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Delightfully obtuse puzzle-platformer Fez is free at the Epic Games Store

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8-bit nostalgia with a ... twist

Fez protagonist Gomez stands inside the doorway of a series of purple-colored towers while pink waterfalls flow downward Polytron Corporation

The latest free game at the Epic Games Store is Fez, the beloved puzzle-platformer. It will be available for free at the storefront from Aug. 22 through Aug. 29.

In Fez, a magical hat (a fez, of course) allows the main character Gomez to manipulate his 2D environment, revealing it to be one side of a 3D universe. To save his world, Gomez must twist and turn his very reality. Like the 8-bit games it’s inspired by, Fez neither holds your hand through the mechanics nor punishes you with excessive or unfair deaths. Rather, it’s full of those aha moments that make puzzle games so satisfying.

Six years after its release, Fez is still one of the best spiritual successors to the NES era, since, as we wrote in our initial review, “It doesn’t just love the games it borrows from — it understands them.”

Fez is available to download for free at the Epic Games Store now, on both Mac and Windows PC. It will be replaced on Aug. 29 by Inside, developer Playdead’s follow-up to previous free game Limbo, and my own favorite game of 2018, Celeste.