Rescue Team offers My Kingdom for the Princess-style gameplay in a modern day setting
In Rescue Team, players rebuild three islands that have been hit by a terrible storm by repairing houses and facilities, removing debris, and performing other helpful tasks. At its heart the game is very similar to My Kingdom for the Princess and its ilk, just transferred to a modern setting and with less charm or strategic depth.
Rescue Team features 60 levels scattered over three different islands. There is only one mode in which you can finish levels with gold, silver, or bronze scores depending on your time, and with those scores and the resulting money you can reconstruct your own home that has been damaged by the tornado, too. The game lacks a proper tutorial, which won’t be too bad for people who are already used to this type of game, but beginners might have serious problems to get into it. At least it’s not really possible to fail, so if you don’t care that much for the full restoration of your home you can take as much time as you like for each level.
Each level consists of a few goals and presents slightly varying maps to the player. It could be that you have to save villagers by boat or helicopter, collect gems, or to repair certain structures. All these goals can be supported or fulfilled by your staff, the members of the rescue team, which simply replace workers from similar titles. For nearly every action that you let your workers perform a resource is needed, but in most cases you will also get a different resource in return. Those include gold, wood, and food, neither a very complex nor a very innovative mixture, but it still works.
Most of the times you have to remove debris from the streets, rebuild structures such as houses (which produce gold), sawmills (which produce wood), or hot dog stands (which produce, you guess it, food), or free workers who are trapped behind large rocks by collecting and using dynamite. Villagers can be saved by constructing the helipad or the boathouse and clicking them, which will also cost a good chunk of your gold reserves. Fires can be extinguished in a similar manner. Rescue Team also features bonuses that can be collected and will provide different results, such as a quicker produce of a specific resource or speeding up your staff members.
Compared to My Kingdom for the Princess or Roads of Rome, Rescue Team feels pretty light when it comes to presentation and diversity. The maps have a rather cartoonish look but are not very detailed or vibrant. The same can be applied to the goals – pretty quickly you will feel like doing the same over and over again, and the initially steep but later on stagnating grade of difficulty does not really help there.
Another aspect which restricts complexity and playing fun is that you are not able to upgrade buildings or hire new workers. Furthermore you are not able to chain actions, so you are mostly waiting for your workers to return to the headquarter to give new orders. Flawed controls and too simplified gameplay certainly do not warrant a recommendation for any game normally, but the otherwise smooth gameplay and the motivation to beat every level in the shortest amount of time prevent Rescue Team from being a real dud.
The game is a solid addition to the genre, although it’s by no means the best in its class. The graphics are far from outstanding, and the variety of goals, features and level design is very restricted, but for fans of an under-represented genre it is still worth a shot due to its challenging nature and the decent playing time.