Rotation as a gameplay: the award-winning indie-game "fez"
How does it feel like working on a single project for fun years? Time to sacrifice money and nerves for one thing whose end is hardly foreseeable? Game designer phil fish has done exactly that. "Fez is my identity", he says in the documentary indie game: the movie. "I’m the guy who makes fez. That’s all."
"Fez" for fish has become a marathon with many thirst trails. At the same time, hardly any other indie project has become so many advanced laurels as well as "fez". As early as 2008, the independent games festival won the price for "excellence in visual art". Although little was known about the game, it was praised by the striking blogs and magazines in the sky. In the following years, however, it lacked progress messages – you could get the impression that the project is faltering, maybe even tapped in the duke-nukem trap. The year 2012 ended the doubts: "fez" sacked the grand prize at the IGF, fish merged a release date. So now the game has appeared: the long development time has been worth it, even if "fez" can not convince through. For now, there is the game only for xbox live, a PC catch is not fixed yet.
Hero of "fez" is a pixel triple cavern called gomez. The little guy lives with his species on a floating island, which could not be more peaceful: on the levels grow flowers, grass and tree, windmoylin chezzle spin awareness, and on the turkish sky is hardly a cloud to see. Soon, however, the idyll was gorge: a golden monolith appears on the village and explodes, the splinters are distributed over the entire game world and cause dangerous anomalies. Gomez is the only one who can still preserve the universe before the collapse. A felt hat (fez) fallen from the sky gives him the ability to see the world in three dimensions. While the villagers continue to remain unaware in their two-dimensionality, gomez is making it to collect the goldenurfs and whirl chips – and stobs in getting remote areas.
The perspective change is the central game element of "fez". On his expedition, gomez is always released from schier auberwindliche – but if the player rotates the world by pressing a button in 90 degree steps. Two platforms that are far apart, jerking through the rotation close together – gomez can then live the cheeks with a jump. Similarly, the principle works for other obstacles. Ladders and emissions yield when they are brought to an axis by rotation. Basically new is the game with the change of perspective, however, it is not: it knows it – in a similar form – from titles like echochrome, crush and super paper mario, also the work M.C. Eschers comes to mind.
Impressive is how "fez" the rotation integrated into the gaming experience. Even those who initially strange with the gameplay will quickly find themselves up – and with growing self-consolidation through the level gymnastics. The permanent perspective change does not inhibit the play flow, but on the contrary requests the flow experience. Cleverly mixed "fez" classic platforming elements into the gameplay, be it now timer, obstacle bombs or floor plates that are occupied with weights. Skill and responsiveness also play an important role: multiple hooks gomez over free-floating, falling stair steps, which the player has to bring about rotation in the right order. Gomez stems into the abyss, he will revive at the starting position: power "fez" to a largely stress-free affair – as well as the lack of any monster.
Anyone who seeks bangharten ratsel will probably be exchanged in the first few playing hours. "Fez" is far less demanding than about braid, which is handed right at the beginning with abstract time ideas. Instead, phil fish fully focuses on the exploration of the player: the cosmos of "fez" consists of many small partial worlds connected by teleporters. From a central stroke, this structure branches up in all directions – behind every little wooden tower can be dozens of partial worlds.
The levels are very varied: sometimes climbs gomez up a gigantic clock tower, sometimes crashes over the facade of scrapped hotels with neon reclamation. Everywhere, nature breaks through: animals scurry over the platforms, water trap stancies in the depth, ivy ranks on masonry empor. Even there is a day and night change, which – together with the electric soundtrack – ensures a convenient density atmosphere.
On the way gomez is looking for the ripple fragments scattered on the whole cosmos. 32 curfe is needed to open a mysterious gate at the central hub – without search systems you will only find them all. Unfortunately, this search sneaks a touch of routine in "fez", which was allowed to quench one or the other player. However, this impression exchanges: "fez" has a second, much deeper level. For example, there were the very abstract treasure cards that the player finds in different places: with them can be so-called "anti-cubes" upgrade, which for another goal of notes. And then there is still the hieroglyphs to whom the players start allsight: they tell a story – aming you wife them to decelerate.