Developed by Jutsu Games
Released in 2018
Video games have always presented the opportunity to live a different life. Typically enjoyment comes from stepping into shoes very different to our own; we become an army marine fighting for freedom or a busty adventurous aristocrat discovering ancient relics. But sometimes, it’s interesting to experience a life that could have been ours if we’d made different life choices. It’s a gamified exaggerated portrayal of a reality of course, but it’s an approximation that allows us to at least imagine what could be. The appropriately named ’911 Operator’ is a perfect example of this. As the name suggests the game puts you in control of a city's emergency services, answering calls as they come in and dispatching teams according to the need. It’s a real-time strategy game, mixed with a resource management-sim. Gameplay revolves around juggling the police, medics and fire brigade. You’ll be prioritising and assessing the needs of cases and responding in the most efficient manner.
Surprisingly given its American focus, ‘911 Operator‘was made by Jutsu games, a small company of 5 people based in Warsaw, Poland. “We are making our way into professional game development now. We really enjoy innovative gameplays and... maps“they say. Its modest origins aren’t obvious though, as a clean, stylish and functional interface has been favoured over flashy graphics and potentially distracting flourishes.
In the main body of the game, the action is entirely viewed from an overhead map, depicting a real world city. On-screen Icons represent where all the different emergency crews are located and as emergencies arise they are also shown as an icon. Each emergency is given a combination of colours that correspond with the response required. Accordingly, The core gameplay in ‘911 Operator’ could be described as a colour matching exercise. You simply select a response team and direct them to the event that matches their colour. Apparently many of the emergencies featured in the game are based on genuine 911 calls. “We also consult[ed] with professional policemen and medics, so do not worry about the reality of the game” boasts the developer.