We're celebrating the end of 2012 with our favorite anime, manga, and video games of the year! In our Best of 2012 Staff Picks, each of our contributors selects two titles and writes a short post for each about why it's awesome.


An oddity of innovation, puzzle-platformer Fez honors 8-bit games of yore without resting solely on pixilated mimicry. The story starts when an utterly alien hexahedron appears to Gomez, a two-dimensional creature in a two-dimensional world, and grants him a magical fez that lets him perceive and move about his two-dimensional world in three dimensions. By using his newfound ability of dimensional exploration, Gomez unwittingly shatters reality (and the hexahedron) and is instructed by a hypercube to retrieve all of the scattered pieces. All that story is necessary, because the brilliance lies in the complimentary gameplay. Players can rotate the world in 90-degree increments to explore a flat-faced, three-dimensional world. The same perspective shifts also take advantage of the world’s lack of depth to afford movements that would not be possible in a 3D world. Fez’s scenario and mechanics thus work hand-in-hand as homage, geometrical in-joke, and a brilliant new way to leverage an outdated aesthetic.
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