FEZ is a puzzle platformer made by independent developer Polytron Corporation, and ranks number five in my top five most frustrating games ever. It's been in development for pretty much forever, with the project being started in 2007 and published on Xbox Live Arcade in 2012. The reason it's so well known is because it's gone through a rough development process (even more so than most indie games). The main reason for this is that the project was very ambitious, and the creators really had no idea just how difficult it would be to build the game they envisioned. After nearly 3 years of development, everything that could have possibly gone wrong did. The game's creator Phillipe Poisson (better known as Phil Fish) decided to radically redesign the game's artwork, causing it to miss its 2010 XBLA release date. Because of this, his business partner left Polytron, and the company lost its grant from the Canadian government. This left Fish and his programmer Renaud Berdard to pick up the slack. Their struggle to ready the game for release is documented in Indie Game: The Movie. Eventually they finished the game, made the 2012 release, and everybody was happy except for hardcore PC users. However, now the game is ported to PC, so I'm happy too.
*If you just want to read about the story, skip to here*
Anyway, what makes this game actually cool is its gameplay and story. The main character is a 2D sprite named Gomez. At the beginning of the game, he lives in his 2D village, and receives a letter from some old guy. The old guy shows him an ancient warp gate at the top of the village , which transports him to the top of the world. There he meets the Hexahedron (which is a big floating cube), and it informs him that the world he lives in has three spatial dimensions instead of two. His current servant is getting old (hence, the old guy), and he needs a new person to keep the 3D world in order. He gives him a magic fez, which allows him to perceive the 3D world in four separate 2D perspectives. However, just after this happens, the world malfunctions, and the hexahedron explodes and is scattered across the world. To beat the game, you have to assemble all of the cubes and cube bits to put the hexahedron back together and save the world from collapse.
*If you want to read about gameplay, skip to here*
The entire game works around this idea of revolving perspective. Depending on which direction you look at the world, the distance between objects changes, which allows you to pass obstacles that would be impossible from a different angle. I love this idea, because the fact that you can only see 1/4 of the world at any given time is what makes the game challenging, and it feels good to rotate the world and suddenly find a way past that big gap.