Fez Review (Xbox 360)
Created by indie developer Polytron and published by Trapdoor (Warp: PS3, 360), Fez is a charmingly unique 2D puzzle-platformer that simultaneously reinvigorates the 8-bit genre while capturing the musical stylings of a long lost era reminiscent of the early 1980’s. Although light on story, Fez really shines in it’s creative, mind-bending, puzzles that the main character Gomez must solve to prevent his world from being ripped out of existence.
Fez begins with Gomez waking from sleep where he finds a message waiting for him from the elder of his people named Eyepatch telling him that they should meet. Upon his arrival, Eyepatch reveals the life force of this world called the Hexahedron granting Gomez a Fez hat that gives him the special ability to see the world in 3-D perspectives. Mysteriously, the Hexadedron explodes into tiny golden-yellow cubes called “bits” out into the universe. With the guide of a multi-colored levitating cube called Dot, it is up to Gomez to collect these bits and piece back together the life force to save his world.
Perspective shift is used by rotating it’s horizontal “Y” axis either left or right using the LT and RT to either solve puzzles, or reveal passageways that is otherwise undetectable within the 2-D environments. By performing these shifts Gomez is able to close gaps between platform jumps and solve clever, mind bending, pathways in pursuit of collecting bits to form cubes which is used to unlock secret doors throughout the game. Each secret door has a specific number of cubes needed to unlock a new level to further continue the addiction of collecting even more bits.
Puzzle solving is seemingly easy as the player will need to stack blocks in a particular design, or even use their cell phone to scan a QR code to progress to the next level. However, there are other puzzles that require the knowledge behind images called glyphs that plastered on school walls, or in peoples homes. Solving the meaning behind these glyphs will reveal an even deeper world and greater rewards.
Fez isn’t without it’s flaws, however. Frame rate issues mid-way through the game has the player making misjudged jumps and load times unenjoyable. With that said, I highly recommend Fez as a worth while purchase. The soundtrack alone is worth the purchase.
Final Score: 4/5