Anti-Chamber is what happens when puzzle game designers strip away all tradition, get drunk, and decide to see how cruelly they can mess with gamers’ heads. Then, when they sober up the next day, there’s a hint of remorse as they patch over it with a few words of inspiration on the walls.
To be fair, their minimalistic game design it expertly crafted, to bring highly innovative challenges which really make you think. Much is based on perception and pre-conceptions. You may wander down a hallway, stop and turn around, only to find that the way you came has totally changed. You may also look a little closer through a viewing window, step back, and find yourself transported into a different room. This is all completely seamless, which messes with your head that much more.
This game teaches you that trying something new will be rewarding. It almost always knows which way you’ll tackle a challenge first, then give you one of many reassuring messages alluding to the task, or life in general. It gives you motivation to try and try again, in different ways.
And you will want to, because finally overcoming a challenge that left you stuck for ages, makes you feel like the smartest man alive! I will admit that I sometimes asked for help from a gamer friend smarter than I, but I implore you to hold out on walkthroughs for as long as possible. It would ruin the rush of completing the harder puzzles.
The lack of story and strange ending might remove you from being enveloped in the experience, but that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about overcoming bizarre and difficult puzzles not like any other game out there.