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Rusty Orb Review

By , on May 8, 2012

Rusty Orb
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • The ability to pick apart aspects of the environment.


  • The auto-aim of the grapple never seems to work in your favor.
  • Some of the sound design is quite grating.


Part Lunar Lander, part Bionic Commando, Rusty Orb has a neat premise coupled with the potential for fun gameplay, but it never fully reaches that potential.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Mining gems seems like a lucrative yet dangerous occupation, especially if said gems are deep in hazardous caverns, and the means of collection is a bionic arm that seems to have a mind of its own. Welcome to the world of Rusty Orb.

The goal of each level is to use your bionic arm to latch onto the gems, and return them to the appropriately colored gem collection units. They aren't always out in the open however. Often the gems will be under rock or behind chunks of debris, and your arm will be needed to fling them out of the way. Control wise, this is like a twin-stick shooter. The left control stick will fly your vessel around, provided you don't run out of fuel (which a few seconds lounging around should recharge anyway). The right control stick will fling your arm out, attaching to any surface it is flung at. You can attach to the ceiling or walls and swing about, or pick up rocks and gems. There is an auto-aim system associated with the arm however, and it can get frustrating as it seems to prioritize rocks. It can make collecting the gems a hassle when they are buried.

Levels slowly introduce hazards of both the animate and inanimate variety, and the task of returning gems to the collection units gets more and more complex the further you travel. It just feels like with such an interesting basis, the game never fully takes advantage of its mechanics. This has nothing to do with the random feel of the arm itself, but more that the levels lack a sense of wonder in exploration, and a sense of satisfaction in utilizing the physics engine to solve each level's puzzle. With that in place, this would be a very interesting game indeed.


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