Fez Review: A Hat In Space

FEZ is a platformer designed to be tricky, but low-stress and relaxing.

Fez Cover

It would be easy to write off Fez as a game that clings to a single gimmick throughout its runtime in order to distract from the fact that it's just a regular platformer, but there is so much more going on in this game. Fez is the type of game that has inspired numerous other titles since its release in 2012, but its quality has not been diluted over time and it's still one of the best indie platformers available today.

Fez stars a character named Gomez who lives in a 2D world. Gomez discovers a red fez hat and his world is turned upside down, or rather, around and around, as he now has the ability to view the world from a 3D perspective. The world of Fez is laid out in levels in the shape of a square and the player can only view one of the four sides at a time by hitting the trigger button. The only constant is Gomez, who remains in the same position regardless of what is there (or not there) when the player shifts perspective.

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The goal of Fez is to explore the game world in order to find cubes, as these act as keys to enter new areas and are pivotal in reaching the end of the game. The world of Fez is broken up into numerous small stages that are filled with puzzles, some of which needed to be solved in order to reach new areas. Fez relies heavily on the perspective switching mechanic, but the game keeps using it in new and fresh ways throughout its runtime.

Via attackofthefanboy.com

Fez is also a treat on an aesthetic level, as the graphics and sound are still amazing in how they set the atmosphere of the game. Fez is a game that encourages the player to tackle each challenge at their own pace, which is why there is no lives system and why the player is put straight back into the action after dying. The relaxed atmosphere of the music and the laid-back inhabitants of the game world exist to match this tone, which is why there isn't as much frustration when the player inevitably screws up and needs to start over.

Fez can best be described as a game that uses the formula of Super Mario Bros. 3 or Super Mario World but takes it in a trippy direction that encourages them to explore the world at their own pace. There are lots of secrets to uncover in the world of Fez and the game doesn't hold the player's hand when it comes to solving them; but that's part of the game's charm.

Fez is a relatively short game, but it's one where almost every moment is enjoyable, save for some annoying backtracking that happens later in the game. Fez is currently free on the Epic Games Store, so there is no reason why anyone shouldn't enjoy this gem of a game.

4.5 Out Of 5 Stars

Fez is available now for free on the Epic Games Store. Fez is also available on Linux, OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Steam, and Xbox 360.

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