Did you solve the black monolith puzzle in Fez? Ars Technica chronicles the collective quest to solve the most cryptic puzzle of the game. This one involves cryptography and random guesswork.
I must confess that I simply don’t have patience for this kind of thing anymore. Fez is beautiful and charming, but I am bored out of my skull by go-everywhere-click-everything-guess-backtrack-repeat puzzles.
Fez is surely supposed to be interestingly old-school & challenging, but I think this type of puzzle worked much better when you were 12 and only had a single game – and you were playing it with your friends on long afternoons.
At the same time, the feeling of impossibility is fundamental to the enjoyment of puzzles: a good puzzle has to appear to be impossible, however briefly. This is why I am conflicted about Portal 2, which I completed without ever feeling stuck for more than a minute or two. Never being stuck makes me feel good about myself, but I can’t help but also feel that Portal 2 just played it a little too safe and was too afraid of veering outside my comfort zone.
I think the problem with puzzles in a game like Fez is that the delay between having a new idea for a solution, and trying it out, is just too big because of the traveling and exploration involved, so you end up repeating the same increasingly uninteresting actions over and over in order to try out new ideas for solving a given puzzle (full disclosure: I am not far into Fez).