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Weekend Play: Proteus And Antichamber

Well, I’m about knee-deep in Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch and eyeball-deep in Fire Emblem: Awakening despite wanting to go back into DmC Devil May Cry‘s harder difficulties, finish Darksiders II, give XCOM: Enemy Unknown‘s Classic Ironman mode a whirl, and write more things. Basically I’m an idiot with my time. I have a feeling none of that is going to happen to any meaningful degree.

But that’s my problem. Here’s your problem: there are two great indie games that came out this week that you should play. One is pretty quick and easy and will put you in a pleasantly peaceful mood. The other is going to stick a kitchen hand mixer into your ear, turn it to high, and watch you try to figure out its puzzles. This weekend is all about exploration, exploration of a world and your preconceived notions of reality. So have fun!

Proteus

Proteus, as it stands, is going to be massively divisive; half of the people that play or even just look at it will think, “Hey, this isn’t a game!” And that half will be half right as it really is barely a game. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people catch a glance of someone playing it and wonder why someone would stare at a screensaver for hours at a time.

Proteus is a stylish and pixelated indie game that has been in the works for what feels like forever (really it’s just been a couple of years). You are on a randomly generated island that goes through a day-night cycle and your purpose is to simply exist. All you do is walk and chase frogs and watching squirrels and, well, the pleasure is in finding out what else Proteus has to offer. That and the soundtrack. As you move and go through the seasons and interact with the things on the island, you will be generating your own soundtrack, and it is an amazing experience. Seriously go play Proteus and feel all your cares and worries just melt away.

Antichamber

Oh Antichamber. You have already broken one man before coming out and you will break many more by the time you are off Steam’s list of top sellers. This game is the product of a single mind, several years, and a happy accident. Alexander Bruce created a strange bug one day while teaching himself to program Snake and it spawned the idea of a non-Euclidean puzzler, and over the next four years, it would break him. The first time I saw Bruce was when he still wore his pink suit. The last time I saw him, he looked like Jim Carrey at the end of The Number 23.

It was worth it, though. Or, at least from my end; Bruce may think otherwise. Antichamber is such an incredibly unique game. For all the innovation it has in its Unreal Engine abuse, the greatest idea brought forth from the game is that the mechanics are the puzzles. Don’t watch anyone play the game or listen to anyone discuss how to play it. Just know that you are in the first-person perspective and four right-hand turns don’t necessarily end in a rectangle. You’ll, uh…you’ll see what I mean.

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