January 3, 2013 Leave a comment
Part 1 of this little list highlighted eight of my favorite games from 2012. This post lays out my personal top 5 games of the year.
5. Fez—Polytron Corporation
Fez is a window into another world. Two worlds, really. On one hand, it’s a game of archaeology. You fumble around in an unfamiliar land, putting together the culture of an ancient civilization. You uncover their language and writing, each new bit a clue to the arcane puzzles hidden below the game’s familiar facade.
With a little knowledge of the game’s troubled development, however, it’s easy to see Fez more as a window into the troubled mind of its designer, Phil Fish. Making this game ate away at his physical, mental, and social health. As he tells it, it nearly killed him. It’s a madness that you can feel as you fall deeper into the Fez rabbit hole. Soon you’ll find yourself scribbling notes and decoding ciphers. You start to lose it yourself. Fez isn’t just a creator making a statement about the process of creation, it forces you to feel what that creator felt. The player and Phil Fish are connected through this world and its puzzles. His descent into lunacy and frustration becomes yours. It’s an utterly unique and mystifying expression of the horrors of creation.