Friday, 21 June 2013

Mr Rescue (PC/Linux/Mac)

Blasting doors down with a fire hose, throwing innocent civilians through windows to their 'safety'? This can only be firefighting Mr Rescue style!

Mr Rescue puts the player in charge of the eponymous firefighter as he rescues citizens with gusto, defenestrating them to safety through three levels of what could clumsily be described as "2D 8-bit Habbo Hotel Towering Inferno". It's a platform rescue-em-up which plays quicker than fire rushing down a corridor in a special effects department.

It's a whole lot of fun and a few attempts in I found myself totally immersed in the game, with a huge amount of satisfaction coming from each comical grab-and-throw rescue!

Mr Rescue doesn't mess about as it pits the player against the primeval force of fire, nemesis of blimps, ice sculptures and paper aeroplanes the world over. Much as in real life (I imagine from the privileged land of a comfortable desk job which doesn't involve running into burning buildings when other people are running out) the goal of Mr Rescue is to salvage the human lives from the inferno, not to defeat the fire itself. If you try to fight the fire you'll die, albeit with a cute animation that sees Mr Rescue leap semi-nude from his overheated suit. Speaking of death, after a half hour or so of gameplay I started to find the sight of innocent victims disappearing in a sad little puff of smoke as they were consumed by the roaring flames distressing in the extreme, almost (but not quite) to the point of falling to my knees in the rain and shouting "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!".

Joking aside, this game really does get you feeling for the little super-distorted citizens without even trying. It's not like there's an intro that explains in gory detail the ins and outs of smoke inhalation or anything like that. Still, no matter how much Mr Rescue got me empathising with the poor little guys whose buildings were burning to the ground I confess to laughing the first time I realised you could knock a door down by throwing someone at it.

Gameplay is very slick and well paced and above all, pretty hard. As it should be for a game that pits man against the most badass of elements. Even with the keyboard and using the original key bindings of A, S, and D for grab, jump and shoot respectively and the cursor keys the game plays quickly and smoothly. I wish I could comment on how the game plays with an XBox 360 controller, but at any rate it's a nice concession from the producers.

I'll happily put my hand up and say that I haven't completed Mr Rescue. I have no doubt that it's a beatable game, but between a day job, a house to run and a deadline to hit I'm not the man to beat it. Not yet anyway! Randomly generated floors keep the game fresh with each retry, and the graphics and music are so cute and jaunty that they work towards making Mr Rescue impossible to be frustrated with!

We are lucky, lucky people to live in a world where Mr Rescue exists and is not used to train fire and rescue professionals. It's a delightfully gripping and entertaining game, and the fear of immolation in the workplace is bad enough without the threat of being used as a human battering ram!

Download the game here (from the Tangram Games website).
4 out of 5

Second Opinion

First of all, hats off to Ruari for managing to get the word defenestrating into a review. I actually had to look that one up. Secondly, hats off twice to Tangram Games for taking my twitter request for a full-screen mode into account and delivering this superior version of an already excellent game.

With its quirky gameplay mechanics and randomly generated levels, Mr Rescue is a fresh concept that really stands out from the rest of the freeware retro-platforming stable and I cannot recommend it enough.

J. Monkman