Relic Rush Review

By , on February 20, 2013

Relic Rush
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Very simple controls.
  • Some clever things are done with timing.


  • Doesn't really fully explore the concept.
  • Music can get quite annoying.


An interesting little platformer that's based around timing your way forward in order to get the treasure, complete with a low-fi presentation. Serviceable, but doesn't really deliver on its promise.

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Does anyone remember that game This Could Hurt? It used a simple touch mechanic to stop the player character in his tracks as you made your way through a deadly trap-laden obstacle course. Relic Rush revisits this concept, albeit in a low-fi pixel form. It also has the aura of adventure! Yes, you not only rush to get these relics, but the journey should result in a rush as well. That was at least the intention I'm guessing.

Each level consists of eight rooms that have to be traveled through on one timer bar that sits on the top of the screen. The bar changes from gold, to silver, to bronze indicating the color of the idol you'll receive at the end. Ladders are climbed, enemies are passed underneath, and chasms are leaped, all the with the help of fortunately placed up arrows. Tapping the screen will halt your adventurer as you time his antics to avoid all the nasties littered around each bite-sized stage, but if you do get hit and perish, you will immediately re-spawn at the entrance of the current room.

Most pixel art these days tries its best to imitate the 8-bit era, but Relic Rush looks like it's from an earlier period. Nothing gets in the way of the gameplay though so the style is fine for what it is. The sound is chiptune as you would expect, and I don't know if it's the repetition of the track, or the jarring high notes, but it quickly becomes annoying to the point of flicking that mute switch.

While Relic Rush has some interesting combinations of its obstacles, the whole thing comes off as kind of boring; sort of going through the motions. The timer bar can make for some tense gameplay in some of the final screens of a level, but the rest of the time is just spent making your way to the exit without much engagement. It would be nice to have this gameplay mechanic explored in a two dimensional context more fully. Perhaps in a sequel or additional content.


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