Posted: June 27
In Rescue – Everyday Heroes you play the boss of a fire station in charge of responding to emergencies of all types in the local area. While described as a simulation, casual would be a much better characterisation.
The game takes part in two parts, the first a Sims-like fire station where you hire and fire firefighters and paramedics, assign them different jobs around the station like dispatch or maintenance or improve their skills at the lecture room or gym. Your also have to monitor their individual moods, assign them a job they like, it goes up, if something goes wrong in their lives, favourite football team loses, it goes down and they are useless. You can also cover the fire station in all sorts of furniture, some useful, some purely cosmetic.
The second part of the game is the actual fire fighting and treating injured citizens and transporting them to hospital. Here you take a combination of vehicles to a locations in the city, bins on fire, plane crashes, truck crashes and the like and put out the fire and treat and transport any survivors. Water is obviously the most important resource here, you either need to find a fire hydrant and hook up a supply hose and then the standard hoses to that or bring your own water in the form of a tanker. As you make your way through the campaign newer vehicles will unlock, many carry their own water and even have a remote fire hose on the roof. Eventually you'll just bring these firetrucks, someone's barbecue is on fire? Smash down the fence with your trucks and blast that BBQ across the backyard into the neighbour's kitchen. Fire out, job done.
Paramedics also play an important role in the game. Accidents often leave injured strew across the scene and the first job is to assign a paramedic to triage each and treat them in order of most injured to least and transport them to the hospital. Once a patient gets to the purple state you lose money from your mission score so be sure to look after the most injured first. Do they die if you leave them too long? I don't know, it never seemed to happen. I once thought I had finished a mission but it said there was one more patient, turned out I'd parked an Ambulance on top of him. He was fine, probably sued the crap out of the city though. If things get too hectic you can also hire extra ambulances, doctors and firetrucks at a cost, but you'll never run out of cash.
There are a few issues though. Pathing is poor and clicking, selecting and giving orders is inexact at best. Often trying to assign the second paramedic to a stretcher is an exercise in frustration as they either can't work out how to get there or the stretcher has clipped into something else. Also why on earth can't firefighters carry stretchers? I understand they are not trained in advanced medicine, but any clown can carry the other end. It would give them something to do after the fire is out. There are also no female fire fighters or paramedics. Some mission take place indoors and here the performance can take quite a hit, chugging along for no real reason.
The campaign is not particularly long, 5-6 hours at most, though there is a free-play mode where you only have to fight fires, no base management. I played though the campaign in one sitting but I can't recommend paying full price. On special or from a bundle and it's good fun for a few hours.