A 2D Plat former with a three-dimensional twist, deep immersion and an ode to the pixel.
Fez is one of these games that look nice, but you have to play them to actually see whats behind and inside them. They have more under the hood than you would think at first.
You start the game playing a cute little character named Gomez that lives in a tiny village. Soon you get the ability that defines the game play of Fez: You can rotate the whole world by 90 degrees to ‘kind-of’ access the third dimension of the world you travel through. While the perspective changes, the jumping physics do not, so like flattening 3D architecture into a flat picture, you are able to reach platforms that seem closer than before. It’s a bit tricky to explain but makes sense immediately the moment you use it in-game.
This nice perspective-trick not only enables you to traverse through the levels better, it is the key to explore and discover hidden passages and other secrets. The main goal is to collect little cubes that are required to unlock gates that lead to more areas of the world. Certain areas are connected and it feels like you always have several options as to where to go and what to do. This strengthens the sense of discovery, but the game doesn’t stop there.
While technically you can finish the game without discovering all cubes, you will feel you have missed a few secrets and areas. As you start the game a new you will gain another ability which enables you to find even more clues and discover more of the world.
This is where Fez really shines: It is filled with puzzles and secrets that requires the player to really think outside the box and uses all he knows and has learned to solve them, including features that are rarely utilized as cleverly and creatively in other games. For example in one instance the controllers rumble function is used to solve one puzzle.
Besides that the games charming art style invites you to explore and the levels really feel like a playground, supported by a stellar and distinct soundtrack that’s retro-glitchy and atmospheric.
Whatever you tastes are, if you like good pixel art, music and good puzzles that require out-of-the-box thinking, then do yourself a favor and play Fez.