Humble Indie Bundle 9 ReviewGuest_Jim_* - September 17, 2013
» Discuss this article (1)
FEZ Review (BTA):
When FEZ was first released for the PC, I wrote a full length review of it. If you would like to read all of its multi-page glory, you can follow this link: FEZ Review. If instead you are just interested in a shorter, summary review like the others in this article, read on!
You are Gomez, a two-dimensional creature living in a two dimensional world, or at least you think you are. One day a village elder decides to pass down to you a three-dimensional fez, which gives you the ability to rotate to other 2D planes. Before you get to explore the hidden faces of your home, you accidentally cause a large cube to fracture and explode into pieces. Naturally you must now seek out the pieces to rebuild the cube, or the universe will end.
The gameplay is largely enjoyable, with some issues here and there. The game itself is a puzzle platformer, so expect a lot of jumping and climbing to advance. Combined with the rotation mechanic, the gameplay takes on a new life from what you may find in other games of the genre, as sometimes you have to spin the world to find or open the remainder of the path. Many of the puzzles are fairly straightforward to figure out, but some are decidedly not, which is one of the larger issues I have with this title.
Finishing and completing FEZ are different things. To finish the game requires finding only 32 cubes in the game, whereas completing it requires finding 32 cubes and 32 anti-cubes. Anti-cubes are harder to find than regular cubes, and are only found in complete cubes, whereas regular cubes can also be assembled from eight cube pieces. Finishing the game can be accomplished by the average puzzle-platformer gamer without having to look up any hints. It took me about five hours to do so. If you can complete the game though, without any hints, you are definitely above average. Some of the puzzles are among the least intuitive I have seen in any game, and are never actually presented to you as a puzzle, instead of an interaction with the game-world or an NPC. Speaking of not having something presented to you, when you finish the game and start up New Game+, you will gain the ability to fly by pressing the jump button four times. This is never revealed to you in the game; you either have to find it on your own in-game or read about it somewhere, out-game. Completing the game took me a little over nine hours, and I did use hints for some puzzles.
In the full review I described the story as 'Save the Princess,' meaning that you have a goal, but there is nothing else to it. Playing the game to reassemble the cube reveals neither more of the story nor the character of the world itself. It is just a vehicle to explain why your powers are special and why you have to find the fragments.
I stand by the conclusion I gave in the full-length review. FEZ does have some good gameplay but a lot of poor design that muddles the experience. If you enjoy puzzle platformer games, there is a good chance you will enjoy at least finishing this game, if not completing it. For you, it will be worth beating the average for this game. For everyone else, unless you have a special interest in experiencing FEZ, you can probably leave it alone.