The Relic Review

By , on April 14, 2011

The Relic
Download on the AppStore
2 out of 5


  • Varied, detailed art design.
  • Attempts to streamline the Action-RPG experience.


  • Poor movement and attack controls; auto-targeting conflicts with movement and attacking devolves immediately in to pure spamming.
  • Poor enemy AI; if they're not suiciding on your sword they're endlessly running away.
  • Game breaking bugs; occasionally the game would skip the ability to upgrade skills, leaving the character under-powered for extended periods.


Despite having a long, rich history supporting the Action-RPG, The Relic strikes out on its own and manages to get lost in the wilderness in the process; hold off on this one till updates address its core gameplay.

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When you think about Action-RPGs and what you expect of them the list is generally fairly small. Oodles of monsters with maybe a boss or two sprinkled in; silly spells or attacks to crush them all; and maybe an item drop to push those easily manipulated brain cells in to playing a little longer. What you shouldn't need to include on the list is: being able to move around; being able to attack enemies; and being able to upgrade your skills. The Relic by Clickgamer and Axolotl Studios has seemingly missed this memo and while there's an appeal to mindlessly attacking enemies, it's only lasts for a short time.

The controls try to make life easier for players by incorporating automatic enemy targeting and to a lesser degree, automatic movement, streamlining the process of killing various monsters. Initially the virtual stick and button setup performs admirably, however once you reach packs of enemies that can form a semi-circle around your character the experience shifts gears to something far less appealing as you electric-slide your way through monsters while being jostled back and forth as your auto-target fights against your movements controls, all but removing any input you have on what's happening. Attacking comes in the form of bland melee and magic buttons that can be spammed freely, taking away any sense of skill in the process of dispatching enemies as well.

Various items including gold, souls and potions can drop from enemies and serve to keep you upright for just a little bit longer, but upgrading your skills is often limited to finding shops or completing levels to spend the 'kills' you've accumulated. This obviously encourages blindly fighting large mobs, which is also obliged by the game's constantly spawning packs of enemies in areas you've cleared out, but this also discourages exploration as you come to loathe the sight of enemies and their bizarre AI. Most enemies do prefer to fight close-up, but should you encounter a ranged enemy you'll find yourself chasing them from corner to corner as they endlessly run away, taking minimal damage unless you happen to break their pathing by trapping them in a corner and staying still.

What should be a simple hack and slash experience is rendered almost painful by the lack of polish in almost every aspect of the gameplay in The Relic. The few good points that remain such as the interesting artwork (especially the 2D cutscene work) are overwhelmingly crushed by the frustrating game that surrounds it. Until an update addresses some of the basic concerns it's recommended that you keep your distance from this title.


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