Relicta, Review. Magnetic Game
The initial feature from Valencian studio Mighty Polygon is a worthwhile puzzle game with good ideas, though the story doesn’t work out well.
Dr. Patel at the foot of Chandra’s moon, where she works as a scientist. Equipped with special gloves, it develops gravitational and magnetic experiments. The place, far from being the wasteland we all start in our minds, has been transformed to show a completely different picture: forests, snow landscapes and a whole series of sites have been built to emulate life on earth. It’s not one day for the main character, as his daughter is about to visit her, but how could she do otherwise, the plans don’t turn out as planned. So begins Relicta, a puzzle game enshrined in the story to offer an experience as demanding as it is worthwhile.
This science fiction production is the beginning of Mighty Polygon, which received support from Koch Media for the edition of its indie video game, available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Google Stadia. Relicta was born from the ashes of Pine Away, a prototype they designed to launch as a commercial game, but which fell by the wayside, as Santi Álex Mañas, the studio’s founder, confirmed in an interview with MeriStation: “During the development Pine Away came a time when we saw that we could not continue, that it did not fit well in the market, so it was canceled ”.
Story and puzzles, two elements that go together?
Comparisons are unavoidable: Portal goes for a game of intellectually loaded puzzles, but outside of the concurrent points, the main difference is that the environments are much larger than those that Valve is entitled to. In that context, gameplay colonization puzzles and they force the player to rack his brain, scan the scenarios and draw a plan in his mind to open the doors and paths that will allow him to move on to the following scenarios.
Mighty Polygon did its best to provide a story that gives shelter to the gameplay, a storyline that guides you through the long puzzle sessions we have to face as we engage with Dr. Patel on his adventures on the Moon. The game has Spanish subtitles, of course. Some will complain that, although it is a Spanish product, the studio has chosen dubbing in English. “The cost of dubbing is quite expensive, so we had to choose the language that best served the international market, in this case English ”, they explain from the developer. After all, Relicta is not a high-budget product, which is also reflected in the quality of the dubbing. Not to be disastrous, the performances are far below the level that other projects have become accustomed to, not to mention that the dialogue is sometimes abruptly cut by mistake.
The studio is making a commendable effort in trying to bring some narrative packaging to the product. However, the two aspects of which it is composed do not marry too well. Is the story interesting enough to keep you in the lead? The answer is no. Mighty Polygon tries to give meaning to what we do during the game through a story without too many hooks, which serves almost as an excuse to solve puzzles and does not measure its tone well. His comedic moments have no excitement and the most dramatic dialogue doesn’t come up because his characters are shallow. The bottom line is that the connection between gameplay and storytelling is vague., as if they were two different parts.
It is precisely these first-person puzzles that make Relicta a much more interesting experience. The concept is simple: in relatively wide sections, we have to move a series of blocks to make our way through the scenarios. First, the puzzles are completed without major difficulties, however the difficulty increases rapidly. The Valencians are based on two nuclear concepts, gravity and magnetism. Combining the two aspects of physics will be essential to your success in the mission. This way, we can fly the blocks, but we have to play with their polarity in order to move them at our convenience.
Dr.’s magnetic gloves allow Patel her to do three main activity: supply positive or negative magnetism to the blocks (indicated in blue or red), activate gravity and push them. For example, if we want to attract two boxes, we will have to choose a different magnetism for each of them, and if we want to reverse them from each other, the solution will be to choose the same polarity. The game consists of moving the blocks to the right place to activate the corresponding switches, although it is not as simple a task as it seems, since the number of boxes is limited and we have to put them in the corresponding place , sometimes with millimeter accuracy.
As the game progresses, the puzzles become more difficult, to the point where the progress curve is broken. We go from more or less puzzles to much more complex puzzles. Perhaps that move should have been made more quickly, since a feeling of frustration will soon take its place. The size of the elements to be considered and the relative breadth of the scenarios require that the player must think very well about his next steps. If we are confused we can always start, since the worthwhile feeling that comes from completing a complex puzzle invites you to give it a try. Perhaps the biggest hurdle for Relicta is its era, which in our view is redundant. A closer experience would lead to more positive emotions. Anyway, puzzle lovers will find a highly recommended title.
Review of the PS4 version.
Relicta tries to blend storytelling and puzzles, although the results of that union are not entirely satisfactory. The story is seen, in a way, alien to the gameplay, disconnected from the tasks we have to do to move on. Mighty Polygon has done its best to give the game a narrative shield that draws the player’s attention, even though its puzzles are what really work. We will modify the magnetism of the blocks, take them from one place to another in the settings, open the switches that open doors and play with all sorts of possibilities what we will do for more than 10 hours that will take six to end the episode. It’s not an easy title, the curve of difficulty may have been wiped out more, but the worthwhile feeling that comes from solving one of the many puzzles we have to face is amazing. Anyway, at least I didn’t go down without explaining myself first.
THE BEST _____
- Well thought out puzzles
- How satisfying it is to solve a puzzle
- The ambition while trying to give it a narrative component
- The plot is uninteresting and does not match the gameplay
- Slightly excessive difficulty curve
- It gets too long
It’s not the latest or the most original, it doesn’t have the best execution either, but it could be fun if you like the genre. Good, but there is room for improvement.