There’s something undeniably heroic and cool about being a firefighter, with some of the bravest folk in the world putting their lives on the line to stop fires. Personally, I’ll never be brave enough to do it, so my firefighting has to be limited to the world of video games. It’s what made Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX catch my attention in the first place, and now, after a bit of a delay, it’s made its way to the Nintendo Switch in a new deluxe form.
Is it any good to play? I had a lot of fun, even if some repetitive level design can deter from the overall experience.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX puts players in the role of a young up-and-coming firefighter as she looks to help take down the fires that have been rampaging across the city. With the appearance of fire monsters though, it seems that there’s a lot more at play here, which is something players will discover more of as they progress through the game. With the memory of her firefighter father spurring her on, she looks to get to the bottom of these mysterious fires and ensure that no more civilians will die amongst the raging flames.
As you’d probably expect, the core gameplay experience of Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX revolves around putting out fires and rescuing people in trouble. There are plenty of obstacles that’ll get in your way though, including doors that you’ll need to smash down with your trusty axe and fire monsters that’ll try to spit balls of flames your way. Yep, there are fire monsters to deal with, but hey… it’s a video game, it doesn’t have to follow the conventional rules of firefighting. With a time limit to work towards, survivors to rescue, and a limited water supply available (you can replenish this along the way), there’s a lot of pressure on the player to work through levels and get the job done.
It’s enjoyable to quell flames with your hose, with it proving surprisingly satisfying to blast water all over the place in-game. Your hose is easily controlled by moving the left stick around, whilst there’s enough accuracy on offer with the trajectory of your water-blasting to ensure it’s never difficult to hit your target. The best part of all? If you blast your hose downwards, you can use it to launch yourself in the air like a jetpack. Admittedly, it took a bit of practice to get used to, but it’s the most effective way to zip your way through the game’s vertically designed levels quickly.
“Whilst the locales are somewhat simple, the vibrant colours and effective lighting effects ensured they always felt atmospheric.”
And you’ll need to be quick: as I said, you’re working to a time limit and you’ll only earn cash if you manage to save the folk that need your help. You can find some collectibles in levels to increase your time limit and putting out flames will give it a boost too, but ultimately you’ll need to work at a swift pace if you want to rescue everyone in time. It might sound counter-intuitive, but this often means ignoring fires too; I know, I know, the job of a firefighter involves extinguishing them, but sometimes I found that the game just didn’t give me enough time to do it. It was a little bit weird really, especially since there’s something cathartic about putting out the flames and because… you know… you’re a firefighter, but it is what it is.
On the flip-side, you’ll often earn more in-game points by performing MORE tasks. You’ll earn more renown by putting out more fires, defeating more flame monsters, rescuing all the survivors, and doing it in a timely manner, so there is an incentive there do as much as you can – even if the time limit doesn’t always encourage it. Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX isn’t an easy game (I died a LOT when playing), so you have to be creative and pick your battles.
Luckily, you’ll be able to unlock new upgrades as you earn more cash and rescue more survivors, with each making your life easier as you work through jobs. You can also equip special medals that you earn, with each providing different boosts that can make your firefighting skills much more effective. A lot of these improvements make the game more enjoyable to play too, so it’s worth getting through some of the early hurdles of tough levels in order to unlock them.
Check out some screenshots down below:
The core gameplay loop of Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX can be a lot of fun and it was certainly satisfying to put out fires and rescue survivors. However, it can get repetitive fast too, with only a limited amount of environments for levels to take place across and a lack of creativity in their procedurally-generated forms. Whilst each level was technically different, they became predictable in design fast and there wasn’t a whole lot to differentiate them. Add to that the fact that you’re doing a lot of the same things over and over again and it could make Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX feel a little tiresome, even if it was satisfying to unlock new upgrades and earn renown along the way.
Fortunately, it wasn’t repetitive enough that I got bored of playing the game, whilst things like the snazzy visual style ensured it was always pretty to look at. I’ve always been a fan of seeing 2D-style sprites on 3D backgrounds, and Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX uses it to great effect. Whilst the locales are somewhat simple, the vibrant colours and effective lighting effects ensured they always felt atmospheric. It is worth pointing out that I did suffer a little bit of slowdown when playing on the Nintendo Switch, but it wasn’t problematic enough to hinder the experience for me.
Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX Review
Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX kept me playing thanks to its fun firefighting antics and slick visuals (even IF it could get a little repetitive along the way). It is a shame that the level design can get samey and it doesn’t offer more creativity, but luckily it never stops being satisfying to extinguish flames, take out the fire monsters, and rescue survivors.
There are things it could do better, but those who want a vibrant fix of firefighting action will certainly have a fun time with Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue DX.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC