We blogged about seeing Fez at PAX last year (as part of the fabled PAX 10 indie elite), and we're thrilled to see that it's finally hit Xbox Live—both because it's an intricate, gorgeously produced game that deserves a wider audience and because it's a trimuphant case study for French-Canadian-socialist games-as-art indie development. We only got a glimpse of Fez at PAX, but we've been playing it the last couple days and it's downright wondrous.

If you saw Fez before, you know the basic schtick: you're a 2D character (cutely fezzed) in a seemingly traditional 2D puzzler-platformer world, but then one day you discover that there's whole other dimension right around the corner. This 2D/3D world translates beautifully to the 360's controls, because you can quickly rotate the world left and right on its axis with the triggers or bumpers. Fez starts out feeling you're like playing a Bran Flakes album, but then it takes several mood and tone shifts as you dig deeper into its densely folded geometries. Definitely play Fez with headphones—and even if you're not a gamer, check out Fez's original soundtrack, maybe the best game album since Katamari Damacy's.

If you're looking for other sunny-Friday distractions, we're also liking:

  • the big feature on Jon Blow (of Braid) in the new Atlantic
  • Ben Kuchera's PAR write-up of Legend of Grimrock (how's this for an endorsement: "I spent an uncomfortable amount of time sipping a cup of coffee while deciding which member of my party should wear a particular helmet")
  • Super T.I.M.E. Force, which didn't make the Boston Indie Showcase but still looks amazing. The Contra-style game's ridiculous and awesome conceit is that each time you die, you go back and play the level again—only this time, accompanied by your previous life's ghost, until eventually you have an army of your past lives moving together through the level like an unholy undead assault team: