Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39781)
Written on  :  Sep 25, 2015
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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A very good game, minus some animations and features

The Good

River Rescue is a nice little game from Creative Sparks, and was available for the Commodore and Atari 8-bit computers. It reminds me of River Raid, but the difference between the two games is that this one is a top-down, horizontal scroller. I will be reviewing the Commodore 64 version.

The object of this game is to start negotiating a straight river full of crocodiles and canoes and dock at a jetty to rescue the missing scientists. There are nine scientists to rescue, with those that you already rescued appearing in the white box at the bottom of the screen. The game gets more difficult after you rescued all nine. People who play a pirated version of the game that includes no documentation won't know about this. I like how the game ramps up the difficulty the more explorers you rescue. After you rescue six of them, a helicopter appears and drops bullets into the center of the river, making it more difficult to negotiate around them.

The status bar that displays the scores as SCORE1 and SCORE2 reminds me of the one in Space Invaders. The number of lives are laid out nicely below them. Everything in the game is drawn and animated nicely. As for the sound effects, I like the little, musical piece at the beginning of each game, as well as the sound of the boat engine. It is not quite as noisy like the other versions.

The Bad

Some of the animations are missing, including the explorers walking toward your docked boat, and the spray that is left behind by the back of your boat. Also, the river could have been more difficult, with some parts getting narrower. This could be seen in the VIC-20 version. There is also no SOS call.

The Bottom Line

River Rescue is right up there with most of the Atari 2600 games you can get at the time, that features a simple plot. In the game, the player negotiates a straight river and rescues explorers, shooting obstacles along the way. The VIC-20 version is superior to both the C-64 and Atari 8-bit versions when it comes to animation and features, but don't let that stop you from enjoying this addictive game.