howl /// Monday May 06 16:53 2013


2nd Dimension

"ADVENTURE IS READY! ITS GOMEZ TIME!" A fiendish plot is in play, old men and ancient intelligent geometrical artifacts are out to add some adventure to your plain life. Unfortunately your choice in magical hats and exploratory folding of the third dimension reacted poorly with spacetime and is now threatening the universe with an untimely collapse. Even rebooting didn't help and that usually does the trick.

Indeed it is Adventure Time

FEZ is such an incredibly charming game. It immediately grabbed me and has held me captive ever since with an immersive world containing some fiendish puzzles. FEZ is literally exploding with incredible detail, every little nook is crammed with some detail of a puzzle or hint of what is to come that it just can't help but appeal to those of us who are explorers or completionists alike.

Its simple pixellated graphical style is of no hinderance and is indeed a great part of its charm. Combined with an atmospheric soundtrack FEZ is something that you must experience for yourself.

3rd Dimension

You play FEZ as a 2D puzzle platformer in a world that is wrapped around a third dimension allowing you to fold space along the horizontal axis, revealing secrets, mysteries and hidden paths. You always have a two dimensional view of the world (always as in mostly, but not strictly always) that you rotate, manipulating the environment to allow you to jump or navigate to previously out of reach locations.

Navigation requires you to think about how the world will look once it is rotated to one of its four sides, possibly compressing or expanding the world, making for a rewarding puzzle experience as you work out the path that you need to follow or just explore and see where your whimsy takes you.

Secret treasures, keys, maps, artifacts and the ever important universe stabilizing golden cubes abound and are spread throughout a world that is split up into many villages and zones that you reach by travelling through doors, secret passages and conveniently placed warp gates. As you explore you build up an impressive three dimensional map of the world, its a very useful tool to determine where there are remaining secrets to find.

You must prepare, prepare to understand that you cannot solve every puzzle or mystery at once. You must first gain insight into the workings of the world, you must gain the knowledge and power to find and open secret passages and hidden paths. There is backtracking to do, but thats ok, as you fold space the world will literally fall apart before your eyes making your once simple platforming significantly harder as you must now solve previously solved platforming in a new and significantly more skillful way.

Fret not, you travel with a handy hypercube companion named DOT. It's there to help guide you on your path and helpfully tell you that it doesn't remember what all the relics spread throughout the world do.

FEZ isn't all about twitch platforming that requires split second timing as you execute flying triple jump kicks off of walls, but there is certainly many tricky platforming moments to spice up the gameplay. The emphasis is on puzzle solving, but your platforming skills will still get a workout.

4th Dimension

As I played FEZ I initially powered through a large chunk of the gameplay at a breakneck pace seemingly unhindered by the petty concerns of puzzles and environmental hazards. The world just kept growing and I was a little worried that i might complete things a little too quickly. My concern was however misplaced and I soon started slowing down, searching out the solutions to previously unsolved puzzles and backtracked through visited villages and zones trying to uncover all of their secrets. Often I would get thrown off track by discovering a whole new zone of puzzles and mysteries to uncover that would make me completely forget what I was doing in the first place.

Tidbits of stories and puzzle clues are in rooms everywhere, many hidden in plain sight. As you progress you realise that there is far more happening in the world than is readily apparent from mere surface impressions. You start to gain the distinct impression that there is a rather dark undertone to the events that you are participating in and perhaps you just might need to be a bit more careful about what you are doing and who you are doing it for. But that you will have to find out for yourself, its your adventure after all.

I did have a few graphical problems with FEZ and an annoying crash while warping bug, but Renaud has been pumping out patches thick and fast that have fixed up all my problems. If you're having some game breaking problems a patch to solve them might not be far off.

Tesseract Adventure

Fez is an example of what happens when a person has a strong vision for a game and then absolutely nails its implementation. I would go so far as to say that FEZ has taken a slot as one of the pinnacles of the puzzle/ platformer genre.

FEZ is quite literally a tour de force of good game design and one that I heartily recommend without hesitation.

Edited // Monday May 06 16:52 2013 // First edition ///