Jan 6, 2010

Heli Rescue

I don't normally like to post reviews of games before I've achieved a certain level of progress in them, but this game is bloody difficult. But we'll save that commentary for later...

Heli Rescue from Distinctive Wireless is another entry in the crowded genre of line drawing games started by Flight Control on the iPhone. Great game, love it, would love to see it on the Android although Flying Aces is filling the gap better and better with each update.

In Heli Rescue you are rescuing stranded citizens that have gotten off the beaten track, are lost, and have no provisions. You have four helicopters and each copter can carry a certain number of people and a certain amount of fuel. You have to fly, pick up people (in some cases one at a time even though there's a party of two), drop them back off at base, and repeat. This is further complicated by having to monitor fuel gauges and the fact that the map has terrain like mountains that you have to avoid.

One of the games I really like BETTER than Flight Control on the iPhone is Harbor Master. I like the multi-stage aspect needed to get the job done. Heli Rescue has this same feel with having to first pick up people and then fly them base to a base and that's what I really like about it.

A few other notes... the graphics are nice, but tiny. The sounds of people shouting "Help me!" as they get more and more desperate for rescue adds nicely to the pressure of the game. It's a well crafted game that I have played and enjoyed many times now. The only pseudo-glitch I came across was a point where I could only see 3 of my copters... the fourth was about half off the edge of the screen making its location difficult to find.

And, as mentioned earlier, my big complaint about the game is a) no difficulty levels coupled with b) the game starts off really hard. I admit that have not completed the first level get. I'll post an update when I do as the game is addictive enough to keep me trying, but there's going to be a point where I give up before I have a chance to really enjoy the game's other maps. My fear with that is that if you consider yourself more of a casual gamer this may be too difficult for you and just leave you frustrated and in that case I'd recommend Flying Aces or Automania over this (or Flight Director, which I haven't received as I don't really care for the bland looking Google Earth maps... I like the idea of real airports, but think the maps should be artistically enhanced).

In summary, if you think you can handle the challenge then I'd get both this and one of the airport style games as this is a well crafted game. There's no demo available and I still don't get why companies don't proudly list the Android versions of their game alongside the iPhone versions, but I'm guessing that will change very soon as Android continues to rapidly gain in popularity. Anyhow, better get back to seeing if I can get past the first level again...

[Update: Ok. I'm an idiot. This is about as stupid as I've ever felt after a review. I don't know why I thought there would be levels when no other game like this has them. The goal is to rescue the most people before a disaster sets in (which in this case means a helicopter goes down or a person dies). The game starts off with a handful of easy rescues and does get difficult very quickly, but quite frankly that's a good thing. My main complaint with the first version of Flight Control was that I could easily land 60 planes so every game was prefixed with a boring 10 or so minutes of monotonous game play at which time challenge would finally set in. And while I do think difficulty levels would be a good addition for this game I am wrong about 'next levels' aside from unlocking the other maps (you start with 2 choices). My current best for the Eviter Mountain map is 23.]

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