There’s always been an elegance in simplicity with video games. “Let’s not bog down the player with an Intense story line and complicated, aggressive game play. Let’s just put them in a situation they now have to deal with and gently guide them to success.” I’m sure that is what the developers were thinking when they created 911 Operator.
You are a 911 call operator; you take emergency calls from citizens, guide them through their situation and dispatch emergency personnel via a map style management screen. There is a grading system at the end of each level that is dependent on how well you manage the calls and how quickly and efficiently you co-ordinate rescue efforts.
The main experience of the game can be summed up as “point and click”, with the occasional decision making style phone conversations that can be rather tricky. The development team really did their research into the kind of calls 911 receives from the ridiculously bizarre to the crafty and clever calls for help. Unfortunately there is either a broken call generation system within the game or just too few calls made because I had multiple repeats even in the first two levels.
In addition there is personnel management where you can hire new/more crews, vehicles and assign different first responders to different vehicles and crews. Choosing different crew members will give you faster response times and faster resolve times as well. Response times is the time is which the emergency crews reach their destination. Resolve times are the times in which the situation is… well resolved at the scene.
I found the vehicle placement and phone conversations a little difficult to navigate at times. There is no halt in game play between answering the calls and dispatching vehicles. It is all click based which lead me to conclude that this game would actually have been better on a mobile platform rather than a Steam arcade game. Having a touchscreen wouldn’t make the navigation as frustrating and could open the possibility of a more challenging and rewarding experience.
This review seems a little short but that’s really only because there isn’t much to say. Simple and fun. Not to mention giving the person on the phone extremely bad advice that ends up getting them hurt more then they are is just as entertaining as it sounds. All that being said, would’ve preferred playing it on a handheld device rather than PC.
911 Operator (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is good, with a few negatives.
A wonderfully executed arcade game, slow yet quick paced, keeps you on your toes. An enjoyable point and click.