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Game Info:

Rustbucket Rumble
Developed by: Reactor Zero
Published by: Scrap Yard Productions LLC
Release Date: May 4, 2015
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux, Steam OS
Genre: Online Capture The Flag
Number of Players: Up to six online
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: Free with DLC and in-app purchases

Thank you Pier PR for sending us a Steam code for the Debut Character Pack!

Online capture the flag games have been around for a while.  Team Fortress 2 is a great example of how multiple classes can make such a simple concept so fun.  Rustbucket Rumble is a free to play 2D online capture the flag game where the players are the flags.  The goal in this game is to collect enough scrap metal to build a giant robot to attack your enemy's recycle station.  Friends and allies turn into pails of scrap metal temporarily when they are knocked out.  Each successive knockout will increase their length of being usable scrap metal.

Once enough scrap metal is collected from players or from the neutral stash they can fight over, a giant robot will be assembled that has to be dealt with quickly.  The giant robot has a weak spot on its chest and any scrap metal it comes across will replenish its health.

Each class has unique abilities for dealing with the giant robot and regular players.  There are six robot types available but for the users that don't have the $9.99 DLC that fully unlocks all of them, only two models will be available per week.  If a player wins ten ranked matches a week, they can keep the models another week.  It's an interesting system and could possibly work if there were enough people online to get a six player match going.  I had trouble getting more than two people in a game on a Saturday afternoon.  I was able to get my butt kicked in a custom match I set up with another player though.  Unfortunately, there are no offline options to play against bots. 

Rustbucket Rumble
Highlights:

Strong Points: Unique capture the flag game where the players are the flags 
Weak Points: No AI bots to play offline; not enough people playing online
Moral Warnings: Robotic violence, but at least they're recyclable  

 

Basic AI units are present in the tutorial missions that help the player get acquainted with the six robot types.  The Clancy, grunt model is an average soldier model that can heal while the Valentina specializes in sniping.   The Maverick is a bombardier equipped with a rocket launcher and the Bjorn is armed with a flame thrower and lots of armor.  Engineers will like the Daisy model which can setup turrets and the Kasumi is a ninja class robot that can deploy dummy holograms of itself. 

 With a healthy mix of classes, I have no doubt that this game would be fun.  It's a shame that hardly anyone is playing it.   Perhaps the in-app purchases for hats or the character pack DLC is turning people off.  Some of the Steam reviews mention network issues, but I haven't experienced any.  I did experience one crash to desktop though.

Rustbucket Rumble
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 66%
Gameplay - 12/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 96%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

 

The control scheme for the keyboard and mouse is a little confusing with remembering the various keys for calling for help, dropping to lower platforms, or picking up scrap.  Fortunately, there is full gamepad support.  Other Steam features like Leaderboards, trading cards, and achievements are available too.  

While I didn't find the soundtrack very memorable, it is available for $1.99 on Steam.  The sound effects are decent though.  

Graphically, this game is very colorful and the players are either on team Red or Blue.  Telling players apart is relatively easy and the mini-map on the bottom shows  their location along with the available scrap metal.  

For me, keeping track of the one player I had a game with was pretty easy, at least until he cloned himself with the Kasumi robot.  All joking aside, this game would be much more fun with more players on it. Since there is only robotic violence, it's pretty family friendly.  It's free to try and is definitely worth checking out, but I wouldn't recommend spending money on the DLC pack unless you can find some people to play against.  

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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