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The world is an intertwined maze that rely on specific portals to travel between. Since the entire game revolves around locating cubes -- a minimum of 32 cubes are required to reach the game's ending (64 cubes and "anti-cubes" exist in total). A considerable amount of backtracking is needed to locate the needed cubes; which are intentionally difficult to find and acquire. See More
Unlike other great puzzle games like Portal or Braid, many of the levels in Fez are unpredictable. You can't just look at the map and predict exactly what to do. You have to guess and check, and not all of the results are intuitive. While guess-and-check puzzles works well for games like The Witness, it's really tedious in a game like Fez. See More
Journey doesn't have any difficult mechanics, any explicit story, or even an interface. You simply run, jump, and glide through the desert, trying to reach a snowy mountain in the distance. Along the way you'll find items, enemies, and even companions, but there never are any interruptions. It all flows so nicely, it feels like you're going gently down the stream. See More
Journey is one of the shortest games ever made, clocking in just over two hours of gameplay. The ending credits will roll right as you're getting into it, leaving you unsatisfied. This may cause you to immediately replay it but it will never feel the same as your first playthrough. See More
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Wherever you look you'll find something beautiful to look at. This can be the obstructed sun shining down on an endless desert, creating a very calming scene. It can be the very detailed and massive ruins that sometimes look mysterious and sometimes imposing. It can be the sand beautifully shifting between your character's legs as it walks. It can even be your character's red robe and scarf fluttering in the wind as you glide across the desert. Everything in Journey looks so nice you just want to keep seeing more. See More
You can really feel the effort and care that went into creating the soundtrack. From the relaxing flute as you trot along the desert. The heartfelt cello solo as you slide through the ruins of an ancient civilization. To the dramatic piece performed by an entire orchestra as you fall into an abyss. The soundtrack helps you feel the right emotions at the right moments, making Journey an unforgettable experience. See More
Everything about this game leads you toward exploration, even the graphics. They're very vibrant and feel alive, invoking in you a sense of wonder. This is thanks to a great variety of colors, ranging from wild, hot pinks to more subdued ocean tones. The colors are also used contrast the environments and make them stand out. For example, there's a location painted orange autumn colors next to a grayish-white quarry. See More
Certain puzzles use colors to hint at the solution. If you're not able to tell them apart it may be impossible to solve the puzzles. There are also that puzzles require you to listen to the sounds in the environment and use them for the solution. Some of them are masked with sound effects such as car horns or birds chirping, making the puzzles hard to solve. This becomes a lot more difficult if your hearing is impaired. See More
Even if some of the puzzles are rage-inducingly hard, the world of the Witness is really peaceful. It's an uninhabited island littered with stone statues and mismatched environments. Yet none of it feels out of place. It is really intriguing to explore each new area, especially because you can find voice recordings in them. At first these may seem like simple audio logs, but each one contains essential clues to gently shift your thought process. To succeed you need to shift your perspective and think outside the box. See More
All of the puzzles use a simple concept where you draw a line from point A to point B to solve them. This could get old really fast, but the developer has thought of many ways to keep it fresh. While the regular variants are just maze puzzles, they gradually get new layers added to them. It can be symbols you have to separate, panels you have to look at from different angles or clues in the environment. Even after solving around 300 puzzles, the new puzzles you encounter will still feel exciting. See More
Diving through the ocean with an array of colorful fish is very soothing. Your character can even meditate, allowing you to gaze at the surrounding aquatic life. The orchestral music further adds to the soothing feeling, while also giving most locations a sense of wonder. Nothing quite like seeing a school of fish swimming around to the soft tune of pipe instruments. See More
Abzû was made by Thatgamecompany, the makers of Journey and Flower. In each of their games, they emphasize taking a distinctive art style and Abzû is no exception. It uses a very bright and vivid color palette to bring out the allure and mystique of the ocean. Lots of colorful fish and underwater plants with the sun shining down on you. Each location looks so peaceful it makes you rethink if the ocean truly is scary. Some of those are followed by a dark area, dim lights and ominous creatures to remind you of the fear. See More
There's no combat in Fe, resulting in some pretty tense situations with the monsters. If you are spotted by the Silent Ones, rather scary robotic creatures, they can kill you on sight. Hiding in a bush or climbing a tree in a panic to escape can deliver some pretty exciting and tense moments. No matter how careful you are in the open world, some objectives will require sneaking past or evading them to grab key items. These situations can deliver some of the most exciting moments in the game. See More
The platforming can feel a bit clunky or rough at times. For example, when climbing trees you have to jump to the top branch by branch. Hitting the jump button one time too many will result in falling and having to re-climb the tree from the base. It's just little unpolished details like this that can sometimes make the platforming feel a bit clumsy. See More
Songs are used to interact with the world and navigate the platforming aspects in interesting ways. Using various melodies, you'll be able to perform such actions as calling birds to help you cross large gaps, spring boarding off plants for super high jumps, and even summoning a stag to attack enemies. If you're ever lost, there is a melody you can use to call down a bird who will point you in the direction you need to be going. Using musical melodies to navigate the platforming is integrated incredibly well. See More
There is no dialogue in the game, so the story can be hard to follow at times. During cutscenes, sometimes you'll have no clue what's really going on due to their surreal and strange nature. A lot of the story is left up your own interpretation, which can be disappointing for those who prefer a solid, coherent narrative. See More
Abilities are learned gradually as the game progresses by collecting gems and also learning the musical language of the forest life from plants and animals. As you gain more abilities or learn how to interact with more creatures, you can then go back to old areas and find new paths that were previously inaccessible. For example, birds that may not have paid much attention to you before may now gladly carry you over large gaps once you speak their language. Plants can springboard you high into the air once you can communicate with them. This ability progression is an exciting way to keep things fresh, and makes visiting old areas rewarding with new secrets to be found. See More
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