The arrival of an armada of vast battleships suggests that the resident aliens want their asteroid belt back, so it’s your job to evacuate your fellow miners from the rocks before they get blasted into atoms. Your only weapon: a tiny tugship loaded with a variety of mining tools. You’d better hurry if you want to survive….

Rescue was a collaboration between myself and my friend Brian Smith, who worked on the textures and some models, and Mikko Tarmia, who wrote the music and made the sound effects.

A first person view from the pilot’s seat as the tug approaches an asteroid landing platform.

I wanted to make something that works a bit like a flight simulator, putting you into the cockpit of a spaceship and surrounding you with working instruments that you can view by turning your head. Rather than focussing on the glamorous aspects of space flight, Rescue gives you a rough and ready tugship to drive. Its controls give you six degrees of freedom, and careful rotation and use of lateral thrust is important for things like docking and dodging bits of rock as you whizz past them.

Your task is to locate asteroid mining installations on your radar, dock with each one to collect their personnel, then find some clear space to accelerate to jump speed and escape. There’s a convenient row of markers attached to asteroids that you can use as a runway, but if you don’t have time to get back to it, you might have to do your run up in the midst of a scattering of almost invisible boulders.

Old release notes

This version, as presented in the uDevGames 2004 contest, has some semblance of actual gameplay: you can fly around to locate populated asteroids and evacuate the miners, then progress to the next level. There is also a time limit beyond the first level, so keep moving!

Rescue is known to work on Mac OS X 10.2 or better. Mac OS 9 is not supported. Let me know if it happens to work on earlier versions of Mac OS X! A good graphics card is essential for this game: an ATI Radeon or equivalent NVidia card is the bare minimum.

Instructions and an editable preferences file are included in the archive – please read them carefully!


Another project left behind by the relentless progress of Apple developer tools, the original version of Rescue is hard to build on current versions of macOS, or even slightly old ones.

I put quite a lot of work into a Unity remake, and when I get back to the project, this is probably the one I will press on with. The Unity version lacks the knocked-together level progression of the original but has Actual Physics thanks to Unity. For example, you can now dock with fuel tanks which are as big as your own ship and carry them around, and it has a big impact on your centre of gravity and the effectiveness of your engines.

Amazingly, I wrote my own physics engine from scratch for the original version! That seems unthinkable now. It was very, simple, though – everything was spheres and capsules.


uDevGames 2004: Rescue wins in three categories!


Rescue was a winning entry in the uDevGames 2004 contest. With the aid of my team mates Brian and Mikko, Rescue came second in the Audio and Story categories and third in graphics. Thanks to everyone who voted highly for us!