Like many Apogee games of the time, Word Rescue includes three episodes, with only the first episode playable in the shareware version.
- Visit Gruzzleville and the Castle
- Explore GruzzleBad Caverns
- See the Spooky Haunted House
Apogee still sells the registered version of this game.
The game is followed by Word Rescue Plus and Math Rescue.
The story centers on creatures called "The Gruzzles". Because the Gruzzles cannot read, they steal words out of books, preventing others from reading as well. Playing as a boy or girl, the player must help Benny Bookworm take back all the stolen words and match them with their meanings so he may put them back into the books.
This Video Game contains examples of:
- All Deserts Have Cacti
- Big Boo's Haunt: The haunted house levels.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Benny the Bookworm and one of the types of Gruzzles in the second and third episodes.
- Big Good: Benny.
- Blob Monster: Two types of Gruzzles. One was replaced with a giant bug after the first episode.
- Bottomless Pit: Usually in the form of waterfalls.
- Dungeon Town: The first few levels in the first episode.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]
- Impossible Thief: The Gruzzles are stealing words.
- Jump Physics
- The Lost Woods: There are some forest levels in the games.
- Medieval European Fantasy: The castle levels.
- Nerd Glasses: Benny has gigantic ones.
- No OSHA Compliance: The factory levels feature open slime pits, open tanks and dripping slime pipes.
- Non-Lethal K.O.: The player stops Gruzzles by pouring a bucket of slime on them, and they leave afterward.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Simply touching a Gruzzle, falling into a pit and, on higher difficulty levels, touching slime droplets was grounds for Benny whisking you away and restarting the level. This gave this deceptively simple game a level of Surprise Difficulty.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: The Gruzzles.
- Palette Swap: Differently colored versions of some Gruzzles appear in the story.
- Parasol Parachute: Benny apparently gets around the same way as Mary Poppins.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: Players were allowed to choose to play as a boy or a girl.
- Spelling Bonus: Letters for a random word on that level's word list were placed throughout the level. If all were collected in order, a 500-point bonus and full slime refill would be awarded. By themselves they were only worth 5 points each.
- Underground Level: The cave levels.
- Weird Moon: A crescent moon with a face.
- Weird Sun: The desert levels have a sun that winks at you.
- The Wild West: The desert levels are named along this theme.