I managed to finally play through FEZ yesterday.
My previous attempt had me at 74% completion, but I was so utterly lost, that I just gave up.
I took care to be more systematic in my approach the second time around, and it was much better. I also didn’t understand that the gold borders around an area in the map menu meant that there was nothing else to be found – that I could safely move on without worrying that I missed something.
With all of that out of the way, the more I played through the levels and puzzles, the more I became impressed with how good the game design is — the clever idea of merging the 2D and 3D spaces, working in the music seamlessly as a part of the game environment, the added “difficulty” level when Space starts to shit on you. And it all just happens organically.
The secret puzzles were the most rewarding. I only managed to solve a couple — the first was a mysterious tablet with a QR code on it. I had just deleted the QR reader from my phone the day before because I NEVER used it! I reinstalled it and used it on my computer screen to find a coded message, which yielded me a prize of another full cube for Gomie (I can call him that, right?)
I came upon another mysterious stone which started shaking my controller as I touched it. At the same time, strange sounds started beeping into my ears. The cool thing was, it was only after completing the QR puzzle did I realize that this was code as well. Beep in the right ear, beep in the left, another beep in the left… wait a minute! It’s a puzzle!
That was probably the highlight of the game for me. There are more that I missed, which I’m sure are clever puzzles as well, but I need to move on. I’ve spent too much time here and other games beckon.
My final impression: It’s been a while where I played a game that felt like a real Puzzle Game, and not just a platformer with some puzzle mechanics. It’s well worth your time.
P.S. The New Game Plus had some cute little end-game surprises as well. 🙂