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Imagine an open-world driving game where you race to help people, rather than run them off the road.

You’d end up with something like the E10-rated "Emergency Heroes" from Ubisoft, which emphasizes rescue over wreckage.

You play as Zach Harper, who has linked up with the Emergency Heroes to fight fires, aid the injured and catch crooks in the city of San Alto.

You can cruise the city in a variety of vehicles, but they basically fall into three categories — police cruisers, fire trucks and ambulances.

You’ll be guided to respond to various emergencies and crimes. None of the action is particularly realistic, but it can be fun. You ram bad guys’ cars to capture them or quickly squirt water as you race past a fire to put it out.

The game relies on the Nintendo Wii’s motion-sensitive remote to act as a steering wheel. Various buttons on the remote control speed, brakes and vehicles’ special abilities.

Although the controls are simple, it’s pretty difficult to master them. Steering and acceleration controls are way too sensitive and you’re likely to end up over-steering or slamming into innocent civilians — resulting in complaints. Since this is a game designed for young and inexperienced players, the imprecise controls are a big problem.

Another problem is figuring out where to find missions. The city is big and confusing and the city map must be accessed by leaving the main mission screen. A mini-map on the main screen would help.

The graphics have a cartoon feel, with vehicles bearing a resemblance to souped-up Hot Wheels cars.

There are single-player and split-screen modes.

I like the idea of police and firefighters getting their due, but control problems made me want to call for help.

Platform: Wii


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