Each week, check out my latest article for the new hit game or add-on released for free from the Epic Games Store!
This week the free game is Relicta, a puzzle game where you use magnetism and gravity to overcome physics-based challenges. If you liked Portal and The Turing Test then Relicta is going to make you feel right at home.
Relicta is a first-person physics-based puzzle game where you need to creatively combine magnetism and gravity to unravel the secrets of Chandra Base. Alone in the depths of the Moon, your scientific mind is the only thing that can keep your daughter alive …
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The graphics and excellent puzzles are the main draw of Relicta, which manages to derive a lot of what is good about prior puzzle games without feeling derivative. The story falls a bit short in some regards, with the writing and voice acting not always living up to the rest of the game’s sleek design.
The main focus of the game is the intricate puzzle solving system, which involves manipulating special experimental cubes that are scattered throughout the environment (the beautifully rendered environment, I might add). With a combination of gravitic control and magnetism manipulation, you use these blocks to solve puzzles. However, the real magic of the system coming to life when you combine the two powers to create new and exciting effects with the experimental cubes.
While the story isn’t the best driver, either, it’s also not completely flat. It’s enough to keep you engaged on one level, while the incredible graphics keep you immersed in the whole environment. But, the real brilliance of the game is in the dastardly puzzles, which rarely have hints and are frequently fiendishly difficult to solve.
Mighty Polygon, the relatively new game company that designed Relicta, doesn’t yet have any other projects under their belt. But, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck when it comes to great puzzle games.
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We recommend The Talos Principle for something truly superb. It’s a few years old now, but still manages to be one of the best narrative puzzle games in history. Explore a philosophical first-person puzzle game from Croteam (Serious Sam) and written by Tom Jubert (FTL, The Swapper) and Jonas Kyratzes (Infinite Ocean). Solve complex puzzles woven into a metaphysical parable about intelligence and meaning in a doomed world.
The Epic Games Store has been around for a while, the lesser-known alternative to Steam, the nearly-ubiquitous platform for game purchases since it launched in 2003. But, where Steam originally existed and launched to promote Valve games, Epic Games Store launched in 2018 and quickly rose to success on the Fortnite franchise. At the time of Epic’s launch, Steam took a dramatic 30% cut from the sales of video games through their platform! This hurt both game designers and users, just wasn’t very nice. But the folks behind Epic realized something excellent: they could take a much lower cut and still have a profitable business. This led them to fast domination of the indie market, as small publishers flocked to the far better terms offered by Epic.
Epic Games Store offers some seriously incredible discounts on a regular basis, in addition to all the normal discounts one would expect on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the usual holidays. But the most exciting is their weekly free game or add-on, which simply harpoons all competitors.
When I first heard about this free game, I thought that can’t be real. They must only offer tiny indie games.Not at all, dear reader. Not. At. All. Epic frequently lists unbelievable A-lister games on their weekly deal, as well as sometimes offer two free games instead of one. In addition, just because a studio is smaller doesn’t mean the games it makes aren’t impressive. I’ve picked up some of my favorite new games, for free, from this platform, and most of them have been made by smaller studios (or as side-projects for teams from big studios).