Fez

User Rating: 8 | Fez PC

You play as Gomez, and climb up a tower on your island to meet someone. In the events that unfold, a cube shatters into pieces and scatters across the land. You also gain a Fez hat, which has the power of rotating the world. So the world really is 3D but you move on a 2D plane.

I love games that mess with your perception of logic. So when you play, you think in 2D, but you need to force yourself to think more in 3D.

If you are standing next to someone, when you rotate the world, they can show as being at the other side of the platform. So you use this logic to basically bring platforms towards you in order to reach areas.

There’s some interesting puzzles where you rotate parts of the level using levers, but you are also rotating so it can be really disorienting.

Your character is well animated and he clings to the edge of ledges and pulls himself up. You can drop from any ledge by pressing down and the jump button. If you fall off a ledge, then you are placed back on the last surface. So there isn’t a life system, or punishment for failure.

You need to collect large cubes, or collect several small cubes to make a large cube. These then unlock doors to new areas, where you can find more cubes. The aim is to collect 32 large cubes.

Initially, you make good progress moving from one area to another. But when you start to hit dead ends, then you need to backtrack to find previously missed doors. There are teleporters to the main areas, and a one-way teleporter when you reach the end. The problem is reaching the areas in between.

The level structure ends up like a big maze. There is a map, but it just shows connected areas rather than where each door is. So you may know that the area you are in leads to 4 different areas, but then you need to discover the doors and remember which doors lead where. This really slows progress, and I do wish it didn’t have so many branching paths. It kinda felt like it wanted to be a Metroidvania but yet doesn’t have new abilities to reach new areas.

Some doors require you to find keys to open. This forces backtracking if you find a locked door but don’t have a key.

The backtracking really is a massive hindrance, because the pacing grinds to a halt near the end of the game when you only have several cubes to go. I played for around 4 hours, but felt it could take that long to find the final cubes. Maybe I’ll return one day to finish it. After you collect 32 cubs, apparently there’s another 32 to find, plus many secrets to uncover.

I feel if the game was more linear, I would rate the game extremely highly. The core concept is great, the puzzles are clever, it’s well made, and I love games that make you think differently.