Ending is a brilliant top-down puzzle game, made all the more impressive through the inclusion of a Gauntlet mode, which uses a few basic enemies and traps to create randomised levels that are somehow beautifully balanced. It’s as much a masterpiece of design as my other favourite turn-based puzzler Hoplite, so news that Ending designer Aaron Steed will be working on Nitrome’s upcoming Rust Bucket is music to my ears. Based on the studio’s free browser game Turnament, it’s a game about measuring your steps and taking your time.
From what I can gather, Rust Bucket will be an expanded version of Steed’s earlier game Turnament which you can (and should) play now. Steed’s work on Ending is enough to suggest he’s a master of this kind of step-by-step, measured puzzle-dungeon game, and the only real sticking point for me is that I prefer the abstract graphics in Ending to the bright colours of Turnament. Still, the way that enemies fragment when you smash ’em, with all the pieces bouncing away into oblivion, is really neat.
Seriously, play Turnament.
Nitrome’s original announcement tweet sez Rust Bucket will be coming to mobile and browser so perhaps it’ll be free, like Turnament? That’d be a real treat. Here’s one of those gifs the kids love so much.
And here are a few more details from Nitrome:
“We are very excited about ‘Rust Bucket’ it is already at a fairly advanced state with much more graphics and elements than are shown in the gif above. Aaron that is programming the game has made many similar games before including the original Turnament, Turn Undead, Sleepless Pug and his own personal game Ending so he is very well versed in this sort of game and were hoping to make this the best one yet!”