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Strategy First



Monte Cristo



E (Everyone)



Q2 2006



- Satisfying number of emergency situations to tackle

- With some of the micromanagement stripped out, this could be an awesome game for kids

- Freeplay mode



- Micromanagement hell

- Documentation is poor



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Emergency 3

Score: 5.5 / 10


Emergency 3 is one of those titles that I wanted to like, but it’s so over-complicated and poorly documented that it can quickly become a lesson in frustration.


emergency 3          emergency 3


As with the previous two games in the series, Emergency 3 puts you in command of various disaster response situations, like raging infernos, with the main objective being containment and rescue of anyone unfortunate enough to be in harm’s way.


The basic tutorial, and I do mean basic, alerts you to micromanagement troubles.  Rather than clicking on an appropriate unit, then clicking on a location to perform some kind of action, you have to follow your units around to ensure they don’t get themselves into trouble and to manage each step along the way.  Click a unit,




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then click on the fire truck (being sure to select the “jaws of life” option), then clicking on the mangled car, then choosing the option to use to the jaws of life, then dropping the jaws of life to pull the body out of the vehicle, then clicking a ways off from the vehicle so your unit will drag the body to relative safety.  This is fine stuff for a tutorial, when no one’s (virtual) life is on the line, but in the field when handling 


the extremely narrow objectives, you’ll have to reload a given scenario a dozen times before striking on the right solution.


It doesn’t help that the documentation for Emergency 3 is so poor that for some units it’s a matter of trial-and-error to figure out what they can do.  With about 30 different emergency units, this omission borders on criminal (for game design).


emergency 3          emergency 3


With some tweaking this game easily could have become an educational tool, because kids lap this stuff up.  And parents wouldn’t mind the action because while the graphics are relatively good, the developers didn’t include anything gratuitous.  There is a financial aspect to the game as well (units are “leased”), but it’s so underplayed that it could have been dropped and not missed making it even more kid friendly.


Besides the “campaign” mode there’s also a freeplay mode which drops you into a city that never seems to be quiet.  There’s always some fool crashing his car or a building on fire – you run from emergency to emergency.  While the control is good, the micromanagement often gets in the way of having fun with it.


Emergency 3 will appeal to the small segment of gamers out there that can put up with controlling the minutia, which is pretty small segment.  But with the series already at number three, people must be buying it.


- D.D. Nunavut

(August 22, 2006)


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