I can't say that I've played many first person puzzle games in the vein of portal recently, mostly because they often encompass some elements of first person platforming and I'm not a big fan of that concept, but probably because I love my puzzles more in the Layton sense, removed in some way from the flow of the game in self-contained bits and chunks. Antichamber is doing the first person puzzle thing greatly with many surprises and fairly impressive technical tricks.
The style of Antichamber is something entirely
Through the magic of - my guess - loading big chunks of levels at the same time and the judicious use of portal-like mechanics, antichamber features what it calls "non-euclidean geometry". Basically, the level layout doesn't make physical sense. You might be going up stairs forever or running around the same corner over and over or looking at a thing from different directions with radically different results. It is probably extremely interesting on how this is done, I can only speculate here but the seamlessness is stylishly impressive.
Would the game work without that kind of element? Would Antichamber stand on its own without it's minimalist style with bright colors thrown here and there and weird hint-like pictures that could also be taken as deep life lessons? I'm not too sure. The way everything connects almost perfectly (I've spotted some areas where part of the levels 'bled' into each other) encourages the player to progress and unlock more things throughout the game.
But some of the puzzles can be frustrating
There is no story in Antichamber. No funny narrator to tell you what to do or what's going on. In fact, nothing is going on, I'm sure. You progress in the labyrinth-like map, find new tools with special abilities (some of which that aren't explained well, which stumped me for a while) and discover puzzles here and there that you might or might not be able to solve. And if you can't solve a puzzle, you might try for any length of time to do it, the same thing goes if you can solve the puzzle - i.e. if you have all the tools required to do so - you might fail repeatedly and conclude that no, you can't solve the puzzle.
This is exacerbated by the fact that a few puzzle take some time and precision to setup, placing blocks around to trigger chain reactions for example can be a time-consuming process where you need to precisely align things together. Trying that a few time and failing lead me to go to the Internet to find the solution, or sometimes just figure it out by random luck and never think about it again, happy to have proceeded. Some puzzle might also involve light platforming - if I did them correctly - and it is not the most precise thing ever.
In any case, the lack of story hurts a little bit the game in this way because there is no voice over to tell you that you can't solve a puzzle and should come back later, there is no hint anywhere except in cryptic messages that could maybe help you but most of the time they make sense after you've solved the puzzle. The only hint you get about most of the game is that hitting the ESC key brings you back to the main room and then you can go back anywhere you want from there.
How I would fix this
Since one of the most frustrating things is to not know if you can solve a puzzle, adding some kind of code near the puzzles so you know what you need to successfully navigate through them would be helpful. Maybe explaining the functions of the tools better too? I had some trouble figuring one of them out and until I saw what it could do on the Internet, I couldn't proceed.
One other thing that I didn't like about Antichamber is the controls for some of the features of the tools you get. Middle mouse button + right click is perfectly fine, but middle mouse button + left click? Having to move my hand in a weird way to solve some of the puzzles wasn't the most comfortable thing. Maybe binding that to the ctrl key or something else would've helped in that case.