Dog shelter simulator To The Rescue! is coming to Switch

Furry friends and management go hand in hand.

2 mins read
The key art for To The Rescue!

Animal rescue games have a special place in my heart, including Cat Café Manager, a cat/restaurant management sim. I haven’t had the chance to play To The Rescue! on PC yet, though (it launched a couple year ago) so I’m really excited to be able to write that the dog shelter management simulator is going to be released for Nintendo Switch, and quite soon at that.

The game sounds relatively straightforward: players take charge of an animal shelter and help the pups find their furever homes. There’s the cute bits, like belly rubs and playing fetch, but there’s also the management parts. Balance feeding, grooming, and exercise schedules for all the dogs while fostering a warm and welcoming environment for prospective pet parents. Players will also have to treat any illnesses that pop up.

Since it’s a dog rescue game and not a dog hoarding game, part of the management part involves adopting dogs out to their future people. This means matching between four dog sizes, seven dog breeds, and dozens of individual personality traits for both the people and the dogs. It’s never easy adopting out something you’ve become attached to (I’ve been there, and I cried for days) but the happiness that radiates off the humans and the dogs is heartwarming, even in digital form.

The shelter needs to run smoothly, too. Manage resources, upgrade facilities, and replenish inventory… all while sticking to a strict budget. Maintain good relationships with the locals to keep their support of the shelter strong.

“To The Rescue! balances the wholesome feel of a loving and cozy animal game with some of the hectic realities of running a real animal shelter,” said Ben Robinson, co-founder of Freedom Games, in a press release. “We wanted to pay respect to all of the hardworking volunteers running actual animal shelters and raise awareness for their profession through the power of video games!”

Developed by Little Rock Games and published by Freedom Games, To The Rescue! will be released for Nintendo Switch on May 25. It is currently available for PC via Steam.


Lindsay picked up an NES controller for the first time at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love. She began reviewing GBA games 20 years ago and quickly branched out from her Nintendo comfort zone. She has has developed a great love of life sims and FMV titles. For her, accessibility is one of the most important parts of any game (but she also really appreciates good UI).

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