Fez Review
Fez Box Art
System: Xbox 360
Dev: Polytron
Pub: Polytron
Release: April 13, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Mild Fantasy Violence

Now, I must address a few things here that I have a feeling some fans are going to complain about. First of all, some of these puzzles are hard. Expect to spend a great deal of time staring at the screen and scratching your head. But I offer this as a defense: The difficulty is part of the game's beauty. Sure, you'll be challenged, but once you actually solve a puzzle that's been bugging you for almost an hour, you'll feel an extraordinary sense of joy and accomplishment. Sure, you could rob yourself of this pleasure by looking up solutions online, but I implore you to not give into this temptation. Trust me, you'll thank me later.

Fez Screenshot

Another thing I've heard a few complaints about is the complexity of the map, which is supposed to help you figure out how the world of Fez all fits together. I admit, it's a bit confusing and almost overwhelming at first. But here's some free advice: Take a deep breath and stop worrying about it. Once you've spent enough time with the game, the map just starts making sense. You see, Fez forces you to think about its game world in a specific way. Once you become accustomed to thinking that way, you realize that the 3D setup of the map—with all its interconnected threads and cubes—is an absolutely perfect way to explain this world.

The only thing that I can legitimately offer as a complaint here is that there's some graphical stuttering and slowdown in a few places. It's certainly not enough to ruin the experience, and I doubt it will ever cause you to plummet to an unfair death. Still, it's the one single black mark on an otherwise perfect game, and that only makes it harder to ignore.

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Fez is more than just a game. It's a perfect balance between platformer, puzzler, and explorable experience. It's a love letter to retro gaming. It's a hypnotic look inside the mind of one of gaming's more controversial figures. I would even say it's a masterpiece. Seriously, this one deserves your 800 MS points.

By
Josh Wirtanen
Editor / News Director
@joshuajwirtanen
Date: April 16, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The retro aesthetic will make you drool.
4.8
Control
Fez isn't a game about twitch reflexes or insanely hard jumps, but it nails the precision controls anyway.
4.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
A hypnotic backdrop that shows just how much can be done with low-fi audio.
4.8
Play Value
An absolutely incredible experience that simply shouldn't be missed.
4.7
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Gomez is a 2D man on a voyage of discovery into the mysterious 3rd dimension.
  • Change your perspective and look at the world in a different way.
  • Winner of the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at 2012's Indie Game Festival.


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