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Fez: Adventure is ready

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The game begins with hero Gomez discovering his world is not what it seems.

The game begins with hero Gomez discovering his world is not what it seems.

"Today is a special day!" exclaims a wise old character at the beginning of this delightful game which was five years in the making. "Adventure is ready!" More evidence that the most interesting and novel games are now coming from the independent fringe of the gaming industry, Fez is indeed a special treat.

The entire game is built around one simple mechanic - you can rotate the two dimensional scenes to explore them from another perspective. Constantly shifting perspective in 90-degree increments is essential to accessing new regions, solving puzzles and unearthing all the game's collectibles. Just by rotating your perspective you can suddenly reach otherwise inaccessible areas by bridging gaps, joining ladders and so much more.

The pace is leisurely thanks to an absence of threats. Even mistiming a jump and plummeting into the abyss is not penalised. But your determination to progress through the labyrinthine levels will be strong because exploration is so rewarding.

Fez is another must-play on the Xbox Live Arcade service.

Fez is another must-play on the Xbox Live Arcade service.

Fez's world is full of mysterious objects, intriguing clues, hieroglyphics and secret codes. Most modern games carefully guide a player's journey, constantly signposting, hand-holding and providing instruction. Fez can feel bewildering, but the chance to unravel its esoteric mysteries using your own skills and brainpower is wonderfully refreshing and very satisfying.

It's an inventive game that rewards careful exploration with new discoveries, like platforms that are only revealed by lightning strikes, doors that can lead to multiple locations, mysterious controller vibrations, or explosions that can be chained together simply by switching the perspective. Some of the brainteasers are brilliant. 

Fez is also an adventure that is unabashedly playful, and few players will be able to resist its many charms.

What have you been playing lately?

 

twitter Screen Play is on Twitter: @screenplayblog

40 comments so far

  • (sigh).

    I wish I was playing more Fez, but I have encountered a game breaking glitch, that dumps me back to the Xbox dashboard after approximately 15 seconds of play. I haven't had the heart to go start from scratch again. Looking at the Polytron website, it seems I am not alone. Guess I'll be waiting for a patch then...

    Instead this weekend I played more Deus Ex:HR, The Binding of Isaac and a bit of Bejewelled 3. The last two are purely comfort food, after my Fez difficulties...

    Oh, I also got the chance to play the Gears of War board game, which was pretty good.

    p.s. Don't forget to get your votes in for the poll. Top 5 gaming systems of all time emailed to screenplayvote@gmail.com please. Thanks!

    Commenter
    luverly_5pam
    Location
    Xbox Live: luverly5pam PSN & Steam: luverly_5pam Wii friend code: lol
    Date and time
    April 23, 2012, 7:55AM
    • Wargame: European Escalation. Graphics are incredible, the unit roster is grognard's wetdream. Pity the single player is completely hopeless - effectively a puzzle game of 'remember where this unit is and when the next attack will come.' Haven't had a chance to hit the multiplayer yet which is meant to be quite good.

      Commenter
      Sam
      Date and time
      April 23, 2012, 8:35AM
      • Trials evolution for me . really been enjoying it . loved the 1st game and I think this one is better .the 1st game ,great as it was, kinda forgot half way through that the big jumps were the funnest part and just made you climb over crazy hard obsticals . this one seems to keep the fun jumps while mixing in the tricky obsticals

        downloaded the fez demo after reading the blurb here last week . its good but didnt buy it . am i wrong in remembering there was an old c64 or amiga game that had the same play mechanic ?

        Commenter
        mongey
        Date and time
        April 23, 2012, 8:36AM
        • More Dark Souls. About 40 hours or so in now. Just defeated the Gaping Dragon and about to enter Blight Town. I am seriously addicted to this gem of a game. More than happy to grind it out and collect souls to up my level and get better weapons / armour and only face a boss when I will have a good chance to defeat it.

          Commenter
          Dr Charlesworth
          Date and time
          April 23, 2012, 8:57AM
          • I stopped when Skyrim entered my life. I need to get myself back into it, when I can actually dedicate a few hours to nutting it out. I hadn't made it too far into the game (past the dragon who breathes fire along the bridge), but despite the stress of the game, I enjoyed the challenge.

            Commenter
            Joka
            Date and time
            April 23, 2012, 10:24AM
        • Blizzard opened Diablo 3 beta up for the weekend. Cant wait bring it on now. Had my doubts regarding online play for single player with all the servers in the US i thought there might be some lag but there is none so smooth.

          Commenter
          Stubby
          Date and time
          April 23, 2012, 9:10AM
          • I had a go on it last night.
            Seems basically like Diablo 2 with beefed up graphics, but it's been so long since I played Diablo 2 that I can't pick out any major design changes...

            Commenter
            ZeroZeroOne
            Location
            Syd
            Date and time
            April 23, 2012, 12:16PM
        • Busy gaming weekend for me...

          First up, downloaded and played the demos of Fez and Trials Evolution from XBLA. I suspect both will be full purchases soon enough, Trials just because ragdoll physics and ludicrous motorbike jumps never get old, and Fez because it not only seems like a challenging good time but also because my short time with the game has blown my mind at the game world design. Seriously, how mind-bending would it have been to keep all the 2D perspectives coordinated so the world rotation "works"?

          But spent most of my time playing The Witcher 2. Am enjoying the challenge of a non-Bioware/non-Bethesda RPG. Interesting gameplay combat design where there is a heavy emphasis on dodging, buffing (oils on blades, potions on your character) and less conventional armaments like bombs and traps. Character control isn't as smooth as hoped though, Geralt is a bit twitchy and sometimes needs to get lined up a certain way to interact with things. Seems like interesting world building with a few twists on classic fantasy settings and races, although starting the game almost straight after the first game means it is all a bit confusing for an Xbox360 player like me who never played the first game, and am busy wondering at all these characters who already know each other and are referencing events I don't understand.

          Commenter
          Swordfactor
          Date and time
          April 23, 2012, 9:13AM
          • I picked up the Amanita Design Humble Indie Bundle, and started playing Botanicula. It's amazing, even more enrapturing than their previous game Machinarium. The Art, Music and elegant story create such a joyous experience that i can not recommend it highly enough.

            Commenter
            Matthew Barton
            Location
            Mucking around in the Garbage.
            Date and time
            April 23, 2012, 9:22AM
            • I was in a hurry to go out to a comedy show and dinner, but I managed to squeeze in about half an hour of Botanicula. I giggled the whole time. It's just so quirky and charming and funny.

              Love it. :)

              Commenter
              DexX
              Location
              MCDexX on XBL, PSN, Steam, and iOS GameCentre
              Date and time
              April 23, 2012, 9:57AM

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