2D Blaster Relic Hunters Zero Will Be Open Source, Free

As in, actually free, open-source free. Or “Free4Real” as developers Rogue Snail put it, presumably in an attempt to make me hate them personally. The two-man team of Betu Souza and Mark Venturelli are currently employed at Behold Studios, working on Chroma Squad. In their spare time they’ve made Relic Hunters Zero, a top-down shoot ’em up with a psychedelic style and heavily-armed animals. It’ll be out some time during autumn and they’re tackling the Greenlight gauntlet in the mean time. Strike a rad pose and continue below for a trailer and preview build thoughts.

Relic Hunters has that impact freezeframe, you know that one, where hits and kills stop the action for just a split second so you can admire your work. It’s cheap and common these days, because it works. It’s one of many details the game gets right, including the hordes of enemies on screen at once and the electronic soundtrack everyone seems to be constantly jiving to. It’s pretty basic to play, pointing and clicking on enemies until they satisfactorily explode. The fun’s there though, from a variety of weapons and the more challenging enemies requiring tactical manoeuvres. Some of the visual feedback isn’t perfect yet, particularly when it comes to reloading, but it’s already very polished for what will be a free game.

Rogue Snail are thinking of expanding it into a full commercial release if it’s successful, saying that would “be WAY more ambitious, something like The Legend of Zelda meets Borderlands.”


  1. tigerfort says:

    Slightly OT, but I’d like to take a moment to congratulate Behold Studios for contributing to this by treating their employees like people, rather than property. There are so many software companies (not limited to game devs, by any means) that insist on ownership of basically anything their employees code, even at home, that it’s refreshing (and pleasing) to see the much nicer attitude on display here.

    Also, the game looks awesome, and the price is my absolute favourite one :)

  2. josch says:

    Where does the info that it will be free as in freedom come from? I clicked on the links in the article and was not able to find it. If it’s in the audio track of the linked youtube video then I have to apologize for the lack of audio output of my hardware.

    • markventurelli says:

      We used it ironically, in an apparently (too) successful attempt to match the irky nature of the “Free2Play” label that people were slapping onto our game. It’s not in the video or anything, though, just some press materials and Greenlight stuff.

      Even though I’m not a native English speaker, I have never subscribed to the idea of using numbers as prepositions.

      • Robstafarian says:

        Please, offer a “twin stick shooter” control scheme for playing with a gamepad. It seems like this would alter the targeting for thrown subweapons, but I would not mind the throwing distance being governed by how long the button was held.

        • markventurelli says:

          This is actually what I’m working on this weekend :D

          I’m trying to make it feel as good as possible on the gamepads