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Metroidvania Grappler Rusted Moss Mixes Physics with Creativity


Armed with a bouncy grapple hook and an arsenal of guns, swing your way through desolate landscapes in Rusted Moss, an action-packed metroidvania with complex and powerful movement, where the only limit is your creativity and skill. 

In this bittersweet tale, humans are at war with the cold and capricious fairies who have invaded their rusting world. You play as Fern, a changeling determined to put an end to the war. Uncover forgotten tales and pick a side – fae or human? The world of Rusted Moss is inspired by our love of English folktales, which portray fairies as malevolent tricksters rather than gentle beings.

Traversal is physics-based and designed to be mastered. Aside from the grappling hook, players can use juicy gun recoil to boost their momentum (think classic FPS action – rocket jumping and bunny hopping). 

Gameplay might seem diabolical due to its complexity – players will juggle a physics-based grappling hook with a variety of guns – but Rusted Moss has one of the most powerful traversal mechanics in any metroidvania. A player can break our game so long as they have the skill, determination, and creativity to do so.

Developed by my friend (Emlise), my sister (Sunnydaze), and me (Happysquared), we wanted to create an uncompromising game that prizes player skill and exploration. Rusted Moss is truly nonlinear. Unlocking new regions does not depend on discovering a “key” or getting a new ability. Instead, progression in Rusted Moss is determined by a player’s creativity and capability. 

In one platforming challenge, five players each found a different solution! 

Did we design that challenge to be solved in five different ways? Not at all. We didn’t design our puzzles to have an “intended” solution. We wanted to encourage players to “break” our game and show us moves we didn’t even consider during Rusted Moss’ development. The open level design, combined with the physics-based movement and momentum, is the perfect playground for players to express their creativity and skill.

We also didn’t want to limit our game to just our vision of how it should be played. Before Rusted Moss’ release, the QA team found a bug that gave players an unintentional movement ability we found hilarious. We decided to keep it in. We hope that perceptive players who discover it get as much joy out of it as we did; it’s a feature, not a bug! 

We’ve also included highly customisable accessibility options so players can make the game easier (or harder!). Though we developed Rusted Moss’ default settings to match our own tastes, we really didn’t want to stifle the way some players might prefer to experience our game. 

Along with the Xbox release, Rusted Moss is getting 7-8 hours(!) of additional content. Much harder content. It is funny to think about because Emlise had no plans to develop Rusted Moss into a game because she felt its grappling hook would be too difficult for players to grasp (we ended up having to peer pressure her into actually making Rusted Moss). In fact, during the development of Rusted Moss’ base content she had made an extremely difficult challenge course that was cut as it was extremely difficult. However, our playerbase has exceeded all expectations: due to popular demand, this area will be an optional challenge in our major update. 

So if there’s anybody raging at that content, please blame our players and not us. 

The Xbox release and update will also include a boss rush mode, two new areas of more reasonable difficulty (for the not insane players), and an unlockable playable character! All of this adds seven to eight more hours of additional gameplay.

We worked hard on this update and hope you enjoy it!



By: Happysquared, Writer and Game Designer

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