Developed by Magellanic Point Rescue Arcade is an upcoming indie arcade-inspired light gun game much in the tradition of SEGA’s Virtua Cop series. In this particular title, you play a cop who must gun down scores of crooks to save the hostages they have taken. The title is a heavily retro-inspired game that is sure to give gamers of a certain generation warm fuzzy feelings of arcade adventures of yore.
Point Rescue Arcade is currently in development with the build I have previewed being an early Alpha. But even at this stage, it does show promise. Even those who aren’t fans of the genre might get a kick out of this one. Understandably being so early in its development the developers behind it still have a lot of work to do to get it ready for release. But what I have played so far is still a whole lot of fun.
Story – Cop Out
As one would expect, and as is often the case with the titles I preview, there isn’t much to really talk about with regard to the story in the current build. It’s another “all action all the time” deal. Which, once again, there is nothing wrong with that. Sure, there isn’t much in the way of context for your actions. But given what the game is it’s kind of self-explanatory; You are a cop, you need to shoot the bad guys. Done. Easy. Simple to understand.
As such the only real thing to talk about is fonts and the narrative progression of the preview itself. Both of which the developers have done a fair job with. Being a retro-inspired venture the fonts and text in general look period-appropriate without looking too overly pixelated and illegible. The levels themselves flow well. And give you a gradual introduction to the various elements that you need to look out for. It is very much a ‘learn on the job’ kind of tutorial level which feels apt for the era it seeks to evoke.
Gameplay – Dirty Harry
As explained in the intro Point Rescue Arcade is a retro-inspired arcade light gun shooter. Your job is to shoot every gun-toting baddie that leaps out all whilst avoiding shooting the hostages they have taken. For those unfamiliar with this genre of the game just imagine a shooting gallery on wheels. Only the targets can fire back at you. The store page lists that Point Rescue Arcade is playable using modern light guns. Sadly I don’t own one so my play-through was done using my trusty mouse.
If you have ever played Virtua Cop you have an idea of what to expect. All the way down to the coloured ring that surrounds your foes and gives you a heads up about when they will shoot. All in all, it is a great translation of arcade-style shooting onto home computers. Sure, it isn’t quite the same as playing it with a light gun, but I can’t fault the devs for me not having the right hardware for it. And given how well it works with a mouse it wasn’t a total washout.
Shoot The Runner
To be honest with you, I am rather shocked at just how challenging Point Rescue Arcade has been. And I mean that in the best possible terms. One would be forgiven for thinking using a mouse-based for a light gun game would make it too easy. But here that isn’t really the case. Whilst aiming and shooting with the mouse isn’t the hardest of things to do you have a very limited window of time to hit your targets and a limited amount of ammo to use. And whilst you can reload your ammo fairly easily it can take a while to do. Meaning that your timing needs to be perfect if you want to succeed.
Additionally, the spawn points of your targets seem to change slightly with each play-through. Making it hard to memorise any patterns that you might have otherwise been able to exploit. It is a simple addition that not only adds an extra dimension of difficulty to events but adds a certain degree of replay value. Now, it would be frankly reckless of me to imply that after playing Point Rescue Arcade for this preview I’m left feeling that the game is feature complete. As it frankly isn’t. And whilst it does show profound promise it is clear that a few things need tweaking here and there.
It will be interesting to see how the developers expand upon Point Rescue Arcade. As I feel a little more variety is needed. As to what they could add I’m not sure. This is due mainly to the fact that Ol’ Chris was always more of a Time Crisis fan than a Virtua Cop fan. But I’m not going to demand or hint that the devs take the title in one direction or another. Not that I would anyway.
I’d hate to sound like I’m repeating myself but Point Rescue Arcade really does show a lot of promise even in this preview build. It really does nail the core gameplay loop perfectly. It might seem like a simple type of game to get right but it is a fine balance that the developers get right. This creates a game which is a lot of fun to play. And I greatly look forwards to seeing how they can build upon it from here.
Graphics & Audio – Hip Cop
As I said earlier in the preview, Point Rescue Arcade is a title that really shows its influences on its sleeve. It is very much a tribute to the Virtua Cop light gun games of the 1990s. From the world and character design right down to the soundtrack and sound effects. Every effort seems to be being made to make the title feel as period-appropriate as possible.
If you have been reading my previews on KeenGamer for any amount of time you’ll have seen I’ve covered a variety of titles like this for the past couple of years. And Point Rescue Arcade feels more on the side of historical accuracy side of things more than the pastiche/impersonation that other titles can be. It looks every bit the part. And whilst the art and character designs might well change between here and now the developers are on the right track in my humble opinion.
The Sound Of Justice
The presentation of the Point Rescue Arcade is great. As said previously, the developers have done a commendable job in evoking the look and feel of the SEGA Saturn era of arcade gaming. And all without feeling too reductive or regressive. The weakness I feel it has isn’t in how it looks or sounds but more in its function. To be blunt dear reader, the options menu is a pain in the bottom to deal with.
Oh sure, it gives you every option you’d hope for. But the volume options are a tad messy; in order to lower the volume, you need to increase the volume level until it loops back around to 0 and then go back up from there. A minor issue I’ll grant you. And when the biggest issue that one can have with a game is merely how the option menu functions it should be a sign of how decent everything feels even at this point.
This preview features video from Itch.oi on Youtube.
Point Rescue Arcade was previewed on PC.