Who needs Indiana Jones?
It's a good old fashioned archaeological adventure in Relic Quest, a hidden object game sprinkled with a simple museum simulation. After six months in the hot desert working for the OMNI archaeological group, you stumble across a strange blue crystal in the sand. It turns out a group of smugglers is out to steal this and other relics, so you spring into action to secure the museum and find the remaining artifacts first!
Relic Quest is split between hidden object scenes and the museum management section, both of which feed into one another to give you a constant supply of quests to complete. In the hidden object areas, you'll go from room to room with short lists of items to find. The faster you locate them the higher your score will be, and the higher your score the more experience and coins you'll earn. It doesn't get much more complicated than a shrunken or opaque item or two, so don't worry about opening drawers or completing puzzles to find what you need. Just seek and click, accessing one of several different hint types if you ever get stuck.
Outside of the hidden object scenes you'll work managing the isometric-style museum. Here, you'll gradually unlock new exhibits, which gives you access to more hidden object scenes along with additional rooms to decorate with new decor or mini-exhibits. All of this adds to your museum rating, which is the stat that determines when you get new scenes to explore. It's a very tidy cycle that keeps looping back onto itself, giving you more items to find, more things to decorate with, and more collectibles to amass as the game progresses.
You can't have a Facebook game without different currencies, and Relic Quest goes all-out when it comes to numbers to track. Stars function as experience, lightning bolts as energy for entering hidden object scenes, coins are for buying items and museum expansions, and cash is used to buy premium items. Got all that? It's actually pretty simple when it comes down to it, but it gives developer iWin plenty of opportunities to feature microtransactions to refill your stockpile by spending real-world cash or bugging Facebook friends. Even though it's always a click or two away, the in-game shop is never shoved in your face. It's more of a convenience tool and is surprisingly well-balanced for a game so dependent upon activity-limiting currencies.
As the story progresses you begin to uncover new plots and find out more about the smuggler Brotherhood, the museum, and the ancient relic you're searching for. The actual happenings are secondary to the game itself, but they have a sort of guilty charm to them. Like watching a cheesy B-movie. You don't take it seriously, it's just there for entertainment, but without it Relic Quest would feel pretty stale.
As far as hidden object games go, Relic Quest delivers exactly what everyone wants: loads of items, a stout adventure, tons of extra things to uncover, and a little bit of museum management, too. The Facebook features are integrated at every corner, but they don't really get in the way of the experience. A well-made and good looking game on every front!
- Snappy interface. Simple but enjoyable story. Great graphics, especially for a Facebook game.
- Fairly dependent upon in-game currencies. Nothing out of the ordinary as far as gameplay is concerned.