In one of my previous posts, I discussed how independent gaming studios succeed in providing amazing gaming experiences without a huge budget. Games such as Bastion, Minecraft, Limbo, and Braid are prime examples. Another independent gaming company, Polytron, which is based in Montreal, recently released their long-awaited Fez.
This game is a 2-D game inspired by old-school games such as Super Mario Brothers and The Legend of Zelda that, in the words of creator, Phil Fish, takes place in a 3-D world. The premise is simple: you control “Gomez,” an 8-bit character who inhabits a 2-D world. One day a mysterious cube shows up and explodes, transforming Gomez’s world into 3D. The main goal of the game is to explore different worlds and collect all the pieces of the cube in order to make Gomez’s world 2-D again.
Similar to other games, you have to jump, climb, open doors, and solve different puzzles. However, what makes this game special is a very innovative mechanic: the ability to rotate the world in a Y-axis within a three dimensional space. In other words, think of a cube with an imaginary “pole” in the middle. This mechanic allows rotating the cube using this imaginary “pole.” All the sides are interconnected, giving you a different perspective, allowing you to explore a 3-D world from four distinct 2-D points of view that can be switched at any time in the game. You can thus explore parts of worlds that are not visible, reach inaccessible places and solve challenging puzzles.
In addition, Fez is a game that lets the player go at their own pace while enjoying the atmospheric environment of the game. There are no enemies, the music is very relaxing, and the worlds are very pleasant and colorful. Fez invites the player to continue exploring, discovering secrets and solving more puzzles.
Fez is available as a downloadable game for XBOX Live for 800 Microsoft points and costs around $10.