Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX

Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX

Burnin' down the house.

firegirl

Firefighter games have had a bit of a rough ride on the gaming front it seems lately, as its fair to say that there are more bad than good offerings, for those looking to battle a blaze or two.  But Japanese studio Dejima are aiming to change that with Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX – a retro fuelled fire fight fest that sees you battling fire, rescuing trapped people and (at long last) cats too.

In this 2.5D roguelike, you fill the boots of Firegirl – a mysterious young girl who helps the city fire brigade in putting out fires.  All is not as it seems there are questions being asked as to why there are so many fires in the city and even why it seems like there are monsters in the heart of the blazes.  It’s a bit of a throw away tale that I wish I could have skipped past more often than not, as there are sometimes quite lengthy in-game talking scenes that are not voiced beyond some made up jargon, and it really does feel like its holding you back from the action.  Once it’s out of the way, you are off to fight fires.  This sees you taking on random firefighting missions, where your goal is simple: get in, get the people out and maybe save a few cats along the way.

All the time you’re fighting a number of different fires and fire monsters, and keeping you on your toes is there’s a set time to complete the mission before the building collapses around you.  If you get the job done you’ll earn fans for some reason, which then translates into you getting more money – which is an important part of the gameplay, as you have an array of upgrades to buy to make you that bit better.  You’ll also find that some of the people you rescue will work for you at the station if you can pay their wage.  So having cash is quite important if you want to move the game forward.

Issues can be found with the general controls, as the game never feels as tight as it needs to be.  Especially when using the hose jump ability which is often hit and miss.  Plus for cash being such a core part of the games progression, it’s painfully slow to get it flowing in especially in the early game.  Visually the game has a very unique style, as it’s a 2.5D game where the backgrounds are in 3D, but Firegirl and the cast of characters you’ll meet are all rendered in a pixel art style, which makes for a very striking look to the game.  What is not remotely striking though, is the dull and mundane music and sound design which its 100% forgettable.

Firegirl is an odd roguelike that is fun in the moment, but held back on almost every other front.  Often a unique idea and art style are great, but if it’s not supported beyond that it ultimately falls flat.  Is this a good game? …meh.  Is it the best of a bad bunch of firefighting games? …underwhelmingly, yes.

An Xbox review copy of Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX was provided by Dejima’s PR team, and it’s available now on PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch for around £10.

The Verdict

5Mediocre

The Good: Art style | Core idea

The Bad: Lack of telling you things | Slow cash flow system | Un-skippable dialogue

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Stuart Cullen

Scotland’s very own thorn in the side of the London gaming scene bringing all the hottest action straight from The Sun… well… The Scottish Sun at least, every week!

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