By: Derek Yu

On: April 13th, 2012

After nearly five years of development, Polytron’s Fez has been released on Xbox Live Arcade for 800 MSP. The winner of this year’s IGF Grand Prize Award, Fez is a non-linear puzzle platformer where you can rotate the camera to reveal the world’s third dimension. The game features a soundtrack by Rich “Disasterpeace” Vreeland, which will be released on April 20th but is available for pre-order.

TIGdb: Entry for Fez

Fez, by Polytron
Screenshot taken from playXBLA.
  • http://laserbrainstudios.com Christian Knudsen

    I have a hard time believing the overtly negative commenters here are game developers. I can understand people not liking Phil Fish, or the game not being their cup of tea — but if you’re a game developer, you should at least be able to recognize that he’s made an impressive and quite unique game.

    Anyway, you really shouldn’t judge TIGSource discussions by the front page. The discussions on the forums are generally a lot more rewarding and not as troll-infested.

  • http://bitbof.com/ bitbof

    Congrats to Polytron! It’s pretty stunning how much there is to explore.

    I enjoyed playing it :) And gonna enjoy it again when it hits PC.

  • Jamagic

    The thing with words, is that sometimes their meaning are a little subjective… So I’ll use numbers to explain what I think it’s going on. Fez is a 7 out of 10 game, but with the hype it’s getting 9 out of 10, and everyone’s like… booya, it’s not a 9, it’s a 7! And everyone’s like you’re so jelly, and then people start taking sides and they say it’s a 1 out of 10, booya! and then people take the opportunity to point out how smart they are and everyone else on the internet is so retarded, and in the process they say it’s 10 out of 10, and we all lose grasp of reality by the end of the day.

  • Jamagic

    Dude, shadow of the colossus was awesome IN SPITE of having no enemies! Plus it had enemies, the big giant ones, in case you missed, it just didn’t have plenty of little tiny enemies, plus if anything the whole game revolved about said enemies. Now ask yourself, would shadow of the colossus be the same without the colossus? just a horse running around? See? I just won. Plus I’d love if shadow of the colossus have had a little more living elements to deal with, but you can’t have everything! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Blow/766494542 Jonathan Blow

    Have you played the game?

  • Christmasinhollis

     or they want to be associated with a flagship game, obviously

  • QueryError

     You didn’t get the note?
    Buying indie products means you’re obligated to unconditionally love whatever crap the devs put out. Doesn’t matter if the creator in question is a total douchebag.
    The fact they obviously bought reviews from IGN and had support from Microsoft Game Studios is just coincidence, Phil is really a poor harmless indie game dev with a sailor mouth, we really shouldn’t complain that he is treating people like shit online, told a small Japanese dev to his face in front of a live audience at the GDC 2011 that his whole country “just sucks” (no hyperbole, those were his exact words) and acted like an asshole to people online and out of it.

    If any of use would put any effort into game development then we’d definitely take less than half a decade to make a pixelated, boring challenge less platformer where the main catch is how cool these graphx look when rotated and you the only consequence for failing is respawining immediately 5 seconds behind the point you were, of course.

    I feel more jealous about Konjak, who is a surprisingly talented pixel artist who seems to be struggling with lack of motivation, I feel envy or the guys behind Team Meat Boy for genuinely making a fast, skillful, acrobatic platformer, or team VVVVV for getting retro the Spectrum aesthetics down so well and updating the obsolete platformers from the Spectrum era up to modern standards without losing, err, their obsolescence.

    I feel envy for the creators of Bastion and Braid for integrating narrative and gameplay so artistically and seamlessly well, while looking both beautiful and creatively fun to play.

    I feel envy for Notch for the ridiculous amount of money he earned through fan mods, and I feel envy for Derek Yu but seriously I won’t kiss your ass any more than your fans already do. I liked you better before you sold off. And the list goes on.

    The only thing FEZ did right was buying out internet reviewers and earning hipster attention because all of its dated unoriginal gimmicks are oh so “bold” and innovative.
    Look the map doesn’t even work, it’s totally on purpose guys. If you hate it you’re just jelly, too DEEP for you, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Any retard with a pirated copy of Game Maker 8 can be a game developer, that doesn’t talke anything away from the criticism.

    Stop trying to invalidate people’s opinions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Blow/766494542 Jonathan Blow

    I can tell from your reply that you have not played the game.

    Look, you just said you liked Braid; cool, thanks, I’m glad you liked it.  So if I designed a game that you think is good, do I get at least a little bit of benefit-of-the-doubt when I say that Fez is good?

  • Anonymous

    Any retard with a pirated copy of Game Maker 8 can be a game developer, that doesn’t talke anything away from the criticism.Craz’d, for instance:http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index…Was made by a 13 year old kid. Yes, 13 yo. Full of 4chan memes and such.That doesn’t make him any more or less special.

    Stop trying to invalidate people’s opinions.


  • Anonymous

    I did play the demo btw.  I’m not giving him money just because you say so but nice try. Will pirate when it comes out on Pc. Would that make you happy?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Blow/766494542 Jonathan Blow

    Well, all I can say is that it seems to me like you are making a mistake.  You could be enjoying a really interesting and surprising and original game, rather than complaining about things on the internet.

  • http://laserbrainstudios.com Christian Knudsen

    You’ve got it backwards. I’m not saying their criticisms are invalid because they’re not game developers, I’m saying they’re probably not (serious) game developers if they can’t see how impressive Fez is. I’m talking about being able to look beyond your own personal tastes (or bias because you don’t like the developer) and recognizing an impressive piece of work.

  • Guest

     Braid was shit, it’s like playing a NES emulator by savestating every 10 seconds.

    Also, the atom bomb thing was stupid. FU.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Blow/766494542 Jonathan Blow

    Sir, I have been defeated by your superior intellect and your razor-sharp wit.

  • Guest

     Impressive for what? For outdated mechanics and ugly pixel pixel art? And what the fuck is ambience, Phendrana Drifts had great ambient, good thing the rest of the game was a total wreck.

    I say FEZ is slow and shallow, people tell me I haven’t even played it. I say it looks ugly, people think it’s impressive. Have any of you even played any SNES game after 1994? That is good graphics. Anything on arcades by Capcom is good pixel art. WHY is this impressive? We’ve pointed out dozens of reasons why this game is mediocre but all you likers say is “you just don’t get it” or “You haven’t even played the game yet”.
    Yeah way to go that will really convince me.

    Well I guess at least the puzzles were creative. Too bad that wasn’t even made by Phil himself but his coworker.

  • Guest

    *WASN’T a total trainwreck.
    I love Metroid Prime.

  • Guest

     Have you ever sucked a dick? Have you even taken up the ass?

    How could you say you hate it if you never tried it?
    Go on, get on your knees.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Blow/766494542 Jonathan Blow

    As someone who has played a reasonable amount of the game (I have 200%ed it), it sure looks to me like you have not played it and have no idea what you are talking about.  I wager it’s similar for anyone else who has played.  

    My recommendation is to stop digging the hole you’re in.  Then again, maybe it doesn’t matter, since you are posting all these cutting remarks anonymously.  You’re so brave!

  • Erik

    Seems I touched a nerve there for some reason :) 

  • Guest

    Ironically this is exactly what Phil said  to Makoto Goto, in a way.

  • Guest

    So the art isn’t total shit because I haven’t 200%ed it, therefore  clearly I’m in the wrong.
    I believe after the first 170% the game finally stops being shit I guess.
    Why don’t you try hitting your own thumb with a sledgehammer, I guarantee it’s the best experience ever. How could you refuse, you never tried it for yourself.
    I guarantee you won’t feel disappointed, trust me.

    By the way 200% is kind of an arbitrary number, isnt it?

  • Jake Dlugolecki

    Oh, hey, Joe Blow makes an appearance. This kind of analogy is really idiotic because developing a game is unbelievably more difficult and time-consuming than making a few bitter posts on the internet criticizing another one. As you should know very well.

    Since you’re here, Jonathan, why did you remove a puzzle from The Witness because you thought it might be a little too hard for unskilled players? As deficient as Fez is, I don’t think Fish compromised at all when designing its puzzles. If people get stuck on something and don’t have the patience or interest to figure it out, they can look at a FAQ. Myst and Riven refused to grant any concessions to the lazy or stupid, and they were far better off for it.

    No one’s jealous here. I’d rightfully feel terrible about myself for my unwarranted outburst if I was Fish. I’ve also seen plenty of negative criticism of Fez here backed up by hard evidence.

  • http://laserbrainstudios.com Christian Knudsen

    Just curious: How far have you gotten into the game? The game does seem deceptively simple at first, but as the world opens up and the puzzles get harder and more complex (and meta!), you really feel how deep the rabbit hole goes. This game is anything but shallow.

    It *is* slow paced, though, and if you don’t like that, fair enough. But this game is deliberately designed to be slow paced. That’s what I’m talking about with looking beyond your personal preferences.

    I’m not a particular big fan of platformers and I can’t help but feel that there are too many pixel art indie games (though I understand the reasons why), but this game uses both of those elements in interesting ways, and it has won me over to the point that it’s one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in a loooong time.

  • Guest

    No offense taken at the sex year old remark, as I was just paraphrasing Phil after all.

    The bragging about a 2008 award he won for a single level and then telling people to suck on his dick actually did happen. Check his twitter.

  • http://laserbrainstudios.com Christian Knudsen

    Not that it really matters, but that comment was in relation to Fez winning the IGF grand prize in 2012.

  • Guest

    Which still took place 3 months before the game was actually  released.
    But you’re right, not that it really matters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Blow/766494542 Jonathan Blow

    My point is that these kinds of comments are generally not one-offs; they are a lifestyle.

    I have never removed puzzles from The Witness for difficulty reasons.  I have, however, taken them out of the mainline required to complete the game, making them optional.

  • Guest

    Reading this entire comment thread was more fun than playing the actual game. 
    Believe me I got 576% on this thread, it kinda sucks on your first 200% but then the pace quickly catches up from there.

    Those who disagree haven’t even posted beyond 153% and can’t make an opinion.

  • Mlesna Llewxam

    Best comment evaarr

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Blow/766494542 Jonathan Blow

    Had you played, you would know why 200% is not arbitrary!

  • Anonymous

    Because of unreachable Anti-Cubes until you get the new perspective change after newgame+ yadda yadda.

    Dude just drop it I didn’t like the game based on the demo I don’t have to 200% it to realize I hate it.
    And the only
    reason you’re defending this pos is because Phil is your best TIG buddy since

    Suck on my dick. Phil Phish style. Choke on it.

  • Guest

    But that’s not all!
    You get to wear pink gay pride SHADES!

  • Anonymous

    So it’s sort of like a..  volumetric pixel?

  • Anonymous

    It’s better when public is pointlessly negative, rather than genuinely uninterested. I got to know about Fez just because of Phil’s public behavior.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alain-Schneider/100001394596968 Alain Schneider

     No, it’s regular 3d with an orthogonal projection.

  • Erik

    Right. I’ve seen people behave like total tits here before so I thought you were just another hateful person.

  • Jamagic

    Don’t listen to assholes, they always try to invalidate people opinions. They’re just mad because they don’t have an opinion of their own, so they can’t stand other people speaking their minds.

  • News

    G.O.T.E. A.D.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesmonkman James Monkman

    Oh man, this comment made me snort out my cereal! o/ :’D

  • Anonymous

    I just wanted ask, Mr. Fish, what possible benefit is in it for you, the developer, to have the game be 360 exclusive (If that’s not actually the case and it will come out on other platforms, I must have misunderstood). Because it seems to me you’re limiting your potential audience for no good reason. 

    I mean, you run a business now. You’re in the business of selling games. Wouldn’t you want to have your product available to the widest possible audience? You have a gigantic market of PC users who would potentially buy your game. The PC community hyped the game up long before anyone else even knew about. Where’s is the logic in not providing them a way to buy it now?

    Or maybe its just an issue of extra development time needed for the port. Or a standard XBLA exclusivity contract that’ll expire in a few months. Fine, cool. But just let us know what the official word is. 

  • MisterS

    Compare Fez with a game that it resembles:  Portal. 

    No enemies, and I respawned immediately after dying.  It was soooo obvious that the levels were just a big maze filled with puzzles, and it did not try to make a grand statement about the human condition.  My verdict:  Fez is a puzzle game in a vein similar to portal.  I think Fez is better.

    You’re welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/Daftmouse Mikel Kjell

     I feel like it is important to seperate the art from the artist, unless the artist’s politics somehow transfer over to the game or if they did something truly deplorable like murder or something . I don’t agree with Tom Cruise’s whole Scientology deal but I loved the newest mission impossible,  Alan Moore comes across as an angry old man but I still love his comics.  And Phil Fish is a huge jerk but I still played (and loved) Fez because I am not going to judge a person’s work purely based on how they act.

  • dotdotdot

    Phil Fish’s attitude isn’t a good thing for me. Watching the trailer on Gamespot showed some things about it; I strongly dislike pixel art and the sound effect the turning makes sounds painful.

    Still, when the PC version is released, I might give it a try… but I am strongly bothered to support this guy, sadly.

  • Maxim

    Wintel users who were left stranded can play my awesome game instead:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35DVGAJgqc0

    Also, Toaplan forever.

  • Jamagic

    What game? :-/

  • Jamagic

    G.O.A.T.S.E ?

  • Guest

     Portal had turrets. You obviously didn’t 300% it, how could you even criticize it.
    Choke on my turret.

  • Asd

    Uh, I meant to say sentries. Choke on them too.

  • Jake Dlugolecki

     Sounds like “difficulty reasons” to me. I don’t remember Myst or Riven having any optional puzzles.