Relicta follows the recent puzzle game that is Superliminal, after that was recently released on PS4 and Xbox One following its PC debut last year, but this new release is out on all three at the same time.
It also wants to mention itself in the same breath as the 2007 classic, Portal, but between the two, that was definitely more the case for Superliminal, given its mind-bending tactics.
Here, you take the role of Angelica Patel, a scientist thrown through a portal… no, not that one… and coming across tech that’s a century more advanced than anything she’s used to, but with her special gloves, you’re able to solve puzzles involving moving boxes about, such that – like magnets, opposites attract but like poles repel. In this case, applying a negative charge to one and a positive charge to the other will see them come together. Give them the same charge, and they split apart with force. As my gameplay footage shows, this can get you out of a tricky situation at times.
Before long, you can apply gravity to these boxes, causing them to levitate, and if you can climb on top of one and then make it zoom across the landscape, you can, effectively, travel on a ‘magic carpet’ for a brief time. Hence, it becomes a case of figuring out how to apply negative and positive charges to the boxes, whilst also applying gravity so, for example, one box floats across the room, then floats up, and knocks another box off, sometimes with you atop them.
That aspect is fairly easy to get to grips with, but it’s the puzzles that are the kicker. I like to think I can manage puzzles, but I was really getting foxed with these.
There’s a premise attached to this, such that your daughter, Kira, is wanting to join you, while there’s an annoying doctor, Laia Alami, and even when you have brief chats via a terminal, you never actually see any real faces like you might on Skype, but just cartoon avatars, so there’s a trick missed there, but I guess it was cheaper than filming footage to include in the game.
Given the simplistic nature of the game, this could one for kids, but the main characters keep swearing in their dialogue, making for rather pointless f words, which seemed out of place.
However, while it looks nice, it largely amounted to just running around empty corridors, then going outside and moving boxes about, as some footage I’ve uploaded shows. I couldn’t make it through the whole thing because it soon gets pretty tiresome, just shifting those crates about in a bid to solve a puzzle that’s not exciting, and barely feels like a puzzle and more like working for a removals company.
Overall Score: 3/10
Relicta is released today on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, although oddly, I can’t find either on Amazon, nor the consoles’ respective stores.
- Developer: Mighty Polygon
- Publisher: Ravenscourt Games
- Players: Single player campaign
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.