One of the great things about computer games is trying jobs that you don’t do in real life. You could try being a racing driver, a Roman soldier, or a spaceship pilot. Of course, you could also try something a bit more achievable or possible. Well, that’s the case with 911 Operator from Jutsu Games. You will be able to experience a little of what it would be like to be on the other end of a 911 call. Fortunately, if you give the wrong advice or make the wrong decision here, the results are a little less tragic or permanent.
911 Operator plays like a cross between a management game and something a little more strategic. You have to manage your resources to deal with the various emergencies you come across. Some will just appear on the map while others will call up and you’ll have to figure out what is required. Sometimes the situations will develop as you have teams there. What started out as a medical emergency could need police support or the help of the fire brigade. This allows the game to be more than just sending team “A” to place “A” while team “B” deal with situation “B.” You need to keep an eye on the various incidents that are occurring on your map.
You are graded on your performance at the end of your shift. Perform well and not only will you get more funds to improve your emergency services, but your reputation will improve. Raise your reputation high enough and you’ll get the opportunity to move to a bigger city. There are six different locations to play through, each with their different quirks, events, and situations. While there are different situations in each city, there is also a lot of repetition — too much repetition. By the time I had gotten to the fourth location, I could have told you what the required response was on nearly every call from just the first line of dialogue.
Visually, the game does what it needs to do and not much more. The cities are shown as 2D maps with just the road systems being displayed. Overlaid on these maps are your various ambulance, fire, and police units. At first, this layout seems pretty plain, but once you get far enough into your shift it gets pretty chaotic. There are incidents all over the map and various units responding. It looks partly like an air traffic control screen and requires you to be able to understand it and keep track of things in the same way. All in all, it’s not a pretty-looking game, but it perfectly fits what it is trying to do.
The audio is kind of the same as well. Though the game suggests that you need to keep a close ear out for clues in the background of a call, I never found it necessary. The voice acting is fine without ever being great. The radio calls of your emergency units are incredibly repetitive, but since you never pay that much attention to them, it’s never too annoying.
911 Operator is fun little title, but you have to get past a lot of repetition. The difficulty can be a little harsh too when you don’t understand everything that’s going on. I lost quite a few units at the beginning of the game as I didn’t know what I was sending my police officers into. By the end, though, I was flying through the scenarios with ease. You could comfortably finish the game in a few hours, but for such a budget title I think that is reasonable. If you fancy challenging your mind for a few hours with something that isn’t too frenetic, then you might want to give this a go.
A review code was provided by the publisher.