Ever since Grand Theft Auto III first introduced the taxi mission, or the ambulance run, simulators have become a dream for many strange individuals such as myself. The Ambulance sim is one that has never been truly captured before, and it’s a surprise that it hasn’t, after all, the fast paced, high intensity of a ambulance driver is the perfect environment for a game, especially a simulator at that.
Emergency Ambulance Simulator again like the recent Airport Firefighter Simulator presents a fairly comprehensive career based game open-town game. Don’t worry, you will not be sat in your office waiting long for your pager to go off about the next emergency, in the hectic life of an ambulance driver you’ll spend very little time not on the job.
The game works on a levelling system, at a level 1 ambulance driver you’ll get calls on minor emergencies such as falls, breaks and escorting private patients to the hospital, as you rank up the levels from experience you’ll be attending to road accidents, allergic reactions, unconscious patients and more.
If you are paged with an emergency you need to dash into the appropriate vehicle and zip off to the location as soon as possible, unfortunately your patient will not die, but you will get a time penalty, if it isn’t an emergency however you’ll need to stick to the enforced speed limit, and obey the traffic rules.
Yes, it’s true, some of you will be happy to know that traffic rules are making a comeback! That’s right, as every true simulator fan knows; you can’t just drive about willy-nilly, even ambulance drivers have to adhere to the rules of the road, so when you aren’t rushing off to an emergency you’ll be penalised for running red lights, any accidents and using your siren when unnecessary! That’s right, so don’t go abusing your flashing lights either!
Unfortunately the game uses a similar arrow based location system to Tow Truck Simulator which proves a little confusing at times, however thankfully, the small town that you’ll shortly become acquainted to is nowhere near as large, and within a few jobs you’ll have memorised the route from the hospital to your office. On your travels around the town you’ll spot many locations ripe for accidents; a construction site, parks, car parks, church... yes the church, I know that I’ve been called out for many an incident in the grounds of the lord.
As soon as you’ve made it to your location it is up to you to locate the patient, unfortunately they are not marked out on the map, so if they fell off their bicycle in the park, get ready for a forage, you’re practically blind to their location unless they happen to be right in front of your eyes, so get ready for a man hunt!
Once you’ve located your patient you’ve got possibly one of the most entertaining features of the game; administering treatment! With a selection of nine routine options you can use a defibrillator, stop bleeding, give medicine, oxygen, there’s quite the list. Attempt to administer the incorrect treatment and you’ll see a drop in your potential bonus xp, and whilst it is fun the first couple of times to attempt to use the defibrillator on someone that has fallen over and cut their knee, people’s lives are at stake, not to mention your xp!
It’s then a mad rush back to the hospital, followed by the disinfecting of your ambulance for the next patient, then after all that you get to see how well you did when you ‘write up your report’, then you’ve got about five seconds until your next call out. There's very little to fault the game on, with decent controls, traffic AI that you don't need to shout at, and fairly good animations for a simulator, the good definitely out-weighs the bad in this game.
For such a simple and deliverable concept, Emergency Ambulance Simulator does exactly what it should, its arcade style driving is perfect for the anxious turns that ensue when you’ve got to make your way half way across town for a man that is unresponsive. There’s even a lovely mechanic to ensure that all passersby will rubber-neck as you drive by, just like in real life!
Emergency Ambulance Simulator is part of the Extra Play range and is available now for the low price of £9.99, if like me since GTA III you’ve yearned for an ambulance simulator, this one is pretty solid, especially for those that like to stick to the traffic rules in your gaming.