Game designer Mark Venturelli and artist Betu Souza, when not working on the fun-looking Chroma Squad, have been busy tinkering away at something in their spare time. As they’re such swell people, they’ve decided that, this Fall, they’ll give out this little project for free. Not Free to Play free, where your free game asks you for two dollars periodically or you can’t win, but actual free. No dollars. Top-down tactical shooting action. Charming graphics. Violent/adorable pixel art hordes thirsty for your blood. Open source. So, a nice package considering it sets you back nothing besides your downloading time.
The game is Relic Hunters Zero, and it’s twelve levels of good fun. It’s a top-down shooter with a little Smash TV vibe where you face off against huge groups of enemies. Clever use of terrain as cover and purchasing the right weapons (with in-game currency instead of my real-world money) will get you through each of the various enemy legions until you make your way to the final big boss. The huge pixel art enemies all look pretty goofy, but they are indeed out to get you, so you’d better get your own equally cute characters out of harm’s way, lest you become a blocky skeleton on the ground. The enemies are randomly placed as well, to keep you from getting too used to the game, but so are the items that will help you see the ending.
Honestly, the gameplay mechanics are hardly groundbreaking, but the cute art style and the fact that it’s free make it pretty hard to turn the game down. It’s simple, but the current gameplay videos make it look sharp. You boot it up and start blasting away at your enemies. It’s fast-paced and tightly designed, so if you want to have a free good game this Fall, Relic Hunters Zero could use your Greenlight vote.