Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Platformer
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, PS4, PS3, PS Vita, iOS & Xbox)
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: US $14.99 | UK £12.59 | EU € 14,99
Release Date: April 14th, 2021
Review code provided with many thanks to Popagenda PR
Back in 2012
It seems fitting Fez has made its way over the Switch. Originally released in 2012, I first encountered this game back on the PS Vita and since Sony clearly has no love for that system (or any of its legacy systems for that matter) it only makes sense that more of these old indie darlings are making their way to the Vitas spiritual successor the Nintendo Switch. How does Fez fare today? Lets give it a twirl and see.
You play as a cute little puffball character named Gomez, who on one of its daily walks in the 2D pixel verse discovers a giant golden hexahedron that tears the fabric of space time, revealing the third dimension. Gomez also receives a fetching Fez hat. As well as being an unappreciated fashion accessory this also seems to give the little puffball the ability to rotate the world.
Fez is a puzzle platformer experience. There are no enemies to defeat. Just platforms to navigate and small puzzles to solve with plenty of exploration. If you fall and make a mistake you simply respawn back at the platform you were on.
Graphics are charming 8 bit pixels. Gomez is quite the cute puffball with its little fez hat and the environments are a nice mix of vibrant green environments, with little pixelated animals roaming around for that extra attention to detail. You’ll also explore areas where the graphical style will change similar to the Game Boy and other 8 bit systems from back in the day. There is also a very soothing chiptune musical score to accompany the experience, ideal when exploring the world.
Easter Egg Hunt
The goal of the game is to collect these golden cubes or fragments of cubes which will help restore order to the universe. Levels are quite small and you move between areas by going through doors or passing through gateways. The game essentially is a giant Easter egg hunt! Most of the pieces are discovered by exploring the levels and navigating to the top of levels.
As well as the simple golden cubes, there are also hidden blue cubes which are usually found by solving puzzles, like moving blocks about or scanning QR codes with your (own) phone and inputting the correct sequence – this is all well and good if you have a phone that enables you to do this. Then there are the very hard red cubes to find which require knowledge of binary code to retrieve. Don’t worry, this is not essential to finish the game, but if you’re a completionist you may not like all the absurd hoops you need to jump through to find everything in this game. It certainly takes the ‘guess what I’m thinking’ idea to the next level which I’m not a fan of.
I enjoyed playing Fez in short 30 minute bursts trying to look for more pieces and just going back through the levels looking for new routes. There is a handy map that helps you keep track of the areas you’ve visited, where you have collected everything and where you are yet to explore. You may not be finding delicious eggs but the more you hunt in Fez the more you will discover. You just might need a guide to find the tricky stuff.
As for the controls, Gomez can move about and jump at a slow pace. If you’re close to the edge of a platform you can grab on and climb up which is particularly handy for those jumps which you’re not entirely sure you can make. The movement felt a bit stilted at times making it a little tricky navigating the small platforms. You can also pick objects up like blocks and bombs to solve some simple puzzles.
The main feature is rotating the world. Clicking the shoulder buttons will reveal a different view of the level layout. Most of the time if you’re not sure what to do, you simply view the level from a different perspective. This is also a pretty good life lesson too, nice work Fez. This rotation system is simple to use, giving Fez a unique identity all these years later. You just need to be a little careful you don’t rotate Gomez into trouble.
Fez to this day still remains quite a unique and original puzzle platformer with a charming graphical style to boot. This is a nice fit if you’re looking for a casual experience away from the dexterity and quick reflexes of other platformers. But if you are someone that likes to 100% you may need a guide to discover all the secrets.
The Switch version of Fez offers nothing new to the experience so there’s no reason to double dip if you’ve already had your Fez fill on a previous system. But if this is your first venture into the game or you want to introduce a friend to it, then have at it.
Final Verdict: I Like it