Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / The Stretchers

Go To

The Stretchers is a co-op action puzzle game developed by Tarsier Studios and released by Nintendo on the Nintendo Switch on November 18, 2019.

The evil Captain Brains is turning people into "Dizzies", regular people that have been made dizzy. The player takes the role of two ambulance drivers who must pick them up and carry them on a stretcher into the ambulance followed by bringing them back to the hospital, all while taking whatever means necessary to finish the job. It's all the craziness of Overcooked! plus the recklessness of Crazy Taxi in one new game.

This game contains examples of:

  • Amphibious Automobile: The final upgrade the ambulance gets allows it to float on water like a hovercraft. It comes in especially handy for chasing down Captain Brains' gyrocopter when he shows up to kidnap Professor Doctor.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: There are various golden boxes in secret areas around the Greenhorne Islands, many of which contain hats for your characters to wear.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: Similarly, you can find twelve catalogs for various furniture for the medics' home base.
  • Beach Episode: One early rescue mission ("Seas The Day") has the team visit the local beach to save several Dizzies.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his casual demeanor and aversion to email, Professor Doctor is a genius at anything involving machines.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: When you first meet Professor Doctor in person, he talks about his son that he doesn't get along with, mostly due to the latter's fascination with e-mail that the former thinks is stupid. Fast-forward to the final upgrade mission, and Professor Doctor's son, Captain Brains, ends up kidnapping him.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The individual-type version of this trope features heavily in two-player mode; each driver has the same set of controls which they must use to coordinate rescues and odd jobs.
  • Cutting the Knot: The entire game revolves around getting Dizzies onto the stretcher and into the ambulance and then getting them to the hospital as fast as possible. The game encourages speed by awarding points for how recklessly the ambulance is driven after all the Dizzies are collected.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: Captain Brains fits the archetype with his slick handlebar mustache, prowess with machines and general malice.
  • Distressed Damsel: Miss Summer Penny the train conductor gets Dizzied early on, which is detrimental to the train's normal operation.
  • Distressed Dude: The Brothers Bridger and Professor Doctor end up in their respective predicaments (getting Dizzied and kidnapped respectively) courtesy of Captain Brains.
  • Flying Car: Downplayed. While not actually capable of proper flight, the ambulance can glide in the air after getting its second upgrade from Professor Doctor.
  • Gadgeteer Genius:
    • Professor Doctor is responsible not only for the De-Dizzler 3000, which is crucial for reverting the Dizzies to normal, but also for the various upgrades the ambulance gets over the course of the game.
    • Captain Brains is a villainous example, being the one responsible for the Dizzying pandemic in the first place. He also owns a motorbike that he upgrades into a gyrocopter in time to terrorize some tractor drivers. Justified since he's Professor Doctor's son.
  • Ironic Name: The Bridger twins man the bridges in the opposite cardinal directions of what their given names would suggest (i.e. Westwood maintains the east bridge while Eastwood operates the west one).
  • Laser Hallway: The bank in "Maximum Vaultage" is secured by various lasers the medics must dodge around in order to secure the Dizzies trapped inside.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: In the lead-up to the final mission, Captain Brains is revealed to be Junior Doctor, Professor Doctor's wayward son.
  • Mission Control: The Operator dispatches the drivers on their missions whenever the hospital gets notices of Dizzie cases all over the Greenhorn Islands.
  • Nitro Boost: The first upgrade the ambulance gets allows it to speed up with the press of a button. It's useful for quickly closing distance to the nearest medical center...or for tearing up the vicinity.
  • Pungeon Master: The Operator has a tendency to let loose with the puns when you rescue all the Dizzies in a mission.
  • Punny Name: Several abound among the citizenry of Greenhorne Islands. Notable examples are the corpulent Mayor Sumosson, the lumberjack Tim Burr, and the bridge operator brothers Eastwood and Westwood Bridger (though see Ironic Name above).
  • Ragdoll Physics: The whole entire game was literally developed with ragdoll physics in mind. Dizzies bounce off the stretcher if they fall off and even the ambulance can bounce into and off of certain objects.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: The game gives you bonus points on rescue missions for destroying various structures while driving back to the nearest De-Dizzler with Dizzies in tow. You can even get stickers for destroying a set number of certain types of structures (fences, billboards, stalks of wheat...).
  • Super Drowning Skills: For most of the game, the ambulance cannot drive on water and will be immediately teleported to the nearest piece of solid ground once it hits the drink. Only in the endgame does the trope get subverted courtesy of Professor Doctor.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Fireworks boxes can be used to destroy boulders around the overworld.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Early on, the Operator notes that Captain Brains was an ex-medic on the same team as the protagonists before turning to his villainous ways. For his part, Brains blames his evil on the team kicking him out. In the end, after the medics foil his great hypnosis scheme, he seems to have reconciled with them.
  • Wreaking Havok: When driving the ambulance the goal is actually to get on site to find the Dizzies and then to get them back to the hospital as quickly as possible, with the game rewarding you for crashing into objects and causing vehicle accidents.