Game Review: FEZ
” Reality is perception. Perception is subjective.”
If you were to take a quick glance at FEZ you would see a cute little retro style 2D platform game where you run around and collect stuff. If you were to play around with the demo you will discover a neat little gameplay mechanic where you rotate a 3D world and explore on a 2D plane. If you were to start actually digging into the game you’ll find clever environment puzzles you need to use the mechanic for to collect your items and treasure. If you make a bit of progress you will find some of the most challenging and unique puzzles ever crafted in a video game. If you start to dig further into the game your mind will start melting. If you make it to the end of your first playthrough you will be questioning reality and the meaning of life.
But, before I get way to ahead of myself, let’s talk about the basics of FEZ. You play as Gomez. Gomez likes to play the drums. He can jump and he can climb. He is white. He also finds a magical fez. His magical fez grants the ability to rotate his two-dimensional world on a cube axis on the horizontal plane. This ability lets him alter his surroundings to make impossible things like long gaps to jump a piece of cake. When Gomez found his fez a big cube exploded. He needs to put it together and the pieces are scattered all over the place. FEZ invites itself into reality. FEZ is relaxing. FEZ is infuriating. FEZ is meta.
Without divulging too much information, I will say, FEZ will make you think. Some of the puzzles you encounter will access parts of your mind that have been long forgotten. You will be stumped for weeks at a time. You will emerge from the stumped state never feeling stupid. In fact, after working on a puzzle, even if you don’t solve it, your mind will be quick as a fox. Not only when I solved a puzzle did I feel like a genius and well accomplished, but when I was at a loss I never felt stupid. All the keys to each solution are well thought out and never directly obvious. Lots of puzzle games are lazy dogs and can make you feel dumb by using some kind of tricky logic clue that is easy to overlook. Not FEZ. FEZ loves you. FEZ wants to be your friend. But FEZ will not hold your hand.
The music in FEZ is amazing. Atmospheric 8-bit tunes will keep your mind calm and flowing. It will keep you relaxed as you twist your brain. All of the music fits the sugar sweet surreal game world perfectly. Is the music a clue. I don’t know.
To talk about this game more would take away from it. FEZ needs to be experienced. If you lack patience, you probably won’t like this game. If you don’t like puzzles and logic is the be all end all, than you probably won’t like this game. I’m trying to mimic FEZ. 2 hints. This review contains clues. Bigger hint, you need to reach the end of the game to reach the end of the game to reach the end of the game to reach the end of the game. FEZ is only 800 MS Points ($10). Great Value. Watch out for black holes.
If you don’t plan on playing FEZ but would like to see some of the genius behind it here is a good solution to one of the games trickier puzzles. I used a similar method but a bit different, so I’m guessing that all the tougher puzzles have multiple ways to reach a solution. We really need more games like this in the gaming world.