A puzzle-platformer that fails once as a platformer and twice as a puzzle game. You play as a sentient block of tofu in body and personality with the ability to flatten a 3D level in four directions with the trigger buttons, a mechanic inspired by Super Paper Mario. The first half of the game, which is mercifully short at around 5 hours, consists of a series of levels floating in space connected by portals without much ryhme or reason. Exploring the world is like unraveling a ball of sphagetti. These levels only barely make use of the perspective shifting mechanic. For the most part, you rotate one direction, jump, continue rotating in the same direction, jump again, and so forth until you have explored every nook and cranny of the level in a slow and laborious process grabbing collectible cubes, thirty of which are necessary to unlock the first ending.
If the game ended here it would simply be another boring indie game with a childlike color pallete, and a sleep inducing ambient techno soundtrack. Unfortunately, as the game turned out to be too short and shallow, it was padded out with opaque and masturbatory puzzles that again fail to make good on its main selling point. These include decipherable codes hidden throughtout the world, a room with lights blinking in binary, and a QR code. When I realized what the game expected me to do in order to progress, I felt insulted. These puzzles, which make up the second half of the game, are only necessary to attain the "true" ending. I recommend you skip them.
Puzzle games benefit from their reputation as smart games for smart people and have even gained the corny and pretentious moniker of "thinky games." This helps them avoid criticism because people are afraid of appearing stupid. A good puzzle game succeeds by offering varied puzzles based on a clever gimmick. Fez succeeds by dazzling the player with last-minute ass-pulls that 99% of players won't solve without looking up the solutions online. It's time we stood up to the bad design of pretentious puzzle games.BACK | HOME