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Rust Bucket

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Rating: 4/5 (23 votes)
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Rust Bucket

DoraHow does a helmet with no visible extremities of any kind move and wield a sword? You might call it magic, but I call it Nitrome, and they call their free iOS and Android turn-based puzzle game Rust Bucket. Our hero, a tiny horned helmet, is out to rid the world of badness, one swipe at a time, for as long as you can last in Endless Mode moving from room to room. The game has a handful of fun and well-designed tutorial stages to walk you through the finer points, but the basics come down to swiping up, down, left, or right to move a single space in that direction, and planning your movements so that you don't get swatted. See, Rust Bucket is turn-based, and when you move, so do enemies. If you move into a square within range of an enemy during the same turn, they'll smite you in an instant. But, if you can use the terrain to your advantage and make them come to you, you'll be able to strike them down instead. Throw in locked doors, peasants in peril, fire traps and more, and you have a simple but addictive and strategic puzzle game that fits in your pocket.

If Rust Bucket looks familiar, you probably played Nitrome's itty-bitty Turnament from 2012. In Rust Bucket, the basic concept stays the same (little red knight, turn-based, stab-stab-stabby), but things have been expanded to incorporate more strategy and puzzling. Successfully navigating your way through each level comes down to paying attention to the way enemies and traps move and planning each swipe you make, and figuring out each scenario is pretty darned satisfying. Levels are randomly generated past the tutorial, with the goal of passing as many as you can before you get the big KO. It's fun, but it lacks the precision level design of the tutorial stages, though Nitrome plan to bring more handmade puzzle levels in later on. The lack of an undo function for your last move is a little frustrating since miss-swiping can be a problem if you don't swipe carefully and precisely. Though it starts out easy, the complexity added by switches that need to be weighed down, for example, or enemies with specific movement patterns, keeps your brain working throughout. It's not necessarily overflowing with mechanics like some adorable pixelated horn of plenty, but it knows how to work with what it has to its smartest advantage rather than tarting it up with bells and whistles... though, being a Nitrome game, it's easy on the eyes anyway. Rust Bucket does display ads intermittently between levels or occasionally when restarting, but it's not obnoxious, and hey, if you don't like them and want to support a great developer in one fell swoop, you can pay a small fee to remove them forever. Rust Bucket costs you nothing to try out, and is the sort of smart puzzle game that shows exactly why Nitrome has been at the top of the game for so long. While there's even more content planned, what's on the plate right now is pretty darned tasty, and don't be surprised if Rust Bucket has you coming back for seconds. Or thirds. Or fourths...

Download on the AppstoreRust Bucket (iPhone, iPad, iPodTouch)

Google PlayRust Bucket (Android, Android Tablet)


This game was one of the more enjoyable Nitrome games I have played in years. I would put this in my top few.

While playing Beneath the Lighthouse there kept being advertisements for games, so instead of checking out each one I went and saw what there was so I could quickly get past the screen each time it came up. Rust Bucket just looked interesting. I generally give a game a try if it has a format similar to Zelda and other games as they usually are enjoyable.

The levels were fun and not too hard. I did get stuck on a couple of them, but trying a few different strategies I finally passed them. These were the levels with a horde of enemies all at once. After finishing the game I was pleasantly surprised to find endless mode.

The back tracking can be a bit monotonous, if you utilize some of the other weapons they can some what alleviate this.

Even if all you want to do is rack up a few Google play points endless mode is worth the play. So far not trying too hard I have managed to get to 11, as I try to beat the levels quickly I don't pay too much attention to where the enemies are and get trapped often, I am sure if I payed more attention that I could make it to a higher level.

General tips and information (mostly for inifinite mode):

Continue costs 5, 10 or 20 coins, maxes at 20.


Wood door
Leads to more of that level of difficulty 0, 1, 2, etc.

Gold door.
Leads to the next level of difficulty

Sparkling doorway
This is the shop. The shop is a great place to buy different weapons and shields. When you enter the shop "time stops"; you can use this to your advantage if you need one move for an enemy outside the door. Personally I prefer the default or the daggers. The other weapons are a bit difficult to get the hang of. Long range can be useful. Shields tend to be a bit confusing, best used for enemies in front of you of behind you as they seem to move once like you left them in the shadow for one turn.

Pots are great for when you need 1 space closer to an enemy instead of seeking out one like a slime to change your pace. Once in a while maybe 1 out of 10, probably less the pots will have a coin in them.

New wall:
Blue outlined wall block. Looks like a wall, but is explode-able with the right weapon (Explosive crossbow or mallet, counts as shot on both) . Also it blocks ghosts.

Appear randomly on the floor. You can acquire 2 in a treasure chest.
Sometimes can be found in pots and less often the occasional enemy. A golden enemy always gives a coin.

Treasure chest
Give 2 coins, a weapon or shield
Careful! Sometimes a treasure monster instead.

Later levels have more walls and pots and holes; you cannot walk over holes nor fall in, they act like walls.

Green guys:
Use them wisely or ignore them.

Any where from 0-3 can show up on a level and you can collect them if you can maneuver them.
They can be distracting for you or the enemy and they can get in the way. If they are in front of you and they are about to be attacked, you moving that directional will get you attacked, secondly you can use this tactic to move a different direction to escape. you can position him to be farther in front of you to attack enemies in bad places. Use blocks to reposition, sometimes easier than going after an enemy yourself. Usable as bucket shield, temporary shield in a sticky situation. They can also destroy useful pots and bomb pots if you are not careful.


Axes are beneficial for clearing large spaces and with monsters that are 1 space off, such as skulls, treasure monsters. Also gives a wider range of attack so good for blobs and pigs that are on the side

Good for long range attack, but remember it shoots anything within sight (except normal walls, blocks and empty spaces).

Explosive crossbow
Gives 3 explosive arrows. For use on stone monsters and the new walls.

To protect yourself on front and back. My usual choice.

10 hits until destroyed, that is 10 hits on a stone enemy. Damages all other enemies as normal.

Medium range weapon.

Blue/metal shield
Continues to be used, unless maybe you can hand it off to another (one of the green guys)

Wood shield
Usable until destroyed by fire


Use distance to avoid enemies, you cannot really trap them, but if you can get far enough away fast enough they will stop coming after you, as well as if they are still in the shadows they will not stat coming after you.

Monsters will go after whomever is closest whether it is you, a green guy or a sprite.
Gold stone pig/skull
Requires a mallet or explosive. Gives a coin after defeat

2 moves, hits after red

Tall slime
After 1 hit there are 4 unless otherwise blocked. Exaplme of 4 best shown when they are hit by a fire trap or fire cannon.

Gold slime
Just like tall slime, but gives a coin.

Single move

Stone skull
Single move, requires mallet or explosive

Explosive skull/skull bomb
Around level 10. Explodes like a bomb pot except it is a monster that moves, be careful when close to fire or blockers. After at least level 10 or so I have seen so far.

Orange blockers
Moves 1 back and forth until blocked, can annihilate other monsters if they are blocked from moving. This blocking includes not being able to move past the edge of the screen.

Directional move. Must be facing you to attack

Stone pig
Moves like pig, but requires a mallet or explosive to defeat.

Armored Pig
Requires 2 hits

Triple hit pig
you see these around level 18

Moves diagonally

Green squid
Moves diagonal and vertical/horizontal. A diagonal move can seem like 2 moves, but it is 1 move

Treasure chest monster
when 2 spaces away it will show its true face if it is a monster and not a treasure chest. Gives 1 coin, weapon or shield. They usually happen more often on later levels and on earlier ones the treasure chests are normal.

Purple wing
2 moves, you can be under them when they are in the air. If above bomb pot upon detonation the purple wing survives.

3 moves. Thinks of an enemy produce an enemy every 3 turns until destroyed, only produces when within range, can be any enemy. I have not seen stone skulls, green squids, centipedes

Can go through walls, single move. Cannot move through blue outlined wall blocks.

1 move. Does not move when hit, so if you hit the head you have to hit another enemy or a pot to be positioned correctly for the next hit with the basic sword.

Rotting mass
Makes a trail of mushrooms in his path.

Wood block
Must be destroyed by fire, axe might work, all other weapons only stun.


Fire trap
3 states. Off, Warning, On
When a coin is over a fire trap you cannot see the trap unless it is lit; it looks like a grayed out background.

Bomb pot
Explodes in all directions except that which set it off.

Fire cannon
Shoots fire in 1 direction for the length of the space in front of it and then shoots again. Can be extended, but if a long length then there are "multiple" shots, as in the original length. You can move where the flame was, but not where it is going to be.


Gone if an enemy get to them before you do. Gives a coin when you free them. Explosions do not work.

Young sprite
continues to move until blockaded. an enemy from the opposite direction can help direct them towards you. Easier to get if you corner them in an alley or dead end.

Middle aged sprite
Some times stops. Easier than young sprite.

Do not move, easiest to catch.


If you downloaded the game before March 17th there has been an update.

10 new levels. 31-40

New monsters, a new weapon and a new elemental block in endless mode:

Orange blocker
Moves 1 back and forth until blocked, can annihilate other monsters if they are blocked from moving. This blocking includes not being able to move past the edge of the screen. I have spotted one of these in the shop, I think it was an error fro the new monster, but I took him out anyways.

Rotting mass
Makes a trail of mushrooms in his path.

Skull bomb
Explodes like a bomb except it is a monster that moves, be careful when close to fire or blockers. After at least level 10 or so I have seen so far.

New block:
Blue outlined wall block. Looks like a wall, but is explode-able with the right weapon. Also it blocks ghosts.

Explosive crossbow
Gives 3 explosive arrows. For use on stone monsters and the new walls.


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