Fez in the test for Nintendo Switch: still a masterpiece

Fez in the test for Nintendo Switch: still a masterpiece

Fez in the test for Nintendo Switch

When it was released in 2012, Fez captured the hearts of gamers worldwide, especially game journalists. It exemplified the excessive creativity and the experimental mood of small development studios. Still, the sequel Fez 2 was put on hold and the brain behind the award-winning indie game, Phil Fish, disappeared from the net. Both were due to mud battles that the programmer and all sorts of trolls fought on Twitter and other social media channels.

Table of contents

1 Think around the corner 2 Cubes vadis? 3 If you want, you can To date, there is no second part of Fez. But what is there anyway: A version of the indie darling for Nintendo Switch, a full eight years after its release on Xbox 360. Has the adventure of the little hero Gomez aged well - and is Fez really a milestone?

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Think outside the box

Fez is very pretty, which doesn't look good in still images. The color gradients in the day-night changes are wonderful. Source: PC Games Before we clarify these questions, first of all about the game principle. Although Fez looks like an ordinary 2D platformer at first, there is literally more to it than that. Because: At the push of a button we can rotate the environment, so we look at 3D objects such as blocks, houses and plants from four possible 2D perspectives. By playing with perspective, Gomez reaches new places: What presents itself as an insurmountable gorge from one point of view is just a small gap from another point of view. This concept is known to some extent from Paper Mario, one of the sources of inspiration, but Fez himself has also inspired titles, such as the successful mobile game Monument Valley. What is unusual in Fez, however, is that it is very peaceful - there are no enemies or even bosses - and there are no challenges in the classic sense of jumping. Gomez never learns additional moves, overcoming obstacles is always achieved by turning the camera position.

Cuboid vadis?

At first glance there is nothing to be found in this house, just a few pictures on the wall to marvel at. But if you turn your point of view ... Source: PC Games There is a lot of puzzle gameplay in Fez! Gomez has to find cubes scattered all over the world and in the process comes on the trail of beings from other dimensions, whose writings, however, have to be deciphered - by us! The puzzles become more crisp as the game progresses, so that Fez is not necessarily recommended for the youngest players despite the non-violence and the sympathetic, colorful look. This target group should soon feel quite lost in the world and as a result bored, because there are no quests, no markers that define the next goal, or a stringent story that you follow chapter by chapter. But it is precisely the mystical atmosphere and the lack of any "punishment" of the player if you are unable to solve a puzzle or fall into the abyss that this indie game leaves a lasting impression.

If you want, you can

The different worlds in Fez are all linked by doors or portals. Source: PC Games It should also be said that the particularly crisp puzzles are optional. In addition to the normal dice that Gomez has to collect, there are also the so-called anti-dice. If you don't want to dig your way deep, try around a lot and take handwritten notes in order to bag all these objects, you can leave it as simple as that. Although a lot has happened since the game was first released in 2012 (not just in the indie sector, of course), Fez is still standing up to the ravages of time. Why? Quite simply: The camera rotation is more than just a gimmick and, in combination with the successful level design, effectively creates wonderful gameplay. The design of the puzzles is also exquisite, after cracking a head nut you feel clever - that's how it has to be!

The simple, but still very pretty pixel graphic style is timeless anyway, nobody would suspect just looking at it that Fez (buy now 14.20 €) is almost ten years old. The background music is spherical and underlines the flair of the dreamy game. The title always runs smoothly on the Switch, the controls are precise, we only rarely noticed a few graphic bugs, but they didn't reduce the fun of the game. If you like indie games, you shouldn't miss Fez.

My opinion

By Katharina Pache

Chief Editor

[email protected] I wouldn't have thought that I would play Fez again on the Switch! At the time, I not only tested Fez on the Xbox 360 (only in the context of a meager quarter-leader, mind you, download and indie games were just not that important at the time), but also followed the tumult surrounding Phil Fish. Well, we'll probably never find out what Fez 2 could have been like that. Anyway, Fez stands for itself, and continues to inspire a decade later. Even then, I didn't understand why this pretty adventure got so much flak from so-called “core gamers”. The puzzles are anything but “casual”. Back then, I needed pen and paper for notes on the complex tasks. Sure, this isn't a Super Meat Boy, but isn't there enough room in the wide world of video games for several types of games? Well, I was happy to see you again and I recommend Fez puzzle and indie fans. Be sure to try New Game Plus! Something unexpected awaits you! Fez (NSW) 9/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Pros & Cons Cleverly used twist mechanism Always runs smoothly, controls work wonderfully Successful level and puzzle design Stokes the desire for discovery and puzzles Very atmospheric Pretty graphics, great Music full of secrets and allusions You get lost every now and then More pros & cons ... Conclusion Pretty, still fascinating platform puzzler that was well ported

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