shouted so many mental obscenities while playing a game that was working the way it was supposed to. Maybe I’m just upset at myself that it took me 13 hours to finish Alexander Bruce’s indie masterpiece, Antichamber. Regardless, I could argue that it has the best level design of any game, ever…like of all time. Really, it is THAT amazing.
Antichamber transcends conventions both in the way it carries itself throughout the game and in how it leads the player through each level. The design of navigating between levels is something that may be subconsciously noted by players but makes a profound impact on the way that everything ties together, including the player’s journey. Each level is an experience in its own right — the game is truly something that needs to be played in order to be believed.
There are many great aspects to Antichamber, whether it is that “a-ha!” moment after completing a puzzle or finding a secret room based on lessons that the game has taught you, but my favorite part is that any failure by the player is a fault of theirs and theirs alone. The game presents new challenges constantly, but they maintain a consistency of mechanics that will leave players scratching their heads and facepalming at regular intervals whenever they can’t get past a room.
I was surprised, enlightened, infuriated, and educated during my run through Antichamber. I haven’t even found all of the secrets yet, so I plan on revisiting the game to see what else it has to offer me. Anyone and everyone should go buy and play this game right now. Really, now. Go do it. Now.