Rusty Orb by Orator Games icon

Rusty Orb ($1.99) by Orator Games is a space exploration game where the goal is to take control of an excavation vehicle to mine planets for valuable gems. You’ll need to avoid dangerous traps and monsters and solve puzzles in order to gather up as much loot as possible.

The game lacks a decent tutorial, so getting used to the controls may take some time. There’s a movement stick on the left which controls your vehicle, and another button on the right which deploys the claw that you use to grab gems.

You can also disable the joystick controls and use a finger on the screen to control the ship. With this control scheme, a tap on the ship releases the claw, and a tap on the claw releases what you pick up.

Rusty Orb by Orator Games screenshot

Neither control scheme works particularly well. Though a small red line shows where the claw will extend, picking up objects and releasing them to a designated spot can be a frustrating task.

The claw will also grab onto walls, making navigation difficult. You will often need to move several obstacles, such as blocks, and deliver gems to small spaces, which is time consuming and tedious.

Your ship is equipped with a limited amount of energy, which is spent when flying around with objects. When your energy is depleted, you will need to rest in order to refill the energy bar to continue moving blocks and gems around the playing field. I’m not sure why this mechanic exists, because all it serves to do is make gameplay slower.

Rusty Orb by Orator Games screenshot

It’s not made clear in the instructions, but each gem must be delivered to its corresponding crate in order to clear each level. For example, the red gem must go to the red crate, and each crate is located in a different place.

While playing, you will need to avoid monsters and other traps, which will destroy your ship. You’ll also need to steer clear of traps like spikes, which will also turn your ship into ship soup.

With better controls (they need to be much more precise) and a more in-depth gameplay tutorial, Rusty Orb would be a fun game. There are some clever puzzles to solve in every level and the simple graphics are appealing. This game has a lot of potential, it just needs an update.