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Rusted Moss Will Have You Hooked On Swinging, But Not Without Work

Platforms: PC via Steam
Genre: Metroidvania, Search Action, Grappling Hook, Action Platfomer

Sometimes indie games have that one mechanic that distinguishes them from the rest. For Rusted Moss, besides featuring a side-scrolling Metroidvania search action twin-stick shooter experience with retro pixel graphics, its grappling hook is the mechanic that makes it different. Slinging around the map like a 2D Spider-Man; that’s Rusted Moss at its best, assuming you gel with it.

Swinging Vines

Rusted Moss is an action-packed Metroidvania inspired by folktales and desolate landscapes. The protagonist named Fern is a changeling who set out on a mysterious mission while Fae invades the human realm. In Rusted Moss, players will utilize their grappling hook and weapons with a full 360° aiming system.

I won’t lie. The grappling hook is actually difficult to control because it relies more on a unique elastic physics that uses momentum and other factors to propel you forward or in any direction. You can’t simply jump and press a button to perfectly swing across a gap or something. How it works is that you can latch onto any moss-covered structure and swing, though environmental factors like the shape of the surface or the strength of the wind will affect how you swing or propel yourself. Thankfully, Rusted Moss allows you to rebind your controls so that you can choose whatever combination of buttons you’re most comfortable with.

Despite all that, I never really got used to the heavy physics of the grappling hook mechanic. It feels too finicky to control, especially when you’re already wrestling with the game’s twin-stick shooter combat at the same time. The elasticity gives it an unpredictability that can be frustrating. To traverse the environment, you have to take factors like momentum, placement, and velocity into account. It’s not as simple as simply swinging like Spider-Man. The shooting feels great, but it’s hard to juggle the grappling and the shooting simultaneously since they both use the same reticle on the screen.

However, what makes up for the frustrating grappling hook mechanics is that you can technically ignore all that. The game gives you a choice with a “flexible” difficulty that you can tweak several different options to make the game easier. Heck, you can even turn on invincibility and infinite mana, as well as even the ability to freaking fly.

Yes, you can fly and completely ignore the grappling hook mechanic. The flying mechanic sort of reminds me of the same feeling from Ubisoft’s Child Of Light; if you’re familiar with that. Assuming you’re willing to take the time to master the grappling hook mechanic, that’s up to you. If you want to avoid a hard time and simply have fun, then the developers have provided “flexible” options for you.

Run And Gun

Ultimately, Rusted Moss is a decent and fun Metrodvania with a unique swinging mechanic. If you’re looking for a game to sink a few hours into and don’t mind hard platforming challenges, Rusted Moss should be a great game for you.


  • Unique grappling hook mechanic.
  • Rebindable controls.
  • Not too punishing for a Metroidvania/Search Action, especially with the optional “flexible” difficulty.


  • The grappling hook mechanic can be annoyingly frustrating to use and control.


Rusted Moss was reviewed on PC based on a review copy provided by the publisher. It is now available on PC via Steam.

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  1. Rusted Moss Will Be Out For Consoles In Spring 2024 | Kakuchopurei

    November 17, 2023 at 11:36 am

    […] grapple-hook-focused platformer Rusted Moss, which came out for PC this year, will be out for other gaming platforms next […]

  2. Rusted Moss Coming To Consoles & Switch This June | Kakuchopurei

    March 19, 2024 at 4:07 pm

    […] The update is planned to be launched on Steam around the same time as the console versions. Rusted Moss will be out for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch on 20 June 2024. Check out our review here. […]

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