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Rolo to the Rescue is a side-scrolling platformer with a saccharine storyline and cute characters that belie its fairly deep, thoughtful gameplay. Rolo is a young elephant who was kidnapped to perform in a circus by the dastardly ringmaster, McSmiley. He soon escapes, however, by incapacitating the ringmaster and taking his master key. This key allows Rolo to unlock any cage he finds on the level, and free other trapped animals. This turns out to be very important, as Rolo will need help from the animals he rescues to reach remote areas, collect hidden power-ups, and solve other platform-style puzzles.
Up to three animals can travel with Rolo at a time — if he frees a fourth, the first will leave the party. Common companions include the rabbit, who can leap far, the squirrel, who can climb walls, the mole, who can burrow through soft ground, and the beaver, who can safely enter water. Though each of these skills may be critical to completing the adventure, Rolo has a number of formidable talents of his own. He can run, jump, and take out enemies with a Mario-style "butt bounce." Certain power-ups also allow him to shoot projectiles, shrink in size, or pick up objects and throw them with his trunk. Rolo moves along at a good pace, but he skids when he stops, making it more of a challenge to halt short of sudden danger or land on narrow platforms. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide