Indie Alert: Rustbucket Rumble

Steam powered!

Steam powered!

There is one genre dominating gaming, making a splash not only on PC players, but console players as well. MOBA (Mutiplayer Online Battle Arena) is a game type that has reached an incredible level of popularity with titles such as League of Legends, DOTA 2, and my personal favorite, Smite.  With eSports becoming bigger and bigger, MOBA is a genre that’s here to stay. In fact, other games are picking up MOBA elements as additional content, such as the Defend mode in Evolve.

What’s this talk of Champions and Minions have to do with Indie game development?

There’s an interesting spin to MOBA mechanics showing up in the indie scene of late. One of which is a game I was invited to play alongside the developers, Rustbucket Rumble.

Playing with Reactor Zero was awesome and it was interesting to hear them discuss balancing and developing the game.

Rustbucket, a 2D side scrolling team-based combat game, focuses on simplicity. The object of the game is to gather parts to build a super robot that marches straight to the enemy’s base. Where does one acquire these parts? From scraps of metal of course! Of which many robots (aka players) just happen to be made of. Players can then take these parts to their base to secure a point towards building their super robot.

scene07486However, players can be revived if they sit idle long enough; each class has a different rate of revival. A team wins when the super robot destroys the opposite base.

The each class has its own powers and statistics, fitting the mold left by the titans of the genre. For example, Daisy, the Engineer, can drop turrets and use gyro-copters to snag up recycling bins, while still able to fight as the goods are carried to base. Another player, Bjorn is a bulky robot with a flamethrower and access to a shield. His interesting mechanic is the ability to throw scraps. This comes in handy not only offensively as he can toss enemies into the base for a point, but also defensively as allies tossed into base are instantly healed.

I spent most of my time as Bjorn. Great for offense and defense.

Bjorn is the character I spent the most time as. Great for offense and defense.

Overall, the results are a frantic scooping up of players into recycling bins and tossing them about in hopes that they get recycled.

The pacing of each match is frantic and highly rewarding. Teams with coordination will usually come out on top, just like any MOBA. Yet, this game’s Pixar-like presentation is charming enough for anyone to have fun with the genre.

Colorful and frantic

Colorful and frantic

Rustbucket Rumble will be in Open Beta on March 16 to those who  sign up on the website. The game will be released on Steam later on.

I highly recommend signing up and giving this game a shot. Even in the Closed Beta, I absolutely love this game. Getting friends together is key to having the best time, but playing with strangers is still a blast. The mechanics are solid and interesting, while the art style is unique and charming.