The Relic, a top-down hack ‘n’ slash developed by Axolotl Studios and published by Clickgamer, is available from the app store. Despite a recent update that fixed that control issues that plagued its initial launch, The Relic remains a sub-par title that lacks both realistic animations and a sense of enjoyment that would compel us to keep playing.
The Relic Pros:
- Nice graphics
- Decent audio
- Joystick controls have been fixed
- Crystal integration for global leaderboards and achievements
The Relic Cons:
- Gameplay issues remain (doors, attack animations)
- Not compelling or enjoyable, confusing upgrade system
- Animations look awkward
Playing as a bare-chested warrior with an axe to grind (literally), you wend your way through dungeons, fighting random hordes of skeletons and other sinister beings while slowly discovering bits of information about an ancient Relic that you must seek out. Along the way, you collect gold and mana, as well as various objects to help you along your way, such as keys and rings. As your kill count accumulates, you can earn special abilities, too. It’s fairly convoluted and not exactly clear what is going on. Battle animations are awkward, with no real sense of when you get hit or whether you are hitting your mark or not. It’s just a flurry of activity that typically leaves enemies laid out except for the occasional instance when the screen gets dim and red and you take your leave of this world. There are still a number of annoyances, such as fighting enemies in doorways. Since the “open door” button is the same as the attack button, you cannot fight the enemies that swarm you as soon as you open a door because the attack button repeatedly opens and closes the door instead. We want to like the game, but it’s just not ready for prime time.
Graphically, it looks pretty decent, with nicely detailed environments, but good looks won’t save this game. The method by which you add abilities or improve your character is very confusing and at no time did we feel that we had a good handle on the overall game. The soundtrack is quite good, with a nice track that plays over the menus that could be a tune on the radio. The score that plays during the game has a bit of a movie quality about it, which we enjoyed. The controls work better now, with a joypad on the left for movement and buttons for attacking, ring powers, and more on the right. Unfortunately, as we noted above, they tend to get in their own way. The best we could do was try to aim for the bad guys and mash the attack button.
Replay value is low, as the gameplay was kind of boring and did little to encourage us to keep playing. Crystal integration brings leaderboards for gold and kills, as well as a bunch of achievements. The Relic is a universal app that costs $0.99, though it only earns a disappointing 2.5-Dimple score.
The Relic Review,