Fez

Fez fuses retro psychedelia with the spirit of the Nintendo classics to create a mysterious and wonderful adventure game.

Spotlight

EssentialFez Review

Just like that.

VideoNew Fez footage circles around

Another glimpse at the isometric Xbox Live Arcade wonder.

VideoHats off to this new Fez footage

Entrancing Xbox Live Arcade puzzler due early 2012.

VideoFez footage is visually stunning

XBLA platformer just around the corner.

Key events

The first games I played were games of memory. My English grandfather was full of them. Parlour games, mainly. There was one in which each chair in his living room became a station and his family became trains. He would stand in the middle of the room and direct the trains between the stations, and you had to remember which train you were and where the station you were headed to could be found. At five or six, I found it overwhelming, but also intoxicating. (At 39, I now look back and suspect my grandfather wished he hadn't spent his life as clerk of the local magistrate's court.) Then there was another game - I've since learned that it's called Kim's Game, but as a kid I assumed my grandfather had invented it - in which he arranged a tray with bits and pieces from around the house, gave us a minute to study them all and then covered the tray with a cloth and quietly removed one item. When he uncovered the tray again we all had to spot what was missing.

Surprise Fez update adds speedrun mode

We haven't heard a peep out of Fez, the incredible puzzle platform game from the mind of Phil Fish, in quite a while. Yesterday, it got a huge update.

Developer Renaud Bédard, who worked with Fish on Fez while at Polytron, released update 1.12 yesterday to the PC, Mac and Linux versions of the game.

There's a list of major and minor features as well as bug fixes on Steam. Of note: the update adds a speedrun mode. As Bédard says: "Gotta Gomez fast".

Read more

Fan-harassed writer Jennifer Hepler leaves BioWare

Questions whether abusive fans scare away talent.

Jennifer Hepler, the BioWare writer harassed by fans for her work on Dragon Age 2 - and for comments made years earlier about wishing to skip combat sections in games - this week left the famed RPG studio to work on a book and pursue some freelance work.

Fez developer Polytron is "working with Sony"

Mac and Linux ports are still on the way.

While Fez 2 was unceremoniously cancelled over the weekend, developer Polytron's producer Marie-Christine Bourdua confirmed that the studio has more projects to reveal, some of which it's collaborating with Sony on.

CliffyB appeals to Phil Fish for games industry return

"Never underestimate the intestinal fortitude of the anonymous loser."

Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski has penned an open letter to embattled Fez developer Phil Fish, imploring him to return to games development following his high profile departure over the weekend.

Fez 2 cancelled, Fish swims away from the game industry

During E3, in a surprise move that no one saw coming, Fez creator Phil Fish announced that he was making a sequel to Eurogamer's 2012 Game of the Year, Fez. Now, in an even more surprising move, he's cancelled it.

"It's with a heavy heart that we announce that Fez 2 has been cancelled and is no longer in development," read developer Polytron's recent tweet. "We apologise for the disappointment."

Prior to that, Fish stated on Twitter, "I'm getting out of games because I choose not to put up with this abuse anymore."

Read more

Phil Fish to patch Fez on Xbox Live Arcade

Phil Fish to patch Fez on Xbox Live Arcade

"IT'S A 4TH OF JULY MIRACLE."

Polytron will patch the Xbox Live Arcade version of Fez, Phil Fish has announced.

"GOOD NEWS EVERYONE: we're going to patch FEZ on XBLA!" he wrote on Twitter.

"It's going to take a few months, though," he added, "but we're doing it!"

Read more

Microsoft no longer charges developers to patch their Xbox 360 games

Microsoft no longer charges developers to patch their Xbox 360 games

UPDATE: Microsoft confirms. Fez creator Phil Fish investigating if this is retroactive.

UPDATE #3: Microsoft has provided Eurogamer with a full statement regarding its decision to drop charges for Xbox 360 game patches.

"Microsoft eliminated fees for Title Updates on Xbox 360 Arcade games in April 2013," a spokesperson said, reiterating what Hryb and Whitten announced below. "We're constantly evaluating our policies and implementing feedback.

"While our development policies are confidential, and will remain so, we're pleased to say that this is just one of many ongoing changes and improvements we've made to ensure Xbox is the best place possible for developers and gamers."

Read more

Fez sells 200,000 copies in a year on Xbox Live Arcade

Fez sells 200,000 copies in a year on Xbox Live Arcade

"Which is completely f***ing crazy when you think about it."

Indie darling Fez has sold more than 200,000 copies since its release on Xbox Live Arcade a year ago.

In a blog post marking the game's first birthday, controversial creator Phil Fish wrote that it had been a "truly transformative" 12 months.

"Suddenly becoming so loved and so hated by so many teaches you some humility," Fish said, presumably referencing the backlash he faced last year over his comments that modern Japanese games "just suck".

Read more

Fez dated for Steam in early May

UPDATE: Coming to Mac, but probably not 3DS. Working with Sony to hopefully make a PSN port.

Update: Fez creator Phil Fish has confirmed that a Mac port is on the way as well, but no date has been set for it.

Trends of 2013: Rise of the indies

How the changing industry has created a perfect storm of indie development.

2013 will be the year when indie developers reclaim their rightful place as the creative engine of the industry. I'm not going to claim any great powers of prognostication for this one, since it really feels like stating the obvious, so much so that it barely even qualifies as a trend, which suggests a fleeting fad to be seized, exhausted and abandoned. This is more of an inexorable march, the inevitable result of the commercial entropy that is demolishing the games industry systems that have endured for over twenty years.

Developers' Games of 2012

Levine! Molyneux! Dean Hall!

You lot have your fun with this. And we do, too. So it's only fair that game developers, the people who smash the virtual hammers onto the virtual anvils, get their chance. What are the games of 2012 according to the likes of Ken Levine, Peter Molyneux and other game design luminaries? Read on to find out.

It's been kind of an angry year, you know? First everyone went mental about the end of Mass Effect 3, driving BioWare's founders into exile and appointing the internet as lead designer of the next one. Then E3 rolled around and every new trailer was like Saw vs. Hostel, the peak of which was Sam Fisher wiggling a knife around in someone's shoulder (presumably it's "Better with Kinect", too), and of course at around the same time Square Enix began to establish itself as the discerning choice for the discriminating gamer. Then there was that other business...

Save corrupting Fez patch back online

Save corrupting Fez patch back online

"For 99 per cent of people, it makes Fez a better game."

Fez developer Polytron has decided to re-issue the buggy patch that corrupted some player's save files.

Why? Because fixing it would require the very costly process of getting the game re-certified.

"Microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game," the studio wrote on its blog.

Read more

Microsoft pulls Fez patch

Microsoft pulls Fez patch

"YAY GAME DEVELOPMENT!"

Microsoft has pulled the Fez patch that last week caused some players' save files to corrupt.

"UPDATE : CRISIS SEMI-AVERTED!" began a post on the Polytron website.

"Microsoft has pulled the patch out of Live for now, so at least the problem won't affect new users.

Read more

New Fez patch is

New Fez patch is "kinda broken", warns Polytron

Players report corrupted save files.

A new title update for XBLA indie platformer Fez is causing some players' save files to corrupt, developer Polytron has warned.

A note on the studio's Twitter feed earlier today warned followers not to install it, with a post on its official site then adding further detail as to exactly what's going on:

"There is an issue that seems fairly widespread where the save file can be seen as corrupted by the game after installing the patch," it read.

Read more

Actual New Games of 2012: The Half-Time Verdict

We pass judgement on the candidates from January and add a few to the list.

Back at the start of January, we wrote of our hope that 2012 would bring us more Actual New Games. As much as we like stuff like Diablo 3 (when we can play it), we also want games that "invent new styles and genres", as I said at the time.

Fez racks up 100,000 XBLA sales

Fez racks up 100,000 XBLA sales

Acclaimed indie platformer does the business.

Labyrinthine indie platformer Fez has now sold over 100,000 downloads on Xbox Live Arcade.

Creator Phil Fish broke the news on the official Polytron site via a cute piece of art.

Fish recently aired frustrations on Twitter over difficulties getting XBLA sales data from Microsoft. It seems the platform holder has finally come through.

Read more

Indie Game: The Movie download date announced

Indie Game: The Movie download date announced

Coming to iTunes, Steam next month.

Award-winning documentary Indie Game: The Movie will be released for download on 12th June worldwide.

You'll be able to nab it from iTunes, Steam and at IndieGameTheMovie.com, where you can also pre-order the Blu-ray and DVD.

The film follows the development of Super Meat Boy, details the protracted development and legal troubles surrounding Fez and offers personal interviews with creators.

Read more

Eurogamer's Fez Notebooks

The things we scribbled down while deciphering Polytron's XBLA masterpiece.

It's been a long time since we've had good cause to reach for a pen and paper while playing a video game, and we certainly can't recall the last time so many of us were compelled to do so at once, so Polytron's Xbox Live Arcade sensation Fez has really rolled back the years. We're used to lateral thinking, but relative letter frequencies and substitution ciphers? Most of the time we can barely hold enough variables in our heads to cross the road successfully.

Minecraft breaks day-one XBLA sales record

Minecraft breaks day-one XBLA sales record

But Fez studio upset at Microsoft's special treatment for Mojang.

Minecraft has smashed the record for the most day-one Xbox Live Arcade sales, Microsoft has announced.

The platform holder didn't offer exact figures, but said that Mojang's game has now overtaken Trials Evolution, which set a new record last month.

Earlier today, creator Markus 'Notch' Persson revealed via his Twitter feed that the console version of his game was profitable within an hour of going on sale.

Read more

Eurogamer.net Podcast 109: Fez! Trials! Witcher!

Oli and the Toms talk XBLA's greatest and the world's worst tutorial before playing some music!

Ready your accusations of bias, because this week's Eurogamer.net podcast is a bit of an Xbox-fest - by accident, not design, we promise. That's if three awesome 360 sort-of-exclusives releasing in the space of six days is an accident! (It probably is.)

What is Indie?

DIY developers discuss what it means to go solo, and whether the label really matters.

Back in the early '90s, the definition of 'indie' music went under a transformation. What had started as a tag for any act that released music without the help of a major record label became a way of describing - and selling - a sound and a lifestyle. Once it was all about crudely recorded cassette tapes and direct, intimate fan interaction; today it's Coldplay, with all the corporate fixings.

Game of the Week: Fez

Today is special day! Adventure is ready!

I'll let you in on a secret. Recently, I haven't liked video games very much. No - scratch that. I'll always like games, I'll always be fascinated by them, I'll always have admiration for their creators and take professional satisfaction from trying to understand and articulate how, and why, they work.

Fez Review

EssentialFez Review

Just like that.

You don't need to go hunting for meaning in Fez. Chat to the villagers at the very start of the game and one wise old coot says, "Reality is perception. Perception is subjective." If there's a theme to the perspective-shift puzzles of Polytron's "2D platformer in a 3D world," then there it is. Philosophy so dispensed with, we can all just get on with soaking up the mystery and wonder of this fabulous adventure game.

In Fez, you play Gomez, a blob-headed sprite living in a peaceful, two-dimensional pixel village. One morning, he witnesses a strange event in which a monolithic golden cube disintegrates into hundreds of fragments, threatening the fabric of his reality so much that it glitches, crashes and resets (with a nice impression of an old DOS boot screen). At the same time, a magical red hat - the fez of the title - grants Gomez knowledge of his world's greatest and oldest secret: there are actually three dimensions.

Now - as well as running, jumping and climbing as he seeks the cube fragments that made up the golden "hexahedron" - Gomez can rotate his world through 90 degrees before it snaps back into a flat plane. The perspective shift reveals hidden areas and realigns platforms; a yawning gap becomes an easy jump, a thin sliver becomes a wide gangway, and impassable distances are squashed into nothingness. It's a combination of the wraparound platforming of cult '80s game Nebulus with the Escher-like spatial non-sequiturs of Echochrome, and it's a wonderful conjuring trick.

Read more

Fez development finally wraps up

Stunning indie platformer submitted to Microsoft.

Rabidly-anticipated Xbox Live Arcade platformer Fez is finally ready for release, developer Polytron has revealed.

Trends of 2012: Indie Games

An indie bundle of British developers predicts this year's trends.

In much the same way that the music industry struggles to define indie music, so indie games is a term that's increasingly slippery in the hands. Most would agree that an indie game is one produced without the financial backing of a publisher, but as the lines of sales and distribution blur with each passing year, so the indie label becomes less trustworthy. Your game may be wearing Converse, but does it bleed My Bloody Valentine?

Actual New Games of 2012

Wonder and joy, please.

Back in December the Eurogamer editorial team had a massive public fight about whether 2011 was a good year for games. Well, we had the closest thing we're capable of having to a massive public fight - we wrote polite editorials disagreeing with one another. One thing we all agreed upon, however, was that we would very much like to see more Actual New Games in 2012.

Making an XBLA Game: The Inside Story

Contracts, exclusivity and outsourced Avatar items.

Canadian developer Brian Provinciano spent two months negotiating his contract with Microsoft to get Retro City Rampage on Xbox Live Arcade. It was, to say the least, a tough process - and one that he could have done without. It delayed the creation of the game, but in the end he thought f*** it, and signed on the bottom line.

Fez delayed until early 2012

Bewitching XBLA platformer still not ready.

Intriguing Xbox Live Arcade platformer Fez has been pushed back until early 2012, co-creator Phil Fish has announced.

GameCity announces Zelda Takeover Day

GameCity announces Zelda Takeover Day

Plus, Fez to get week-long showcase.

This year's GameCity event in Nottingham features a Zelda Takeover Day, organisers have announced.

In celebration of the franchise's 25th anniversary, the event is holding a series of Zelda-themed events on Saturday 29th October.

Nottingham's Old Market Square is to be transformed into a Hyrulean marekt village for the day. Visitors will be able to craft their own sword and shield, learn to play the ocarina and stop off for refreshments at the LonLon Milk Bar.

Read more

Fez dev: PC and PSN "would make sense"

But WiiWare can "f*** off".

Any PC or PlayStation 3 users who've checked out the delightful trailer for forthcoming Xbox Live Arcade platformer Fez have justifiable cause to feel more than a little jealous.

Independent Games Festival Roundup

The race for the prize.

Having played most of the Seumas McNally Grand Finalists for the Independent Games Festival next month, I really don't envy the judges. Entirely smitten by what I played of World of Goo, I presumed it was a shoe-in. Then Walker let me have a crack of the code of Crayon Physics Deluxe which is plain magical, and technically an enormous leap on from what I'd played in the freely available early prototypes. Finally, with Jim acting as a facilitator, I found myself introducing Audiosurf to my MP3 library. They may be getting married. It's technically and conceptually a tour de force. Any one would be a worthy winner.