On Returning to the World of Fez

Two years ago I started playing the game Fez, an indie platformer by Polytron. I got busy and stopped playing, but this morning I decided to don my red fez and get back into the adventure.

In the game you play as Gomez, a small, white-pixeled character whose entire existence has been flat. A magical cube comes down a third-dimension is added to his life as he dons the eponymous fez and goes on an adventure.

The standard platforming of this game is relatively easy, but the innovation this game brings to the table has a pretty good learning curve. Nearly every map in the game is a cube, and you can spin the cube around to move the platforms. It’s part MC Escher, part Mario, and it makes for a lot of fun.

But what I’ve found most enjoyable are the puzzles. The game gives very direct hints to the player. Most of the game is about observing the world around you, and figuring out what bits of scenery, background, or music are useful in advancing the storyline, and what is just nice set decoration.

Today I had a pretty good couple of breakthroughs, and I accidentally beat the game (without collecting everything) and figured out the key to getting about half of the remaining items I need to collect in order to fully complete the game. I’ve got much more work to do, but the rewarding feeling that I got from figuring out those puzzles today is tremendous. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so accomplished and rewarded in playing a game.

Though it’s been two years, it’s been well worth picking it back up.

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