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'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?
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