I don’t know how independent developer little rock games got hold of my gaming dream journal, but they did, and now we have To the rescuea game in which you must maintain your own dog sanctuary and work to connect animals to their home forever.
It’s almost too adorable to be true.
To the rescue is a charming dog shelter simulator where you are responsible for taking care of dozens of cute dogs that need a home. It’s not all hugs and snoot boops: running a shelter can be a lot of work. You need to manage all the dogs needs to maximize their chances of finding the right forever home.
Every day brings new challenges and rewards. Dogs have specific preferences, can contract infectious diseases, and can have negative traits. But you can also host fundraisers, get random donations, and help someone find their new best friend. Unfortunately, there is never enough space and always more dogs.
Some dogs are more desirable than others, but maybe if you can afford to wait long enough, maybe every dog will have their day.
I recently got to watch a demo of the game and how in-depth it is when it comes to taking care of an animal shelter. Sure, there are plenty of heartwarming moments to be had, but there’s also a focus on how much work goes into maintaining both the shelter and the dogs that come in.
I was surprised to find out that the game doesn’t just take place at the shelter and instead you choose an avatar for yourself, choose a companion (yes, you get a pooch of your own which you name), and move to a whole new city that you will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with.
While settling into your new place, you find a lost pup and attempt to bring him to a local shelter. Unfortunately, the shelter is full, but you have the option of building your own kennel in your garage to take care of the pup. Shortly after, you start working at the shelter, and over time you will be able to run your own shelter and work to get various dogs adopted by members of the community.
Each dog has its own characteristics and statistics because, in real life, each dog is different. There are differences with breeds, with personalities, there are even differences in what each dog eat, and it’s your job to keep track of it all. How you spend time with dogs also varies, from making sure they have water to play with in the backyard to making sure they stay active while waiting for their forever home. Ideally, you’ll get all of their stars, so they’ll be in top shape at the time of adoption.
The way the dogs are treated and the way the shelter is maintained affects its reputation throughout the city. Your shelter’s reputation is important because it can affect the number of people who pick up a dog. Your reputation depends on how you treat the dogs, but you can also do things in the community to improve the appearance of your shelter (eg charity events).
Just like in a real shelter, you can be fined for neglecting your dogs or overcrowding your shelter, so you need to make sure everything is in order while you play. Plus, just like a real safe haven, you need to keep track of how much money you’re spending in order to get things done. How will you spend the money you earn after adopting a dog? Do you get more pet food? Building more kennels to accommodate more dogs? Create more space in your shelter? Adoption isn’t the only way to make money in the game either, as you can host fundraisers and even receive grants based on what you’ve done in the game.
But let’s get into the real crux of the game: adoption. At the end of the day, your goal is to make sure your dogs find a good human of their own. People who come tend to have their ideal image of the perfect puppy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t bring home a different dog. If you’re like me, when you entered your local human society, you ended up leaving with the animal you had the strongest bond with versus the animal you had in mind.
It can happen in To the rescuealso.
When someone comes looking for a dog, you decide which ones to bring to the show area. Typically, you try to choose those that are close to what someone is asking to increase the possibility of a dog being adopted. Each customer has a meter to fill, and the happier they are with their choices, the higher the meter goes. During the game demo I saw someone come in who wanted a big smart dog, but the dogs combined stats that were shown increased their counter so much that it didn’t matter that none of the dogs matched 100 % . In the end, they got a completely different dog than they had planned on getting because they were so happy with what was offered to them.
(Image: Little Rock Games)
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