#1 Posted by TheMasterDS (2362 posts) -

The "Wander About a Big World in Whatever Order You Fancy Solving Puzzles To Get New Areas You Can Explore and Solve Puzzles in or Whatever" genre Fez, Antichamber and Kirby and the Amazing Mirror belong to needs a better name than WAaBWiWOYFSPTGNAYCEaSPioW. Let's come up with one because I think with Antichamber's coming it sort of feels like an actual genre to me now rather than being "Just the way Fez is." It's related to a Metroidvania only with no or next to no roadblocks requiring upgrades. Well, Antichamber has a few upgrades but you can get them in 5 minutes if you know what you're doing. Also I think it's a really cool genre. Fez, Antichamber, Kirby, all really fun games with big worlds it was always just fun to explore. Hell, they're fun to explore even when you've already juiced them to completion. I know because I lost Fez save data twice (updates!) and played that Kirby game a few times over the years. And I did wander around Antichamber a fair bit even after I had found everything that's to be found.

They're rich worlds filled with things to discover through exploration. I mean that both in the sense that you discover interesting areas and you discover things about the mechanics of the world. You also discover puzzles and their solutions very organically with basically no pressure as you're free to back out at any time. That's a really good property.

Anyway, names. Would "Fezchamber" be too terrible? How about Antimirror? Hmmm... Fezby & The Anti Genre. No, that's no good. Hmmm... Best I got is Fezchamber. What do you have?

#2 Posted by jking47 (1266 posts) -

Puzzle games.

#3 Posted by Ramone (3066 posts) -
#4 Edited by LikeaSsur (1668 posts) -

Puzzle Adventure?

#5 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4761 posts) -
#6 Posted by MikkaQ (10296 posts) -

Puzzle game, if you want to get all stupid with genre though how about this: ambient puzzle game.

Oooh I'm good, I know.

#7 Edited by Coafi (1519 posts) -

@mikkaq said:

Puzzle game, if you want to get all stupid with genre though how about this: ambient puzzle game.

Oooh I'm good, I know.

Maybe, too good.

#8 Edited by TheMasterDS (2362 posts) -

The wandering around a big world in whatever order you choose part is important though. Additionally that aspect transcends the Puzzle Genre and is appears in other genres sometimes without the puzzle aspect. Kirby and the Amazing Mirror structure is basically the same as Fez's structure only without puzzles. That shouldn't be ignored. Hell, even if it was just Fez and Antichamber the concept of this structure shouldn't be ignored. If not name it as a genre at least name it as a concept, an aspect to be applied to a puzzle game, a light platformer or whatever else it can fit into in the future.

#9 Posted by Little_Socrates (5834 posts) -

There is very, very little connection between those three games.

Well, between Antichamber, Kirby, and the cool part of Fez, anyways. The part that actually makes Fez interesting is not a puzzle platformer, and it's got no connections to Antichamber.

Antichamber is just a puzzle game. It's more comparable to Portal than Fez; it's like a long-form, nonlinear Portal. And Kirby and the Amazing Mirror contains connections to that first ambient part of Fez, but, as far as I played, it's nothing like the cool part of Fez.

Fez is more of a Myst-like, as far as I've been told. I haven't played Myst, but I've played the hell out Fez. I beat Antichamber too, and it's just not the same kind of game. Where Fez is actually a little insane and is deeply, deeply personal, Antichamber is intentionally impersonal and is really just a poorly-explained Portal. Not having a narrator does indeed make it mindbending, but it's only the game's refusal to explain its mechanics that makes it difficult.

To be clear, I like Antichamber a lot. I just think it could be a lot more interesting if it incorporated more of what made Portal or Fez so engaging.

#10 Edited by TheMasterDS (2362 posts) -

@little_socrates: Take a bigger look at the structure of the games to spot the similarities. The best way to describe Antichamber with other games is by saying Portal Puzzles applied to Fez's structure. In both games you have a big world which you are free to explore. In both games the most important yield from exploring the areas you have to explore is finding more areas to explore. In both games the amount of limitations you have on movement are limited, Fez having none other than Anticubes you need NG+ for and Antichamber having a few which can be done in 5, 10 minutes if you only knew where to go. In both most if not all of the game can be considered optional. In Fez you could get any 32 cubes to see the ending, in Antichamber 90% of the game is strictly speaking optional. Make no mistake, at core their structures are so similar it's crazy.

Kirby is also more or less that way in that you're given a world which has limitations on it and you can go anywhere you like and defeat any of the bosses in any order you choose. It'd be like Megaman if you didn't choose which one you went after first by exploring a big interconnected world filled with stuff to discover. More or less, it's perhaps a little more tenuous as it has no puzzle aspect.

#11 Posted by MaFoLu (1868 posts) -

Why not just Puzzle Adventure? It's an adventure game in the sense that you are exploring and adventuring in the world, and you're also solving puzzles. Done.

#12 Edited by noobcubed (28 posts) -

How about abstract puzzle games.

It's like a puzzle game but you say abstract in front of it to signify how bonkers that shit is.

#13 Posted by MikkaQ (10296 posts) -

@mafolu said:

Why not just Puzzle Adventure? It's an adventure game in the sense that you are exploring and adventuring in the world, and you're also solving puzzles. Done.

But that's every adventure game ever.

#14 Posted by Little_Socrates (5834 posts) -

@themasterds: I really don't see why Fez is your go-to for exploration-based gaming. That's not a concept unique to Fez, like, at all. Super Metroid is just an action version of this concept. Yet Antichamber is more similar to Super Metroid than Fez because so much content is optional; the game can have a "speed run" where a ridiculous amount of content is flat-out skipped, while Fez requires you to collect at least 32 cubes, which is at least half the content in the game. More importantly, any easy-to-acquire anticubes can only be solved through cracking codes and through a mechanic unlocked in the game's NG+. You can't "skip most of the content in Fez" as you suggested, and the New Game + is pretty much "the real game" according to a ridiculous number of its players.

Again, exploration-based gaming is a long-running concept. The original Legend of Zelda lets you play the dungeons out of order just as Kirby and the Amazing Mirror does. It's not a genre like action games or puzzle games because it applies to so many different kinds of games. I mean, you can skip a large portion of Fallout 3 if you know where to go and just skip Megaton and barrel towards Vault 112. Dark Souls has a similar open-world structure and ambiguous storytelling too.

I think the comparison between Fez and Antichamber is being brought about because they're difficult puzzle games with exploration elements. But the differences between them are so overwhelming that I think the comparison is supremely lazy, especially when Fez has Myst and Antichamber has Portal.

#15 Edited by crusader8463 (14744 posts) -

Personally I call them ZzZzZzZzZzZz's, but I doubt that will catch on.

#16 Posted by OfficeGamer (1120 posts) -


#17 Posted by aquamarin (590 posts) -

Personally I call them ZzZzZzZzZzZz's, but I doubt that will catch on.

I lol'd.