Critical Play: Fez — Rejuvenating a Past Genre

The first feeling I had with Fez is nostalgia, with its art style being similar to games like Mario and Mega Man that is a signature of a time in the past. However, as most games move on to 3D, high fidelity graphics, Fez takes on a reimagination of the 2D platformer visual style with one unique twist, literally. The game is set in a 3D world but represented as having a 2D world wrapped around a cube. Players start the game feeling like it’s Mario but with a bit more places to go up and down until they realize they could spin the world by 90 degrees each time. The result is the amazing new depth being added to the game both in gameplay and style, and the 2D genre is now reborn.

Imagine playing Mario in 3D

Fez feels like a typical puzzle game with the straightforward goal of collecting pieces of a cube around the world. However, its 3D world design makes it unlike any other puzzle game I’ve played. For instance, you may think you have reached the end of a ledge, but rotating the world 90 degrees reveals that the ledge is just a little long enough for you to reach another side of the world. The path to reaching certain areas thus can become much more convoluted with more hidden paths and shifts in the perspective. Uncovering hidden areas and items also became much more fun than a generic puzzle game despite the fact that the core elements are the same. Sometimes, the 3D design of Fez makes feel more like 4D, since there are 4 sides to play on, making Fez one of the most space-efficient game.

Collecting Pieces of the Cube

After the first playthrough, Fez felt to me like a one-trick pony. The core mechanics of puzzle games and the 2D visual art style have already been repeated countless times. However, its reimagination of the 3D world is a revolutionary move that makes everything feels new to the old players and brings the nostalgic platformer genre to new players in an attractive way.

Despite The Seemingly Simple Graphics, Fez Has A Lively, Detailed World That Shows What An Indie Game Can Do



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