Fez Review

I was lucky enough a few days ago to run across a fantastic documentary on Netflix called Indie Game that closely followed the late stage development of two groundbreaking Indie titles, the first one being Super Meat Boy and the second being Fez. The movie covers the release of Super Meat Boy but Fez was still in development at the time of the movies’ release in January of 2012. It was amazing to see such small dedicated individuals or small groups of people creating unbelievable gaming experiences, much in the spirit of Braid which broke records and I believe really opened the doors for indie games to find real success.

Fez was in development for five years and was originally announced by creator Phil Fish on July 17th, 2007 and the game wasn’t released until April 13th, 2012 after being pushed back. After the extended development and being pushed back many gamers were wondering if the game would actually ever be released, and upon the games release it would meet extremely high expectations. Fez finally was released in April of 2012 and it meets and exceeds the high expectations held by fans and critics alike. The concept of Fez revolves around the protagonist, Gomez, who is an inhabitant of a flat two-dimensional world but through the discovery of an artifact called the Hexahedron which provides Gomez with a magical fez that allows him to see a third dimension.

The pixelated art style for Fez works in a beautifully fantastic way, and the unique integration of a third dimension only makes the game that more beautiful. The aesthetically pleasing lighting and the overall visual appeal of the game create a ridiculously artistic experience that you won’t soon forget. The soundtrack is varied and beautifully ambient making the audio aspect of the game up to par with the amazing visuals. The combination of the two definitely engross you in the eye popping world.

The gameplay in Fez revolves around a series of puzzles in which Gomez must complete in order to collect the missing pieces of the Hexahedron before the world collapses and Gomez along with it. You will also collect 32 “anti-cubes” scattered throughout the world. As the player collects cubes and anti-cubes, doors become unlocked and allow the player to access new areas. To collect the cubes and anti-cubes the player must take advantage of the 3D component of the game to solve the various puzzles which are varied and keep you pulled into the game, never getting stale or bored and always offering something new for the player.

There is no real consequence for dying as you are automatically transported back to your last living position, but the puzzles offer such a challenge that this design decision works perfectly within the game. Fez offers up a challenging experience with online leaderboards that will have you playing through the game more than once, if for nothing else just to relive the visual experience that Fez offers. Fez is an experience that deserves to be in the same echelon as such amazing indie games as Braid or Super Meat Boy which is what you would hopefully expect from a game with such a long development cycle that portrays Phil Fish as a sort of perfectionist and it shows in every aspect of Fez. This is definitely a title that should be in every gamers library, especially fans of superb indie games in which case Fez is an absolute must-have.and for the equivalent of $10 this game is worth absolutely every penny.The indie development scene has been growing into a big deal over the past few years and Fez only furthers the belief that the indy games are capable of offering amazing experiences.