A challenging arcade game with a serene vibe, Rescue Wings is the story of a courageous canine who must save a forest by dousing the flames from above.
As Scruffy the dog, you’ll dip your propeller plane into reservoirs to fill your tanks before gliding over the blazes that rage below, to drop water bombs and save the day.
The controls couldn’t be simpler: climb and dive by thumbing the left of the screen, accelerate with the right.
But hitting every target without crashing is trickier than it looks, particularly when you need to manoeuvre through low-ceilinged caves.
Rescue Wings’ clever structure constantly gives you new things to see and do. In Adventure mode, you’ll fly as far as you can to unlock new areas – just be sure not to miss too many fires, as they’ll propagate and destroy the forest.
Using the coins you’ve earned, you can then build an airstrip in each area, giving you four levels to tackle, with a three-star rating for flushing all the flames.
Then come the devilishly tricky time trials, which ask you to do all that against the clock.
You’ll be amply rewarded for your efforts, with money to spend on new craft. Buy one with a high fill speed and you’ll cut down the time you spend underwater, while nippier planes will give you a better shot at beating those par times – and your opponents in the exciting online races.
With its gorgeous scenery and painterly, peach-coloured skies, Rescue Wings reminds us of Alto’s Odyssey: from the short hops of the competitive game to the relative long haul of Adventure mode, each flight is an exhilarating but blissful journey. It’s a splash hit.