To The Rescue! is finally here! Why is that exciting? Well, if you were born with a heart, this game is going to appeal to you. You start from humble beginnings after having moved to a new town (with your choice of four-legged friend after finishing the character creator), and quickly discover that a cheeky little pupper named Lightning has legged it from their owner and is running amok next to your new home.
The story continues with you taking the doggo to the local shelter, only to find out the place is overrun with lost or abandoned dogs. I know right!? Heartbreaking. With the stage set, the game begins with its management mechanics as you start getting acquainted with your newly-acquired friend, Lightning. You’ll be responsible for finding his owner and taking care of his needs like food, hygiene, water, boredom, illness, and well, you get the point. It’s a dog-care simulator and there is a fair amount of nuance.
I say this because the dogs will develop their own personalities, what they like or dislike, as well as inheriting specific traits from their breed. You’ve paired up two dogs who don’t like the same type of food? You’re going to have one happy and one miserable doggo, and as such, your shelter and its inhabitants are going to be worse off for your decision. Your care matters, as it should, and directly affect the longevity, happiness, and adoptability of the dogs in your care!
If that sounds challenging, fear not, because the game ships with a sandbox mode as well, so that you can learn the ins and outs of the game and how individualistic the dogs are, before jumping back into the story to put your knowledge to the test. The sandbox works in two ways. Not only does it allow for you to experiment without affecting the result of your story character and the dogs in their charge, but it allows for limitless play once you’ve worked your way through the story.
As is true for most simulation-type games, you can upgrade your shelter to have improved equipment and facilities, as well as expanding the facility to house more inhabitants. But be careful, you’re going to need to manage more and more aspects of owning a shelter as you grow. Don’t spread yourself too thin!