|The Stretchers is the newest game that has been added to the Switch library. / Photo by: joatseu via Pixabay|
Nintendo made a surprise release last Friday when it launched its newest rescue game: The Stretchers. The new game was developed with Tarsier Studios and was quite a surprise when its makers dropped it seemingly out of nowhere. While the main objective of the game seems fairly simple, rescuing people and carrying them back to the hospital, it could still leave the players' head spinning with its quirky features.
Find the Dizzies
The Stretchers is a two-player co-op game where players are tasked to rescue injured citizens known as the Dizzies or the residents that got dizzied by Captain Brains, according to Nintendo's game information. Even though it's designed to be played with two players, there is also a mode for those who would want to try it alone.
It features a pair of paramedics who drive around town to find and save people, although there may be instances when players would endanger the victims instead of bringing them to safety.
The goal is simple: find the Dizzies, put them on the stretcher, load them to the ambulance, and bring them to the hospital. If there are two players, each one will control each paramedic while single players would have to control both the characters at the same time.
The mechanics may seem simple, but players would have to solve puzzles and avoid traps as they try to transport the Dizzies back to the ambulance. A team of two players would probably fair well in this one, but the same couldn't be said for single players. After all, they do have to navigate the two paramedics by themselves and their success highly depends on how well they can handle their controls.
Its "cartoony style, wacky goals, and quirky mechanics" make the unexpected reveal "a pleasant surprise and will no doubt be a fun addition to the Switch library," said Games Radar, an entertainment website dedicated to video game-related news, previews, and reviews.
Two-Player vs. Single-Player
The two modes of the game offer players a unique challenge on their own.
When playing The Stretchers with a friend, they would need a great deal of coordination to sync their movements and ensure that they can avoid obstacles properly. Coordination is also the key to successfully rescuing victims, picking up optional treasures for bonus points, and getting the patients into the van without tripping over one another.
For solo players, a different kind of coordination is needed: coordination with the self, which Chris Kohler of video game website Kotaku found rather difficult. "I’ve spent all my time in The Stretchers so far playing solo," he wrote on his review of the game on their site. "My brain is not entirely thrilled with my decision."
Single players use the controllers' two analog sticks to control each character independently, which Kohler said left him "twisted up" especially when the character is controlled with a certain stick moves over to the opposite of the screen.
What doesn't require simultaneous controls is when the player drives the ambulance around the city, considering only one of the paramedics will man the steering wheel.
Regardless of which mode a user is playing, the Kotaku writer said the game is bound to be confusing, which provides players enough incentive to complete the missions.
|For players who are going to play The Stretchers alone, coordination with the self is needed. / Photo by: Ekaterina Minaeva via 123rf|
Wacky Obstacles and Cool Bonuses
As stated, the game is filled with various obstacles that players need to avoid to get the Dizzies. Coordination specifically comes into play when the players pick up the victims by sliding the stretcher under them, lifting them, and then making their way back to the ambulance. Kohler warned that the obstacles get more difficult to navigate as the missions go on.
"You can get tripped up by water sprinklers or cannons firing giant fish out of a nearby boat. You and your partner might have to cooperate to use a lawnmower to clear out grass before you can get to the Dizzies or bounce on trampolines to get up on rooftops where they’re waiting to be saved," he wrote.
Players can also collect bonus points by finding and picking up safes full of cash. Sometimes walking into bushes can also rack up those points. Be careful not to trip on an obstacle, as this could lead to being penalized and loss of the bonus points. Bonus points will also be given if players can take all the Dizzies to the hospital before the bonus clock runs out.
Missions can be played again to set higher scores and earn medals, which can also be accomplished by finishing tasks such as staying in the air or nearly hitting a hundred people.
When missions start to get boring, players can opt to ignore them for a bit and just roam around town to uncover the secrets of the game, like finding extra clothes and items in the home base. The game also has a wide variety of side missions that don’t require rescuing people, like using two persons to cut down a tree.