Last year brought forth a great collection of fantastic indie puzzle games, most of which seem to have been reviewed by myself. The Bridge, Antichamber and Element4l, all made by unbelievably and impressively tiny development teams, all absolutely blew me away, and while Forced may be better described as an arena hack-n-slash RPG (I don’t know, gaddamnit), the preconceptions of puzzling were cast off in its development process and re-defined to make something unique. It is sad for Forced then that the winner of our Puzzle Game of the Year managed to do the very same but to a further unprecedented and incomprehensible level.
The winner of best puzzle game of 2013 is:
Antichamber is a mind-blower. That the tiny half-hour demo I’d stumbled upon in 2010 left such a mark on my mind that I felt connected to the full release before I’d finished downloading it goes to show how compelling and immersive the very concept of it all is. It really is puzzling turned on its head and even thinking now of the jarring yet strangely calming aesthetic matched with overly complex and innovative trials is bringing on a bit of a headache. I think I like it.
A world of unpleasantly-bright blocks disconnected from any overt personality, a gun that functions essentially as a combined vacuum cleaner and leaf blower, and a constant flow of inspiring but ultimately weightless life advice accompany the insanely well-thought puzzle mechanics introduced at the perfect pace and kept to a desirable expanse. Antichamber melts the brain and warms the heart. If ever there was a tagline, that’s it.
If there is one title to be recommended for the player that likes to have their line of logic challenged and forced into an aimless goop of intelligence (a niche fetish, I know), Antichamber is it, and other people should play it too. It’s good. 9/10 good.