Fez is a 2D platforming joy to play. If you’re into exploring, this game is for you. The controls are simple. Arrow keys for movement, up for going in doors, a button for jump, 2 buttons for shifting perspective either left or right, a button to interact and a button to talk. When you shift perspective its like a whole new map. When you shift perspective its like a whole new 2D level even if its the same area, making the game unique.
So what do you do in Fez? Collect cubes and bits. Yep, 8 bits make 1 cube. The whole game is based on collecting cubes in a giant beautiful world. What do you do with the cubes? Not much…. unlock doors to access new areas. When you’re in the level itself you’ll see bits send out rippling diamonds so if a bit even if its behind a wall. It is just less wasted time looking for something when you need to twist the level around four times. There are puzzles to figure out that make for a nice challenging diversion different than anything else in the game which is mostly just traversal and exploration.
Then why play Fez? The game is just soothing and relaxing. Good music, beautiful art style full of color, and most importantly very forgiving gameplay. You really can’t die. You will respawn from exactly where you were. There are no enemies, but you will fall to your death a lot only to respawn where you were, thus preventing situations where you’re at the top of a tower and fall only to reclimb. The respawn prevents that. Platforming is forgiving this way, not to mention the fact you can catch onto ledges and pull yourself up or drop down.
Thankfully the game has a good map system that shows you warp gates, small gates, treasures, locked doors, cubes, bits and secrets that you haven’t found in each area. Plus if you’ve been in an area before, you can see a glimpse of the area through the door before you enter the area. On top of that, you can see areas in the background, that when you enter the door the camera will slowly drift that background area to become the new area you’re in. Its a really nice system, I just wish the transition was faster.
There is so much quality content here with diverse vibrant colors, complete with a day and night cycle to ensure the area will look different even if its your 10th time there. In all, its a game focused around exploration and traversal made by a man that the Internet seems to hate.