It doesn’t happen all to often in any context. I find myself in a lot of situations where I should be blown away, stand aghast, or in complete awe – instead I find myself cool, calm, collected with shoulders shrugged ready to meet it head on. That’s how I was finishing the download for Antichamber, and entirely unlike how I was a few minutes in. Before I delve into it, let me get the definition and origin of Antechamber across, just so the word play is not lost.
A small room leading to a main one. Latin from ante camera (literal: Room Before)
This will explain the mind boggling adventure that is Antichamber rather wonderfully. It’s slapped as a “Psychological Exploration” game, and even that is a bit of word play. It wasn’t each chamber I was just exploring, it was also ranges of emotions from curiosity to stubbornness, to excitement, to confusion, and often moment of wholly unjustified sheer terror. This is a game were random structures are teleporters, the walls are not always walls, the gaps aren’t always gaps – and the colors never mean anything… Or do they?
Not only do the hallways chop and change before your eyes, they also change behind you, above you, and below you – so long as you don’t look down you are fine. What I found most encouraging were these random signs posted along the way, that all depicted microcosm images symbolic of your current problem – and when clicked will reveal a supportive and deep message. The “The problem before you is just a matter of perspective.” the sign says, right after you realize running AROUND this pillar as you look at it leads you to the next chamber. They sound insulting, but you begin craving that mental pat on the head – Good work, Puppy! I hear Pavlov shouting in a weak voice from the corners of my mind.
Newton is there too, he’s just shaking his head along with Einstein. Hawking on the other hand is laughing uproariously, occasionally pausing to yell “STRING THEORY!” and laugh harder.
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See? The signs aren’t berating you at all!