Polytron working on “serious” Fez bugs

Fez developer Polytron says it is aware of, and working on, a number of "pretty serious" bugs in its XBLA puzzle-platformer.

Since the game launched on Friday users have reported a range of issues, including corrupted save files, freezes, slowdown and, in some cases, the game failing to boot at all. In a post on the Polytron blog, programmer Renaud Bédard apologises and assures users that a patch is on the way.

"Fez had more testing done in the past 24 hours by about 20,000 people than it had in five years," he writes. "So, as it happens, bugs popped up. Some [of which are] pretty serious.

"A small subset of older Xboxes with smaller hard drives can't run the game at all. The game has trouble running off a USB stick. Crashes are occurring in specific levels or situations. In a rare situation, the save file becomes unusable. Nasty stuff.

"We will be working internally and with Microsoft on those issues and let you know more later. It makes sense to issue a patch, but we don't currently have an ETA on it.

"Sorry, and thanks for understanding! We're thrilled to see that the vast majority of you are enjoying the game as it was meant to be."

Bédard invites those with game-breaking problems to get in touch at support@fezgame.com. Many issues, he claims, already have workarounds, and the developer may be able to help struggling users get back up and running.

While Bédard's honesty is welcome, it's disappointing that a game that has been in development for so long – it was first announced in July 2007 – has launched with so many issues. Thankfully, they appear to only affect a small number of users, and the majority of those 20,000 day-one buyers are enjoying a title which won the Grand Prize at the Independent Games Festival Awards last month, and which our Fez review describes as "pure playfulness… an unexpected heir to Super Mario."