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Rusted Moss Review – Metroidvania with a Twist

Rusted Moss, developed by Faxdoc, Happy Squared, and Sunny Daze, is a delightful 2D Metroidvania twin-stick shooter that captivates players with its unique gameplay mechanics and enchanting world. Published by Playism, this indie gem offers a refreshing twist on the genre, immersing players in a world where the ancient war between humankind and fae-folk unfolds in all its mystical glory.

At its core, Rusted Moss presents a fascinating tale of an unending struggle between humans and fae. Humans have managed to hold the fae at bay by utilizing iron-infused weapons, prolonging the Age of Men. But as the iron rusts away, the fae gain strength, and humanity finds itself faced with a constant battle to survive.

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Enter Fern, the changeling protagonist with extraordinary abilities, beckoned to break the cycle and unveil the secrets surrounding the human, changeling, and fae realms. As players embark on Fern’s journey, they’ll be engrossed by the game’s rich lore and mischievous fae folklore.

The narrative in Rusted Moss is an absolute delight for fans of enchanting tales. However, it must be noted that at times it can be slightly challenging to keep track of all the different plot threads and lore scattered throughout the game. Implementation of an in-game journal would be a welcome addition to help players better understand the intricacies of the story.

As players dive into Rusted Moss, they will equip themselves with an arsenal of weapons, starting with a trusty rifle. However, as they progress, more unique weapons with distinct properties are waiting to be discovered. From a pistol that launches buzzsaws to a shotgun with a knock-back effect, each weapon offers a fresh and strategic approach to combat. Additionally, players will stumble upon relics that enhance both their weapons and abilities, adding a layer of customization to their playstyle. The catch? One can only carry a limited number of relics, necessitating thoughtful decision-making when it comes to loadout optimization.

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While Rusted Moss certainly provides ample opportunities for players to showcase their marksmanship skills, it is the ingenious implementation of the grappling hook that truly sets this game apart. The physics-based elastic rope attached to the grappling hook allows for exhilarating momentum-driven traversal. Players must learn to master this mechanic, using their own momentum to propel Fern across gaps and obstacles. The learning curve for this mechanic is challenging but immensely rewarding, as successful mastery grants access to hidden secrets and previously unreachable areas. Cunning level design deepens the sense of accomplishment as players swing and soar through the decaying landscape.

One cannot discuss Rusted Moss without mentioning its demanding boss battles that push players to their limits. These formidable encounters are akin to dynamic puzzles that require patience, determination, and a keen eye to decipher patterns and maneuver strategically. Mistimed hooks or jumps can result in swift and overwhelming defeat. However, the exhilarating feeling when mastery is achieved and victory is claimed is unparalleled. It’s worth noting that while sometimes the difficulty can feel frustratingly overwhelming, the game is designed in such a way that the blame lies solely on the player—making each subsequent attempt feel all the more inviting.

Rusted Moss excels at delivering a quintessential Metroidvania experience. With its interconnected map leading players through unique zones, the game tantalizes with its exploration and secrets waiting to be unearthed. Accompanied by a charming storyline that ties it all together, this title is a profound testament to the genre’s enduring appeal.

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Moreover, Rusted Moss impresses with its exceptional grappling hook mechanics—raising the bar for the competition. The clever level design guides players towards environmental hints, providing clues for optimal hook placement. The result is a gratifying sense of discovery and accomplishment as players navigate the treacherous terrain.

For dedicated players who revel in rising to challenges and overcoming demanding obstacles, Rusted Moss offers a nearly perfect blend of difficulty and satisfaction. The game’s swift resets and plentiful save points keep frustration to a minimum, ensuring that players can efficiently learn from their mistakes and strive for success. Even the optional rooms, which may feel sadistically challenging at times, beckon all but the faint of heart to test their mettle.

If you find yourself drawn to the Metroidvania genre or possess an insatiable appetite for achievements that others might shy away from, Rusted Moss is an absolute must-play. The game’s triumphant fusion of captivating gameplay mechanics, sprawling connected maps, abundant secrets, and mesmerizing storyline will undoubtedly leave you longing for more.

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Rusted Moss is a heartfelt and exhilarating journey that has solidified its place among the best Metroidvanias I have played in the last few years. Its flawless integration of the grappling bungee hook and its accompanying level design catapults it miles above its competition. Faxdoc, Happy Squared, and Sunny Daze have crafted an indie gem worthy of recognition and celebration in the ever-expanding realm of the genre.

Score: 9/10

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.

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