In the land of the blind, one eye is king. Same can be said for the only three-dimensional being in a flat world. But old one-eye lacks depth perception. You, in contrast, can alter reality itself. And all it requires is changing the wallpaper in the first-person puzzle game Antimatiere, created by a group of French video game and interactive media students, Team Antimatiere (Francois Kmetty, Thomas Planques, Joel Gueulin, Robin Poma, and Marie Muller) which took home first place in Kongregate's recent Unity game design competition. Something awfully scientific goes awfully wrong, according to the opening sequence. Scientists, explosion... you get the idea. Then we are in the head of our hero, who upon speaking to the first two-dimensional character wiggling against a wall, learn that they are the only hope in a world thrown into dimensional disarray.
As it turns out, the mixing of dimensions sorta-kinda make you think of Minecraft in an abstract painting while you are standing on your head. The 3D world is divided into various areas, each hosting a few lateral puzzles. It all involves moving textures; apart from moving around the levels with [WASD] and the mouse, all you can do is exchange one texture for another. But this simple mechanism has surprising results. Place a door in the right place and it suddenly becomes an open door. Switch the signs above a door and it changes the room it leads to. Move a ladder and it... becomes a ladder somewhere.
Antimatiere is not deep. Most of the puzzles involve moving doors, ladders or bridges here and there, figuring out how along the way – all strictly linear. There is no pause menu, the game takes up a lot of screen space (you might have to set your browser to full screen) and at least once a game session ended prematurely because the character got stuck in the wall. Antimatiere needs a lot of polish, but it is also not quite anything you've ever played before, unless you are aware of some kind of 'stuck in two dimensions' genre. Antimatiere feels like a competition game – a concerted effort to be the most creative and interesting, which also leaves it with a lot of shortcomings, but a lot of potential, too. It's certainly an interesting ride on the way and maybe we'll see a more in-depth and polished sequel soon.