Metascore
89

Generally favorable reviews - based on 66 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 66
  2. Negative: 0 out of 66
  1. May 13, 2012
    100
    A masterpiece of a game that draws inspiration from many classic franchises in order to deliver a unique experience. Don't miss it!
  2. 100
    Fez is an adorable game full of life, secrets and that encourages players to explore.
  3. Apr 24, 2012
    100
    For those with any kind of an inclination to the days where games put more effort into enjoyment than just looking good, this is an absolute must play.
  4. Apr 19, 2012
    100
    FEZ uses the entire history of video games as a background for the gameplay. Wherever you go, you will instinctively know what to do. All you have left is to be mesmerized by the adventure and solve countless of impressively clever puzzles.
  5. Apr 17, 2012
    100
    Here is a keen reminder of gaming's ability to provide we who live in a world charted by satellites and Google Maps with new frontiers, with the unfettered joy of discovery, with the sense of our own psychical and mental horizons being expanded.
  6. Apr 16, 2012
    100
    The aesthetics, the way it plays, the satisfaction of discovery – all are aspects that are missing in too many modern releases. Should you have found your interest in gaming to be waning of late, then this may have the power to restore your faith in the industry's ability to surprise and innovate. For that alone, Fez deserves your undivided attention.
  7. 100
    There's absolutely no doubt that Fez is essential. As a fan of games in general, you should consider it required reading - it's one of the smartest, most charming games you'll ever play, let alone just this year or this console generation. Somehow Polytron has constructed something that tweaks our nostalgia for the 16-bit era and yet presents fresh, imaginative challenges.
  8. Apr 12, 2012
    100
    I haven't smiled as much while playing a game since my first multiplayer run of LittleBigPlanet, and even then I was only smiling because I was terrible and enjoyed frustrating my friends as they ran gracefully through the levels. Fez is comparable to Braid or Limbo in terms of recent indie platformers, but it is infinitely more heartwarming than Braid and less terrifying than Limbo...There's a lot to be said for a game that can make a grown woman squeal with glee dozens of times in a playthrough.
  9. Apr 12, 2012
    100
    The simple joy of exploration is at the very heart of the appeal of video games. In Fez, it's absolutely unfettered.
  10. Apr 30, 2012
    96
    Fez is a breath of fresh air. A real Masterpiece!
  11. May 4, 2012
    95
    Fez is one of the best Live Arcade ever. The game shows a perfect mixture of platform gaming, puzzle solving and so on. Pure Poetry.
  12. Apr 19, 2012
    95
    FEZ is an effect of many painful years of creation, but it was worth the wait. Right now it's definitely the best adventure platformer for XBLA. Perhaps FEZ is two years late to be called a milestone, but it can most certainly be called a work of art.
  13. Apr 17, 2012
    95
    It's an absolute must-buy and, despite it still being early in 2012, a strong contender for indie game of the year.
  14. Apr 13, 2012
    95
    If you like the retro style, 2D platforming and above all good taste, Fez is your game. One of those outstanding games that raises the bar for what to expect from an indie studio. A must-have for Xbox Live Arcade.
  15. Apr 12, 2012
    95
    Fez is a truly remarkable game, and can be placed in the indie pantheon along with Cave Story and VVVVVV. It provides a unique sandbox to engage in puzzle platforming, and it does that platforming aspect well - if you're fan of the genre, don't miss out on Fez. Let's just hope the sequel doesn't take five years to produce.
  16. Apr 11, 2012
    95
    Curiosity, envy, and excitement dominate conversations about bewildering thematic patterns, creative solutions to intelligent puzzles, and unforgettable level design. Players are likely to gush about the beautiful aesthetic and childlike sense of wonder in equal measure.
  17. 95
    For an experience that could've drowned in an overreliance on using familiar signposts from what's come before it, Fez succeeds in celebrating the past in a smart, joyous way that has us incredibly excited for gaming's future.
  18. Apr 25, 2012
    94
    Fez is a videogame with brilliant puzzles that will kill your brain. It might take you a while to crack one of these puzzles, but the payoff is great! Together with the beautiful and atmospheric graphics, Fez makes for one hell of an Xbox Live Arcade game.
  19. Apr 16, 2012
    94
    An absolutely incredible experience that simply shouldn't be missed.
  20. Apr 11, 2012
    93
    No other game captures the potential and magic of the concept like Fez. The result is one of the most accessible, clever, and mind-altering experiences on the gaming market.
  21. May 2, 2012
    92
    For what is a very reasonable price of 800MSP, Fez is a game that will give you hours of gameplay. There are still questions unanswered, even with the collective mind of the internet, so who knows how much the game has to offer. I do know that, even now, you will get a lot of enjoyment and frustration from this game if you are at all interested in puzzles. The cuteness and originality far exceeded my first expectations, and bodes for an overall excellent game.
  22. Jun 20, 2012
    91
    An interesting and fun puzzle platformer. The visually flat, but actually three-dimensional levels are very cleverly built. [June 2012]
  23. Apr 16, 2012
    91
    If you're a 360 owner, you definitely owe it to yourself to check this one out. It's worth the price of admission if you just plan to play through to the ending, but its value goes above and beyond if you really dig into what Fez has to offer. Even though the wait has been pretty long, I find myself incredibly pleased with the final result.
  24. Jun 13, 2012
    90
    It's the most thought-provoking and fascinating game I've played all year. [July 2012, p.66]
  25. 90
    Its hidden depths might be too obscure for some, but this is the kind of title XBLA was made for. [Issue#85, p.91]
  26. May 27, 2012
    90
    Deceptively cutesy, mind-crunchingly complex cult hit with more layers than an Eskimo. [July 2012, p.82]
  27. May 20, 2012
    90
    Though it may not flow as smoothly and simply as something like the recent Journey, Fez is a straight-up, forward-thinking shot of puzzle gaming goodness.
  28. Apr 29, 2012
    90
    Be warned: just like the games of our past Fez is a game that will constantly test you, frustrate you, and then reward you in ways only a game like this can.
  29. Apr 24, 2012
    90
    Fez is engrossing, but it is not perfect. The puzzles are quite difficult, and more vexing still is the map screen, and the obtuse way the game world has been slotted together. No doubt after five or so years weaving the labyrinthine maps of the Fez multiverse, Phil Fish has an instinctive grasp of precisely where all the games warp gates will take you. A newcomer greeted by a 3D lattice of cryptically annotated cubes my find things a tad heavier going.
  30. Apr 21, 2012
    90
    On its surface, Fez looks to be a simple, charming puzzle platformer with a cool three-dimensional twist. Dive deeper into this wondrous world full of pretty pictures and beautiful chip tunes music, and it'll reveal a second game within Fez: a brilliant puzzle game that gets under your skin and can keep you staring at the screen for hours on end.
  31. Apr 21, 2012
    90
    A work of art, an original puzzle platform with outstanding visuals and music. Slightly afflicted by a mixed-bag jump system and weird map design.
  32. Apr 19, 2012
    90
    Fez is a brilliant game, very original and fun to play. Recommended to all lovers of good games.
  33. Apr 18, 2012
    90
    One of the finest, little gems of the entire XBLA panorama, this first Polytron title really deserves all of your attention and love.
  34. Apr 17, 2012
    90
    You travel through an engaging world full of secrets and hidden clues. You watch, you take notes, you ponder, you think about what is happening on the screen. This is a mysterious journey through time and space – charming, fascinating, unique.
  35. Apr 17, 2012
    90
    A great platformer full of charm and intelligence.
  36. Apr 16, 2012
    90
    Fez may not be as polished as its pairs, the Limbos and the Braids, but it's the indie gem we were expecting it to be. It's an ode to 8bit clichés for sure, but also a puzzler that will appeal to all the thinkers and explorers alike, filled with cuteness, an awesome soundtrack and atmosphere, and quite a load of secrets to uncover.
  37. Apr 16, 2012
    90
    You will turn and shift every new room like a child handling a new toy that still has that special fragrance of fresh plastic – the smell of birthdays and Christmases. One can easily forget what kind of arduous design-process must have been necessary to create this almost hypnotic and wondrous effect.
  38. Apr 14, 2012
    90
    FEZ is not just a nostalgia exercise, or a 2D platformer, or an attempt of trying to bring back the glorious 8-Bit pixelated days, no. FEZ is simply an astonishing game, a playable experience no one calling himself a gamer should miss. And truly a brain-teaser at its highest level, too!
  39. Apr 14, 2012
    90
    It's a crazed urgency that you'll embrace until completion, threading your way round Polytron's crazily idiosyncratic open-world masterpiece until every corner has been reached and, more importantly, understood.
  40. Apr 14, 2012
    90
    Keenly channeling the wit and spirit of a bygone age while keeping its stubby little feet firmly planted in the present, Fez is a remarkable little gem of a game that truly deserves the attention it's been given in its long maturation period.
  41. Apr 13, 2012
    90
    FEZ is one of the most accessible and best experiences you can find on XBLA.
  42. Apr 13, 2012
    90
    Although it's not exactly the indie revolution many expected, there's more talent in a couple of Fez's levels than in many entire triple A games published in recent years.
  43. Apr 12, 2012
    90
    The best puzzle games have the ability to make the player feel inversely smart and stupid. Fez takes this further than any game we've ever played, giving us the feeling of being both cackling genius and babbling idiot within minutes of each other. It's an absolute triumph in creating something new both in terms of its platforming and its puzzle solving; blending together genres in ways we've never seen.
  44. Apr 12, 2012
    90
    Perhaps more appealing than the brain teasers is Fez's mesmerizing setting. I'm not usually a fan of low-fi aesthetics for the sake of looking retro, and initially Fez might resemble an 8-bit throwback, but upon closer inspection it's a finely detailed world simply made out of cubes with scenery as varied, atmospheric, and inspired as any triple-A title I've played.
  45. Apr 11, 2012
    90
    The route you pick through Polytron's floating world is nearly impossible to verbalise, while its puzzles resolve themselves in your mind unexpectedly, in clear, wordless chunks. There's really no language to cover many of the things you get up to in Fez. For a videogame in 2012, that may be the ultimate endorsement.
  46. Apr 11, 2012
    90
    FEZ may not look quite so unique these days, but once you start playing it, you'll notice how its quality, ingenious level design, and lovable personality keep it in the upper echelons of indie gaming.
  47. May 19, 2012
    85
    Given the amount of development time and the public nature of the game, Fez no longer seems like a revolutionary title. The puzzle mechanics has been used in several different ways in other games (that were released earlier), and the move away from realism and into a more whimsical, older look has also been done by other titles. The graphics and sound are still charming, even if it falters in a few places. More importantly, the game does a great job of throwing in a number of obtuse and brain-melting puzzles, and the sense of elation when you finally solve them is second to none. Those who love a good challenge will have some fun with this well-made puzzle platformer.
  48. Apr 11, 2012
    83
    It's a neat trick for a game to dish out a real challenge without inflicting a lot of stress in the process. This is not something we see very often, and it would be nice if developers could replicate this experience more frequently.
  49. May 15, 2012
    80
    Fez pulls you in with its unique premise and forces you to change your perspective and solve puzzles in new and inventive ways. Beneath the cutesy retraux visuals and simple platforming lies one of the most fiendishly deep puzzle experiences in 2012.
  50. May 10, 2012
    80
    Unique atmosphere, lovely retro visuals and extremely enjoyable gameplay mechanics. The game could be a bit more friendly though, because it's easy to get confused in the intriguing world of Fez. [June 2012, p.84]
  51. 80
    Fez is a very nice platform game with an excellent idea of turning into the game world that will attract you almost immediately. [May 2012]
  52. 80
    It's hard not to like Fez. Try for yourself and see if you won't be hypnotized by its labyrinthine cubism.
  53. Apr 30, 2012
    80
    Fez is quite a game, especially for people who look for interesting atmosphere and setting in their games.
  54. Apr 30, 2012
    80
    Played superficially, Fez can be completed in an afternoon but to get the most value out of the $10 price tag, you'll want to dig deep and explore a world filled to the brim with secrets just begging to be uncovered.
  55. Apr 26, 2012
    80
    Fez is the most authentic exploration of the NES-era of games I've ever played, from its sound and visuals to its obtuseness. It uses the capabilities of current systems to take those ideas farther, while limiting itself with specific intentions, deploying scrutability in bits and pieces. It doesn't just love the games it borrows from – it understands them.
  56. Apr 24, 2012
    80
    Fez straddles the line between platformer and puzzler, taking the best from each genre and blending it into a refreshing whole. It doesn't punish experimentation or require advanced controller skills, letting you discover the game's secrets at your own pace.
  57. Apr 23, 2012
    80
    It's got a great art style and an interesting enough gameplay hook. But don't let it fool you into thinking it's all about platforming and world turning. It's not. It's a game about taking in information and using it in ways you never would have expected.
  58. Apr 19, 2012
    80
    Fez is ultimately a game about games much in the same way Hugo is a film about films. Fez can be very demanding to get the most out of it, but without ever actually asking anything of you. Do not play Fez to beat it, but play to explore and get lost in its puzzles and pixilated world.
  59. Apr 16, 2012
    80
    It's just the right mixture of charm and insanity. Even if you end up letting a collective of Internet sleuths guide you by the hand as you work your way through the game's cubes, anti-cubes, artifacts, and other items, Fez still somehow manages to be worth seeing, if only to marvel at how much weird work went into making what we all thought was just a retro-styled perspective-shifting puzzle game into something decidedly more mind-bending.
  60. Apr 16, 2012
    80
    Solve puzzles by changing perspective in this charming, retro styled plattformer. The puzzles are ingenious, but it is in the presentation that Fez really shines.
  61. Apr 13, 2012
    80
    Small problems occasionally get in the way, but Fez has such intricate puzzles and enticing aesthetics that it's still an engaging journey.
  62. Apr 12, 2012
    80
    The overall experience though is hypnotically beautiful, both visually and in terms of its almost transcendent ability to make you think and care about its virtual world. Forget the labels of it being an indie game or download, this is a great work of imagination and well worth the wait.
  63. Apr 12, 2012
    80
    Fez is a flawed work of genius, in a way. The base mechanics are lacking, glitches abound and yet the world -- so full of secrets and hidden puzzles -- is an utter joy to explore.
  64. May 16, 2012
    75
    Don't be fooled. Unveiled as a retro game, FEZ is a breath of fresh air. Inspired by a lot of 80s games, FEZ is both a platform and puzzle-game that will enchant the players, thanks to its beautiful design, its ingenious riddles, and the perfect use of 2D and 3D graphics. Despite some frame-rate issues, surely FEZ is a game that you need to add to your digital game library.
  65. May 4, 2012
    70
    Fez is an imaginative and congenial indie game. However, it had been in development for a very long time, which means the game's effort to "do things differently" is somewhat forced, inferior and even irritating sometimes. Nevertheless, thanks to rewards after successfully solved puzzles, thanks to detailed graphics with well-made mechanics of the game world rotating - you will gladly and constantly return to this title.
  66. Apr 11, 2012
    70
    Polytron has crafted an exceedingly gorgeous world, full of surprises, temples, and eye-melting cuteness. Switching perspectives holds up as a gameplay mechanic, deftly avoiding gimicky traps along the way...Still, technical missteps and a confusing, unintuitive map system, confusing branches and game crashes remind us that Fez isn't the indie hero we need right now, but the one we deserve.
User Score
6.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 354 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 96
  2. Negative: 23 out of 96
  1. Apr 13, 2012
    4
    The game promises revolutionary gameplay the likes of which would change the gaming world. What FEZ presents is a watered down experience from an indie blender. The art style of Cave story, mixed with the gameplay mechanics of Paper Mario and Monolith. All in all, the game leaves much to be desired, especially when you can get better for free. Full Review »
  2. Apr 13, 2012
    10
    Fez is an amazing piece of work that shows meticulous attention to every little detail that it shows to the player. What makes Fez stand out, however, is all the little things that aren't directly obvious. There is an almost intimidating and uncountable amount of content that is hidden, secret or written in non-existent language. Fez presents itself through amazing art and animation, music and a careful tendency towards being a calm & peaceful place with a darker undertone. The lack of combat might make Fez feel somewhat slow or uninteresting to some that are more pre-disposed towards Call of Duty or more action-oriented games, but to me Fez stands out as the first real adventure game in a decade. It is a game I want to play without walkthrough or spoilers simply because it so subtly challenges me to figure it out myself through its elaborate world and fiction.

    Fez appeals to me in the nostalgic craving for a proper adventure game, yet stands out because it goes beyond just being a nostalgic throwback. Fez isn't scared to radically overthrow some notions about what games should be while being a truly interesting game first and foremost at all times.

    Fez is something remarkably special.
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 13, 2012
    5
    No objectives but collecting blocks put in plain sight, no goals otherwise. No indication of where to go. Music is just ambiance, and every time you enter a new area there's a long intro scoping around it like it's some piece of art.

    It obviously thinks it's something deep and gorgeous when it's a bare bones platformer. Exploration isn't fun or interesting, just boring. No consequences, fall damage prevents needing to redo platforming you screwed up on.
    Full Review »