Relicta put to the test: physics puzzler with attraction

The laws of physics are so natural for us that we seldom become aware of them. Developer Mighty Polygon digs up the basics of physics, which many players have probably long forgotten, and packages them into a successful puzzle game.

Gameplay based on the portal principle

Like the well-known puzzle game Portal, Relicta relies on physics-based mind games in the first-person perspective. Instead of becoming a master of the portals, however, in Relicta we become a physics tamer.

In our hands we hold the power of magnetism, polarity and gravity. But only if we wear special gloves that visually remind us of smartphone gloves – but those from the over-over-the-next generation.







Creative possibilities, magnetic fields and powerful gloves are your means to success.



Creative possibilities, magnetic fields and powerful gloves are your means to success.

Source: PC Games




With our powerful, if not fashionable, accessories, we have to control spacey cubes and magnetic fields in such a way that we can place the cuboids on electronic interfaces at the end. Only when all the circuits for the impenetrable barrier are closed will we gain access to the next task. Here logical thinking and creativity meet in a wonderful way. The sometimes innovative and creative solutions challenged us, but were also a lot of fun.

Between frustration and the joy of puzzling







Obstacles make the way to the goal difficult. Cubes, for example, cannot pass the purple walls. So how do you get the cuboid on the other side? Tricky.



Obstacles make the way to the goal difficult. Cubes, for example, cannot pass the purple walls. So how do you get the cuboid on the other side? Tricky.

Source: PC Games




There is one thing you don't need to be afraid of in Relicta: easy puzzles. The tutorial starts like a subtle brain jog, but already in the first area of ​​responsibility your gray cells have to switch to Tryhard mode. The game is really relentless with its tasks and gives desperate puzzle riddlers neither solutions nor tips.

We would have found a few hints helpful, because the author of these lines had to linger in the thinking pose for over an hour before she could solve a particularly tricky task and continue with the game. So the puzzle potential is not just a relative quantity. Google-savvy gamers will certainly find a way to find a solution outside of the puzzler, but of course that takes away a lot of the fun of the puzzle.

Immersion and storytelling on point







The story is mainly conveyed through digital communication between the characters.



The story is mainly conveyed through digital communication between the characters.

Source: PC Games




In research, however, you are always on your own. Unfortunately, there are no tips or complete solutions in science. The protagonist Dr. Ask Angelica Patel daily. As a physicist, she works in a research facility on the moon that is powered by an alien crystal structure. In order to unravel the mystery of the crystalline relic and to save important people, Dr. Patel solve the demanding physics puzzles.

The story is really interesting for a puzzle game and, above all, well implemented. It was very easy for us to empathize with the physicist. In addition, the detailed surroundings and the subtle soundtrack ensure an immersive experience. A game where we not only want to progress for the sake of the puzzle, but also to advance the authentic story.







Hoses, cables and marked doors guide our way - but cannot replace a clever minimap.



Hoses, cables and marked doors guide our way – but cannot replace a clever minimap.

Source: PC Games




To get to the different puzzle areas, you have to go through the research facility to different areas. The way there is sometimes a bit of a mystery in itself. Although you get a few subtle hints of where to go, these are not absolutely clear.

Another problem is the missing quest log. Your task is only shown briefly and then remains lost forever. Relicta demands a good memory and a high level of concentration from you outside of the puzzle areas. After a long search, you will always find yourself back on the right track in the research station, which is manageable in terms of size but looks very similar. However, the lack of information in the wayfinding and the quests irritated us a little, because unlike the actual puzzles, these are obviously design weaknesses.

Advanced brain sprint

All in all, Relicta is really a successful game that has little to complain about. However, quick guesswork in between is not possible with this puzzler. For puzzler professionals and physics nerds as well as everyone who really wants to make their head smoke again, this title offers challenging puzzles with creative and innovative solutions. Relicta has been for PC since August 4, 2020; PS4 and Xbox One available. Happy puzzling!

My opinion

FromMelanie Weissmann
Author

This nut is tough to crack – but also damn tasty!

The smoke detectors in the editorial office almost sounded the alarm, my head puffed so much while playing. Long pondering and testing shape the gaming experience and put my resistance to frustration to the test. The greater is the satisfying feeling of finally having solved this or that incredibly difficult level – and without any help! Relicta manages to combine challenging puzzles with a great story and to motivate the player to a brooding marathon all by himself.

Innovative physics puzzles, creative solutions
Good and authentic story
Immersive gaming experience
Satisfying challenges
Too little help
Monotonously designed research station
Pathfinding not always well implemented

All in all a very well done physics puzzle game!

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