What do you do with a sequel when the game you're following up was pretty damn good in the first place? It's a pertinent question around these parts, as us lucky folk here at Pocket Gamer regularly come across sequels that out-do their predecessors as well as those that slump.
One option is to play it safe – if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But then again, if the game you don't need to fix happens to be on fire, what do you do then?
Go, go rescue!
Of course, in Go! Go! Island Rescue's case, fire isn't a bad thing. Anyone who played the first title – the rather addictive Go! Go! Rescue Squad – will be familiar with what's required. Play basically hands you the care of a series of fire fighters and charges you with escorting everyone else on the map to safety, pointing them in the direction of some trickily placed doors.
Doing so means abiding by quite a wide-ranging set of rules. Some of the folk you have to save (like in the original, members of the Darwin family) do nothing but run left to right, some jumping off ledges straight to their deaths, others able to put out fires and climb stairs to other platforms of their own volition.
So, while chucking fire extinguishers at the blazes and tossing family members to their safety (avoiding throwing them too far a distance, lest their brains end up splattered all over the floor) is the key, working out when you need to hand over control is just as imperative.
That's because Go! Go! Island Rescue is a puzzler through and through, each level coming with a set combination of moves that need to be pulled off in order to get everyone to safety. Let even one Darwin die, and you either have to start again or rewind time back a notch or two to correct your mistakes, some stages taking a serious amount of thinking before the combination becomes clear.
That's what Go! Go! has always done, in truth, and Island is essentially more of the same. Some of the levels come with what feels like a refined design but, in all honesty, they don't really bring anything miraculous or revolutionary to what was already a solid formula.
That's no bad thing, of course, because there was nothing especially wrong with the original. Just don't expect Go! Go! Island Rescue to light any fresh fires within you.