Freebie Friday: Relic Hunters


Freebie Friday is a semi-regular news feature where we talk about a freeware, just free or open source game. It can be anything from a throwaway web game to a free-to-play RPG or mobile puzzle game. This time: Relic Hunters.

Something a little bit different for this Freebie Friday: not only is Relic Hunters free, it’s also open source, meaning the code is available for anyone to pick through, and it’s also going to be released on Steam on 18 August. You can see a little bit in the trailer below.

Relic Hunters is from Brazilian developers Rogue Snail, who already have a couple of games under their belts: Chroma Squad and Dungeonland. They also have a pretty good blog where they talk shop about the nitty gritty of game development, and how to make the most of their open source code. The game is a quirky mix of minimal pixel art, frantic gameplay and retro soundtrack.

  • Source code available! Create and enjoy mods or whole new games
  • Six playable Hunters
  • Play with mouse and keyboard + Full Xbox360 gamepad support
  • Amazing lo-fi soundtrack by Goto80
  • “Adventure” mode with 12 levels and persistent rewards
  • “Endless” mode to truly test your skills

My take

I’ve already mentioned that I’m a big proponent of open source, so the idea behind this already intrigues me. Opening up the code to everyone to encourage modding is clever, but not without risks. Yes, laying the code bare could help people dig up exploits, but it also could mean sturdier code as people find and fix issues. You don’t really associate Steam with completely free game releases, either. There are obviously plenty of Free to Play type games that turn out to be pay-to-win, but it’s definitely great to see a totally free game appear.

A classic of the top-down-shooter genre

Back when I had a SNES, I was a big fan of a game called Zombies Ate My Neighbors, a now-cult-classic run-and-gun game that this definitely has inherited some DNA from. Top-down shooters like this have a long history, way back beyond games like Konami’s Ikari Warriors, but there’s obviously plenty to explore in the genre. It lends itself great to games that don’t take themselves too seriously and want to inject some fun. It’s hard not to be reminded of the mayhem in Bitmap Brothers’ The Chaos Engine!

Your take

Got any other totally free games you like to play? Let us know in the comments!

Relic Hunters is out on Steam on 18 August.


About Dan Morse

From the Atari 2600 right through to bleeding fast PCs, Dan's played on them all. One thing that's never changed is an unwavering passion for video games. Twitter: @happydan | Steam: happydan | GOG: happydan