Developer: Supermono Studios
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.2.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Playtime: Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Supermono Games seems to know how to do something truly interesting with the free to play game. Forever Drive’s crowdsourced tracks were unique and challenging, though occasionally flawed. For Rescue Rush, Supermono has taken real-world street maps, and turned them into giant Pac-Man-style mazes. It’s as cool as it sounds.

The conceit is that players control a cat that a reasearch lab accidentally made into a giant cat. So, it goes around and frees its fellow test subjects from the cages that have been left around the world. These fill each level, and collecting a prerequisite amount of them is necessary to win, with collectable coins available as well. Levels are formed from city streets on a map, divided into block-by-block grids. Squares can be unlocked by either physically going to that location or by unlocking them using a crystal. Crystals can be bought, or earned through the completion of in-game missions. There are robots hunting down the player, and running into one means the level ends. Thankfully, the player can use a superpower to stun enemies and be invincible for a few seconds. There is an energy system in place, which thankfully can be cheaply refilled by using just one crystal.

This is easily the best use of geolocation-based gaming ever. City streets turning into mazes just feels ingenious. It’s cool to trav down familiar pathways as a giant cat, playing the world’s biggest game of Pac-Man. It particularly excels because it doesn’t specifically require players to be in a bustling metropolis. Players can explore areas they haven’t physically been to by using crystals to unlock new squares. Also, in many cases not being in an urban area may actually cause more interesting levels to be created – road patterns that aren’t on a grid definitely stand out. The portals to different world locations are a great feature, as they make the whole world a part of the game, not just where the player physically is at the moment.

Now, it is true that grid patterns are the maps that the game handles the best, as things like diagonals start to throw a wrench into the control scheme. Also, varying road patterns like Lake Shore Drive in Chicago causes levels that are very tricky to beat, like one that had essentially two long corridors, so I to beat it I had to time my special power usage just right. The grid cutoff points coming at their set points and not where they are planned to end is really the cause of this.

Still, despite the occasional hiccups, Rescue Rush is an ingenious concept that succeeds at turning real-world locations into a fun arcade game. It’s just too clever to not enjoy on at least some level.

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