Dispatch cops in your hometown with 911 Operator

Emergency services simulator 911 Operator [official site] was released on Friday, putting you at the desk of an operator who takes calls and dispatches ambulances, fire trucks and police units to help citizens (or sometimes just to shut down a loud party). I’ve just played about 45 minutes, during which time I ignored all public drunkenness in a fictional town and saved a cat from a tree. It was fun, in a surprisingly slow-burning way. But then I entered the game’s ‘free mode’ and it detected my own city, quickly loading up a map of San Jose to play in. “That’s quite impressive,” I thought, as I peered at the ‘search for other city’ field. Expecting no results, I typed in my hometown. Lo and behold, it loaded up. I can now direct the police force of Lurgan, Northern Ireland.

Of course, the crimes and callers don’t change depending on the city. There are 50 pre-recorded calls you can receive and 140 different types of encounters. I have chased stolen cars and attended the scene of a robbery. I’ve also quickly sent police to check on the children of an arguing and drunken couple (I initially thought the caller was just moaning about their TV being too loud but staying on the line she told me some other details that made me want to send a policeman or two). On the other hand, there have been errors. I hung up on one caller immediately because they asked for pizza, only to later discover it was a threatened person trying to request help without attracting suspicion from criminals in the same room.

In reality, the police will not visit certain parts of Lurgan. So it’s fun to see them darting in and out of those areas without a second thought or encountering any problems specific to a, er, particular zone. Although there have been plenty of fights and car crashes, everything in town so far is a kind of universally mundane emergency.

Oh, no, I’m lying. JUST as I dipped back in to check on something, this happened.

Perhaps it is tailored to individual cities after all!

I imagine it might run out of juice after repeated play, as the calls and emergencies repeat themselves, but developers Jutsu Games say they are planning to add new content at a later date. You can currently pick it up on Steam for £10.99/$14.99.

15 Comments

  1. RealWeaponX says:

    Ah, come on Brendan, we’ve not had a bomb threat in Lurgan for a good while. Not since we found out knives were cheaper than fertiliser.

  2. cardboardcity says:

    A sim for police along the lines of “Unmanned” would be vastly more entertaining, in a queasy sort of way. link to unmanned.molleindustria.org

  3. ButteringSundays says:

    “…help citizens (or sometimes just to shut down a loud party)”

    Because a loud party is a victimless crime? Someone has never lived in a flat.

  4. Raoul Duke says:

    At what point did it become the rule that games can no longer be about the obviously fun bit (actually drive emergency vehicles to locations at high speed! put out fires, stop crimes, save people having heart attacks!) to the boring, obviously unfun bit (do the bureaucratic/administrative tasks associated with driving emergency vehicles to locations at high speed! fill out form 34B(2) reports about the efficiency of your dispatching!)?

    • mrbright01 says:

      Never. You can still get a ton of “fun” games! What happened was, the Internet came about, and people discovered that they could make a game about “the boring, obviously unfun bit” for the people who enjoy that sort of puzzle/challenge/grind thing, and actually make money because they don’t have to compete in chain stores with Call of WWII Part 15.

      That said, a rescue kind of game (GTA without the murder simulator bit, perhaps) would be nice. I’ve not seen one since Sim Copter, although admittedly my knowledge is a bit spotty in places. Any recommendations?

    • modzero says:

      Your “fun” sounds awful boring and not fun, compared to this game, which sounds fun. You clearly don’t actually like fun.

      Sticking the tongue out of my cheek, your assumption that some kind of fun is obvious is, quite obviously, wrong. And a bit insulting at that.

      And there are plenty of games about cars wot go fast.

  5. sagredo1632 says:

    Little do you know that this game is actually a testbed for newly privatized emergency services to get their dispatchers working for free, under the guise of a “game”.

    • snv says:

      You mean the Public Service Crowdsourcing Initiative, “for the public from the public” ?

  6. slartibartfast says:

    If you are playing in Lurgan you are going to have to do a bit of modding to add some buckfast related crimes. Just for authenticity of course.

  7. legopirate27 says:

    I was quite interested in this game and ended up watching 10 minutes of a playthrough. The in game avatar took a call of a fairly… no, brutally graphic nature. I started feeling a bit faint and queasy pretty quickly. This was all through voice acting but the image conjured in my mind was all too real. I had to stop the video as I was worried I might pass out. Never thought of myself as being that squeamish, but wow, I don’t think I’d be able to play this game!

  8. Drib says:

    Neat idea, but fifteen bucks seems a little steep for this.

    Sometimes I wonder if steam sales are killing the pricing for this kind of thing.

    • Treners says:

      Eh. Price of a couple of beers at a slightly pricey bar.

      • Drib says:

        Maybe there’s a good reason I don’t drink at pricey bars. Though I suppose I take your point.