Finding their forever home.

To the Rescue is a cute dog rescue simulator in which you own an adoption center. Before helping them find the perfect home, you’ll need to feed them, bathe them, give them shots if they are sick, and play with them. You can also build kennels for them, as well as play spaces. This game is super interactive, and the idea of helping cute dogs feel happy and safe makes it very enjoyable.

The game starts with you picking a character. There are four from which to choose, and really, all you are choosing is what you want to look like. You can pick your own name, and even a dog to have as your companion. You can choose its name and appearance, as well.

Once this is done, you start the game in your house and get a little backstory. As you unpack, you notice a lost dog outside.

You decide to take it to the animal shelter where you’re told there are no more spaces for it. Instead, you keep it in your house for the night. The owner is found the next day, and you’re asked to work at the animal shelter. You’re then given a quick tutorial on how to manage the shelter, and the actual gameplay finally starts.

Like stated before, To the Rescue is very interactive, and it’s important to keep your dogs happy so your shelter thrives. Your shelter has a reputation which, when positive, keeps it from getting shut down and allows you to gather and sell more dogs. You get a good reputation by giving people good dogs, and you give people good dogs by taking care of them.

In the game, you have a water bucket, four different kinds of food, a pooper scooper, a bath, medicine, and a first aid kit. Depending on what a dog needs, you give them any of those. You can also hire workers to do those jobs for you, as once you start to shelter more and more dogs, it can get kind of tricky to manage everything on your own.

Dogs are periodically dropped off at your shelter. You provide space for them by having open kennels. Kennels can fit up to four dogs, but only certain dogs are compatible with each other. Some have traits that require them to be alone. Once you have a dog in your care, you will feed it whatever food it prefers, give it water, bathe it, and clean up its messes. To get adopted, customers walk into the store and describe the kind of dog they would like. Each person who wants to adopt has a resistance meter that must be overridden with the love for a dog. To do this, you just need to find the right dog that meets the person’s requirements.

In To the Rescue, you can also upgrade your character and employees to better your skills and shelter. You upgrade these skills with points you gain at the end of each workday. Depending on how well you do, you can earn up to five stars a day. These points are calculated by how many dogs you gain and how many dogs you sell. Upgradable skills include your persuasion and social skills, which allow you to sell dogs more easily, and skills that allow you to bathe dogs more quickly or carry more water. It’s also important to save your money and not go into debt so you can continue to upgrade your shelter with the new rooms and kennels you unlock.

The controls for this game are fairly simple, and you’re given a tutorial in the beginning of the game to know how to use them. The animation is also smooth, and for the most part I had no interface troubles. There was a time where one of my employees was stuck and wouldn’t move or start working until I restarted the game, and there came a point where my game kept crashing whenever I would try to build something in my shelter.

Those issues aside, To the Rescue is still a very fun and cute game that includes a little bit of everything. You get the best of both worlds by taking care of dogs and decorating your shelter, while also taking care of the business side of things. To the Rescue is also challenging. This makes it all the more enjoyable, but if it ever becomes too much, you also have the option to slow things down. There is even an option to choose to “send away” a dog rather than euthanize it, which I think is a nice add in for those who get a little too attached to their sheltered animals.