Getting your kicks as a firefighter with Go! Go! Rescue Squad will take patience, smarts and some quick thumbs. If you enjoy puzzle games, there’s plenty to wrap your head around here.
Controlling a team of firefighters, you will guide the stranded survivors through the level toward the fire escape. This won’t be easy, because there’s more than just fire along the way. You’ll have to deal with locked doors, crazed robots and mazes of switch-activated doors, among other things.
These people need rescuing… and then some.
Luckily, the game does a good job of explaining things as you play, and every time some crazy new element is added into the mix there will be a new tutorial teaching you how to utilize it. That isn’t to say the game is easy–It can be incredibly difficult to sort out exactly how you are going to get the survivors to the exits.
It doesn’t help that the survivors can create problems of their own. Some of them will panic and run directly off of ledges to their deaths, while others will actually help you out and put out fires on their own if an extinguisher is handy.
Some levels will take more 30 minutes to sort out, because most puzzles have only one very specific solution. Trial and error is key here, and luckily the developers included a rewind function that will let you back up and fix any mistakes you may have made. There will be times when you realize that you used up that fire extinguisher when you should have saved it. Unfortunately, you’ll be so far along that you won’t be able to rewind and will have to restart, but by then you’ll have most of the puzzle solved and should blow through it pretty quickly.
Although the nature of the game doesn’t lend itself to repeat plays of the same levels, there is enough content here to keep puzzle pros busy for quite awhile. You’ll be able to progress through the game without beating every puzzle, which is an absolute relief when you get stuck on a tricky one, and you will. When you finally beat a tough puzzle, the satisfaction is exquisite.
Controls can get a bit cramped.
The biggest thing holding the game back is the controls. Context-sensitive action buttons appear when you can pick up survivors or items, but these often overlap with menu buttons or other firefighters you want to select. This can be a nightmare if a timed bomb is about to go off right next to you, and the rest of the time it’s just an annoyance.
Throwing characters and items also takes a bit too much precision, and you’ll often need to shuffle back and forth as you try to line up the perfect throw. It’s also hard to pan the screen around larger levels to select other firefighters.
Despite its frustrations, Go! Go! Rescue Squad is a solid puzzle game that doesn’t pull any punches. If this is your thing, there’s plenty to love here. Check it out.