Fe Review – A Sound Little Platformer

Electronic Arts is known for publishing the big AAA titles, where yearly franchise releases and big budgets are the focus. Recently, however, they’ve taken a step into a new direction and market; the small budget market, which is being dominated by Indie developers – the EA Originals. Fe is their latest title in this new direction for the companyIt’s not the most unique platformer out there, but what it offers is an enjoyable experience, albeit quite a short one.

Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Developer: Zoink Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: February 16, 2018
Price: $19.99
This review is based on a review code provided by Electronic Arts.

In Fe you play as a fox-like creature in this strange world that is being slowly destroyed and taken over by these monstrous beings. It’s your job to interact with your fellow animal friends and help stop these menacing creatures. That’s the game’s basic premise. It starts off in mystery, but slowly unfolds and reveals itself the more you play it. This is definitely one of the game’s stronger points, where it weaves story and gameplay together to help progress the story. There’s no dialogue between the animals, just mere interactions that relay the story through them.

You’ll never feel lost as you play the game, however. It’s vague and observatory nature of story-telling isn’t a cause for hitting roadblocks and wondering where to go. Fe, unlike most games of a similar air, gives you a map and waypoint system, so as to always make sure you’re on the right path. Although, the mark on your map doesn’t give away your objective entirely. It just serves as a point of reference for where you should be heading, everything else is down to you. Still, the waypoint system may make the game feel linear and as if it’s holding your hand, however, the game gives you an option to turn it off, so you can freely explore and figure the game out for yourself.

Traversing through the game is serviceable for a platformer. It doesn’t give that many options, such as a Mario game, where you can long jump or triple jump, but just a single jump for our tiny fox hero. It can feel a bit floaty at times and expect to hit a lot of ledges instead of actually landing on them. It’s nothing players won’t get used to after a while, but it could’ve been better. This, in turn, does make doing the various objectives tedious at times. A lot of your objectives focus around fetching certain items in order to progress, so the lack of platforming variety can make your journey a bit of a slog.

Aside from your platforming, you have your main ability, which is sound. Fe’s main mechanic focuses on the sound you make as an animal and how you interact with the other animal sounds to unlock certain areas and platform devices. From a gameplay perspective it doesn’t offer much and is just a means to interact with certain objects and areas. What it lacks in gameplay it makes up for in giving this world personality, especially with how you interact with the other animals.

This ties into the other major strength, which is its presentation. Fe chooses to convey the emotion and atmosphere of its world through color. Each area uses a different color to distinguish from the rest, which is also a great way to help you keep track of where you’re going. When it comes to the atmosphere, especially when relevant story interactions are happening, the game is quick to switch up its palette to striking colors, such red or orange. This all works especially well with the juxtaposition against the darkish purple creatures and environments, thus enhancing the sudden color changes.

Fe achieves the goal of being a tiny tale from a behemoth of a publisher. The game itself isn’t a knock out of the park, but the world it has built and the experience of going through it was still enjoyable. Fe is a sound platformer, but not one you’ll likely hear from as time goes on.

Fe - Review
Score Definition
We tell you, it’s a good game! It’s not average! It might have some problems here and there, but you have to admit it is a “Good” game.
Subtle, but great world building