Math Rescue is an 1992 educational Platform Game created by Karen Crowther of Redwood Games and published by Apogee Software. Released in October 1992 for the DOS platform, it is a loose successor to the earlier game Word Rescue, whose game engine is reused to power it with minor changes. It is followed by Math Rescue Plus.
The registered version of Math Rescue is currently available for purchase.
The backstory of the game consist of the theft of the world's numbers by the Gruzzles, which causes a lot of problems for people, until the player finally spots a Gruzzle removing numbers from the front house. Benny the Butterfly comes to the player's aid and the player begins a quest to stop the Gruzzles and retrieve the stolen numbers.
Episode 1 takes place in the seas and volcanoes. Upon the completion of Episode 1, the number stealers have been defeated, leaving the players wonder what they want with Earth's numbers and whether they are gone. However, the Glixerians, an alien race who originates from their planet of Glixer II in an outer arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, try to send the Gruzzles back to Earth.
Space is the main setting of Episode 2. As players progress through, it is revealed that Benny was once a Gruzzle who found refuge on Earth to escape the fate of being a Glixerian pet. Furthermore, the slime is a common element on Glixer II which has disgusting effects that make the Gruzzles ill. He says the battle isn't over yet.
In the Episode 3 ending, as the numbers are returned to their rightful places, a Gruzzle, named Zorja, is captured. Zorja recognzies Benny as a long lost cousin who tells him to stop stealing the numbers. It is clear that Gruzzles are not always being pets and Benny convinces her to choose freedom over the Glixerians. After this event, all Gruzzles are invited and Earth's numbers are not only saved, but the gardeners are provided with built-in slug control. They decide to move from Glixer II to Earth. With all numbers restored, everything returns to normal. However, despite the departure of the Gruzzles, the Glixerians, throwing stink mud at each other, are not finished with Earth.
This Video Game contains examples of:
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Benny the Butterfly.
- Big Good: Benny.
- Bottomless Pit: All of the fixed hazards are this by implementation, though many use things like sharks or lava to give some variation.
- Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Trash Can lids are your "health". Touching a Gruzzle causes one of them to be stolen from you. Lose all of your lids and the Gruzzle steals all the levels numbers, forcing you to do the level over again.
- Cat Scare: Gruzzles are quite prone to this if the word problems are any indication, though dogs affect them the same way too.
- Convection Schmonvection: Any level with lava in it. A couple of levels in the first episode have STAIRS covered in lava that you can safely walk on, though it probably wasn't intentional.
- Deus ex Machina: Every time Benny the Butterfly appears. The story even lampshades it.
- Edible Collectible: Done with items called "Goodies". Goodies are sprites of ice cream, watermelon, crayons and toy boats. On space levels, this changes to ice cream, watermelon, wrenches and smiley faces. Goodies are worth 5 points each and a 500 point bonus is awarded for collecting all of them in a level.
- Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: The undersea levels have this as the main hazard. One of the levels has a stingray as well.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You can enter any name except "Q", which causes the game to exit if submitted.
- Impossible Thief: The Gruzzles steal numbers.
- Jump Physics: You can change direction in midair and Gruzzles will try to fall toward you if they can. Everything falls at the same speed.
- Kid Hero: Both Player Characters.
- Lava Pit: All of the lava levels have these. Lava falls that you can fall into are a different trope.
- Lethal Lava Land: All three episodes have them. There's even a level called Lava Land.
- Level Ate: The Candyland levels at the beginnings of both the third episode and Math Rescue Plus.
- Non-Lethal K.O.: Gruzzles are stopped by dumping a bucket of slime on them. The game says that the Gruzzles leave to take baths, and usually won't return unless playing on Hard where they will return if you leave.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: There are four varieties of Gruzzles, all very strange-looking.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: Players were allowed to choose between playing as a boy or a girl.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Averted. Red eyes only appear as a background graphic in the cave levels.
- Shout-Out: Level 12 of the first episode is named "The Crystal Cave (Where's Mylo?)".
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Averted. Many of the cave levels have names that suggest this, but it doesn't feature as a game mechanic. The player characters don't even put on winter clothes.
- Space Zone: Present in the second and third episodes.
- Space Does Not Work That Way: In a similar manner to the undersea levels.
- Take Over the World: The Glixerians make the Gruzzles steal Earth's numbers with this goal in mind.
- Teleporters and Transporters: The green "WARP" signs.
- Threatening Shark: A common hazard in the undersea levels, though one also has a stingray as a hazard.
- Underground Level: All three episodes end with a series of these.
- Water Is Air: The undersea levels.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Some of the word problems state that the Gruzzles are terrified of household pets.