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REVIEW

FEZ

If you have even the slightest interest in indie games - the type that come from small teams of developers - you'll have been aware of Fez.

The game and its core mechanics - an 8-bit-style 2D platformer in which you could change the view with short camera pans to reveal a 3D world - was unveiled years ago, but it's been in development for so long (it was originally due for XBLA in 2010), a video documentary of its creation has been shot, produced, released and is already winning festival awards. Only now is the game finally getting its time in the limelight.

Even with imitators flooding the digital domain since that original tease, the retro 8-bit graphics means Fez still distinguishes itself and its originality remains secure; much in the way there's only one Minecraft phenomenon, or a masterpiece like Super Brothers: Sword & Sworcery EP.

The graphics impress, but the implementation of the studio's concept leads to a truly wonderful game. It's impossible to subtract separate elements from this singular vision; design and gameplay form one cohesive whole. Despite the megalomaniac statements of its creator about Japanese developers, Fez manages to stand in the oversized footsteps of those Nintendo creations masterminded by Shigeru Miyamoto.

Fez
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From the game's central mechanic - 2D platformer with a 3D perspective shift - blooms a host of great ideas. While there's player-friendly respawns and peaceful wildlife abound, don't be fooled: the puzzles and riddles in Fez are incredibly demanding.

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