Rusted Moss Demo

Ed Note: The Steam Next Fest had a massive variety of demos, and I couldn’t get to all of them. Fortunately, I’m not not alone. Today’s review comes from my friend Kyle.

The Rusted Moss demo has pretty much sold me on the game. I’ll do a full writeup on it when the game comes out. I’m really hoping it lives up to the demo. Let’s start with the plot.

The story starts out with a protagonist named Fern. Fern’s a changeling who appears human, and has a shadow named Puck. Your overall quest is to gather shards of Titania to return Fae (fairies) to the world.

The true spice that sets this game apart is the grapple hook you get at the start. It offers exhilarating movement as you swing through maps and combat. You can grapple enemies closer to you to blast, or hitch a ride from certain enemies to ascend to greater heights.

Hanging from the roofs while you rain down bullets on enemies is fantastic as well, and just feels amazing. Many Metroidvanias give you the various movement powers over time, with much of the fun traversal coming later on. Getting the grappling hook early simply feels good.

Gameplay features all the typical stuff from a modern Metroidvania. It’s a non-linear platformer, with progression through weapon or mobility upgrades to unlock more of the map. There’s also trinket system that allows you to customize your character’s playstyle. These vary from charged shots doing more damage, to doing more damage at low or full life, as well as damage over time effects, shields and more.

I’m hoping there are more than just damage modification trinkets. Those were all I found in the demo. However, since this was just a demo, it’s more than possible this is just a vertical slice.

One gripe I have with the game is that bosses at the start felt a bit bullet spongy. You can do some trinket combos to nearly double your damage, (Giant Chambers, Thorny Rose, Erosive Bullets) but this comes at the price of being only able to take a single hit.

In the demo there’s a really fun speed climbing challenge to get to the top of a mountain, as well as a mini-boss boss rush with a two minute timer. Both of these have leaderboards for fastest times.

Overall, I’m very excited for Rusted Moss. I’m looking forward to the full game, and hoping it lives up to the promise of the demo.