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Relic Hunters Zero: Duck Hunting Season Is Now Open



Published by: Zueira Digital
Developed by: Rogue Snail
Platform(s): Steam
Genre(s): Twin-stick shooter
Mode(s): Single and multiplayer
Game Type: ,
90/ 100

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Colorful presentation; responsive controls and fluid character movement; open-source format would allow modders to recreate aspects of the game; intergalactic soundbytes is actually well-composed


Truncated gameplay

Posted September 4, 2015 by

Relic Hunters Zero

There are many unfriendly ducks in this game.

Relic Hunters Zero is a rebellion against free-to-play Steam games that require micro-transactions to keep gameplay moving. Despite its short length, Relic Hunters Zero is straightforward action, passing its continuity to open-source mechanics talented enough to bring back second life to a free-to-play space jam filled with ducks, guns, and loadouts.

Relic Hunters Zero has a shoot first, ask questions later mentality. Actually, the story is succinctly told during the game’s first and only loading screen: Duke Ducan and his army of armed ducks set out to rule the galaxy by locating powerful relics remotely hidden somewhere underground at Asteroid Dungeon Nemesis. Your mission is to roast Ducan and his flock of angry birds with guns, explosives, and an overpowered glove.

Combat is very satisfying. You select between Jimmy or Pinkyy between missions and you pluck out Ducan’s armed squadron of ducks by selecting two weapons from your loadout. Your ship’s loadout, like any other shooter, improves after you get past level 1. Relic Hunters Zero has only four levels and three stages per level. The game is truncated and feels forced sometimes, with your playthrough summarized into teleporting back to the same level you finished moments ago. More characters and one additional game mode can be unlocked after climbing up a few flight of stairs.

Revisiting levels can be rewarding. Your loadout of weapons can be bought using Bounty stars, which can be harvested from fallen enemies. Stringing together kill combos increase the star value collected, thus its fairly important for players to equip weapons that can do a lot of damage during crowd control situations. Ducks often band together, so it’s almost easy to get multiple kills during enemy encounters. 

Relics are important collectibles that can be mined after finishing a stage. Combining three pieces of the same relic will grant Jimmy or Pinkyy a permanent boost to hit point or shield outputs. Relics can also be randomly bought from the shop from where your character will be transported back after completing the third stage from any level.

Relic Hunters Zero’s performance and presentation as a twin-stick shooter are its formidable strengths. Sniping ducks from afar sounds really cartoonish, but the whole environment – from destructible cover to kill animations – supports the universe this game is on.  As a shooter, Relic Hunters Zero moves like the streams of clear river water. Controls are easy-to-learn, responsive, and praisingly useful. Getting behind cover, running, or dashing backwards to avoid massive line of fire can be enjoyably combined to make combat look like an actual shooter!

Rogue Snail wrote on their website that Relic Hunters Zero is a project that took 100% labor from the game’s two developers. Its questionable length can be easily dismissed, because Relic Hunters Zero’s open-source format will allow others to repurpose the game’s content, enhancing it further and making it uniquely playable the second time around. And I’m really excited to equip a few gun hacks being created out there by the game’s community of modders.

Derek Vicente

Derek has been with Flipgeeks for almost three years. His first video game was Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Saturn and after blowing their television set after playing too much Rambo, he has set on a journey to play some of the best (and worst) role-playing games ever spawned. He recently completed Wild Arms 2 without any cheat codes.


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