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Critics tip their hats to indie sensation ‘Fez’
- Updated: April 17, 2012
Most small, independently-produced video games fly under the radar.
Fez, however, isn’t your average independently-produced video game.
The brainchild of outspoken (and somewhat polarizing) game developer Phil Fish and his team at Polytron, Fez has been making quite a bit of noise since word of its creation emerged back in 2007. It’s twice won coveted Independent Games Festival awards, most recently taking home the grand prize at this past IGF in March. Its journey is featured in the new documentary Indie Game: The Movie. That’s plenty of action for a game yet to even come out, much less leave its mark.
But as it turns out, that’s exactly what Fez does. Finally releasing this week on Xbox Live, the puzzling platforming game is all the rage, currently averaging a hearty 90 on Metacritic.
Draped in a retro, pixilated aesthetic and featuring a clever mechanic that lets its diminutive star, Gomez, shift perspective on his safe, 2D world, it’s earning high praise left and right.
“The game’s unique artwork, its perspective-shift mechanic, its nostalgia for the 16-bit years and its bewitchingly strange setting all exist in total harmony and make a single, deliberate statement,” gushes Eurogamer’s Oli Welsh in a 10/10 review. ”The simple joy of exploration is at the very heart of the appeal of video games. In Fez – which features no combat or enemies, and only the mildest kind of platforming peril – it’s absolutely unfettered.”
No enemies, no combat, mild platforming…is Fez a breeze, then? No way, insists Official Xbox Magazine.
“Like a Pandora’s Box stuffed full of often confounding puzzles and head-scratching symbols, the entirety of Fez is wrapped up in mystery,”…