Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade game
Developer: 7 Raven Studios
Publisher: 7 Raven Studios
Platform: Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: Switch

Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure – Review

Site Score
Good: In-game character sprites are well designed
Bad: Mind-numbingly dull gameplay
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.0/10 (2 votes cast)

It’s never a good sign when a developer manages to misspell the title of their game in the menu of your console, but Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure manages to do just that. It could be an honest mistake that slipped past whoever was in charge of quality control but it does set certain expectations for what might come once you actually get to play it. Unfortunately, Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure fails to subvert this and instead manages to lower the bar even further. Abandon all hope, ye who join Rusty Spout on this adventure.


Developer 7 Raven Studios really attempts to make Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure stand out through its characters and storyline. The opening scene introduces us to captain Rusty Spout, who is supposed to be a legendary pirate. Rusty Spout has a rivalry with the evil pirate Cocco. That’s pretty much all you need to know, as the story itself is completely irrelevant to the gameplay. What’s baffling here is that 7 Raven Studios puts such an emphasis on its characters but just expects the player to go with their poorly crafted narrative without explaining the backstories of these characters. What mighty feats has Rusty Spout accomplished to earn the reputation of being the best pirate there ever was? If pirates sing his song, then what is the song about? It’s things like this that underline how little effort was put into making these characters relatable. 

Additionally, any credibility and immersive qualities of the story are quickly undermined by the poor writing. It’s very clear that whoever was in charge of writing on-screen text didn’t have English as a first language, as the text is riddled with spelling errors and grammar mistakes. Not only does this make it difficult to follow the story, but gameplay explanations suffer the same fate. We’re still not entirely sure how barriers work in-game because of how badly these mechanics were explained. 


We’re getting a visual mixed bag with Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure. The game doesn’t seem to know exactly what aesthetic to aim for. Full character portraits and cutscenes look like they were drawn in Paint, showing the typical pixelated style that one would associate with Microsoft’s classic. In-game, things look much more like the sprite work you’d expect from a retro game. It’s likely that the pixelated aesthetic was chosen to bring the artwork more in line with the retro sprites, but the result doesn’t work at all and only highlights the fact that the character designs are quite poor. Rusty Spout himself is overdesigned to the point that you can’t quite tell what is bird and what is pirate outfit, and many of the characters are poorly proportioned. 

Dodgy character designs aside, the sprite work is actually quite good. While playing, you’ll see a tiny avatar of your chosen character at the bottom of the screen, responding to your actions. These avatars are well-animated and much better designed than their cutscene counterparts and are easily the highlight of the game. Of course, it should come as no surprise that there are no graphical performance issues here, as the game doesn’t quite push the Switch to the limit. 


The less said about Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure’s audio the better. The soundtrack comprises only one song, which continuously loops during gameplay. It’s mind-numbingly dull and only emphasizes just how bland the game is. One thing that irked us is that the audio sometimes takes a while to kick in, and that you’re left with several seconds of awkward silence when you start playing. While Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure is a showcase of bad design choices, we assume that this is a glitch. 


Gameplay-wise, you’re looking at a Puzzle Bobble clone. For the uninitiated, Puzzle Bobble is a game that originally launched on the Neo Geo in 1994. The core concept of Puzzle Bobble has stood the test of time and it has been copied many times. Rusty Spout is the latest in a long line of imitators. The aim is to shoot colored bubbles, or in this case cannonballs, at a multicolored cannonball cluster. Connect enough cannonballs of the same color and they’ll be cleared off the board. Any balls connected only to the disappearing cluster will be removed as well. The aim is to clear the board completely. The cluster will gradually lower itself and if it ever reaches Rusty’s ship, it’s game over. You’ll need to make sure you clear the board before that happens, and you’re awarded bonus points if you can reach this goal before the timer runs out. 

There are fifty levels to clear here, and although the game attempts to spice things up somewhat by introducing boss fights and barrier blocks, you’re looking at a dull and repetitive affair. The game seemingly offers no save option, instead relying on a limited number of continues, which was clearly a deliberate design choice. As such, we expect most players won’t ever get to see the ending as it’s likely you’ll grow bored with it before beating it. 

Puzzle Bobble never was an overly exciting game but the original never felt as boring as Rusty Spout does. Part of this is probably because aiming the cannon is annoyingly sluggish and aiming the balls feels slightly off. The result is a game that feels slow and frustrating to play while being a snoozefest at the same time, which is somewhat impressive in its own right. Apart from the story mode, there is also a multiplayer mode and an endless mode but neither succeeds in salvaging the game. The trailer also promises a multitude of playable characters, but none of them bring anything to the table. If each character had a special ability that you could trigger by performing a combo or something, then the gameplay could have been expanded with some much-needed depth and strategy, but as far as our experience went, choosing a character was purely cosmetic. 


Given that the original Puzzle Bobble is readily available on PS4 and Switch, we can’t see any reason why you should spend your hard-earned money on Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure. The story suffers from poor characterization and bad pacing and is unrelated to the gameplay. The in-game text is riddled with errors and poor explanations and the gameplay is bland. We’re not sure whether or not the game would’ve been worth it if it had received a decent amount of polish, but as it stands, we’d make old Rusty Spout walk the plank. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure - Review, 3.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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