You set sail as others return to dry land. Wind force 12. Breakers beat on the bow deck, spray blows across the bridge. On the high seas: face the sheer force of the elements! And you’re steering them – the most powerful rescue vessels of the Maritime Search and Rescue Service in search of castaways.
User reviews: Mixed (57 reviews) - 50% of the 57 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 1, 2014

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Buy Ship Simulator: Maritime Search and Rescue


About This Game

You set sail as others return to dry land. Wind force 12. Breakers beat on the bow deck, spray blows across the bridge. On the high seas: face the sheer force of the elements! And you’re steering them – the most powerful rescue vessels of the Maritime Search and Rescue Service in search of castaways. As a sea rescuer, you put your life on the line – to save the lives of others!

Extinguish fires, salvage damaged ships, direct search and rescue operations, stay in constant radio contact with the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Center and save lives in 20 different missions. Together with your crew, you’ll become acquainted with the hard day-to-day life of a sea rescuer and make the high seas a little bit safer.

So, choose your vessel and your location on the North or Baltic Sea, switch on your radio and get ready!


  • Rescuing: Steer the salvage cruisers HERMANN MARWEDE and HARRO KOEBKE across the stormy seas. Deploy boats to rescue people in distress at sea!
  • Engaging: Take on the role of the foreman (captain) of the rescue cruiser, and move around the ships freely in first-person perspective! View your ship from numerous camera angles, from inside and out!
  • Absorbing: Featuring up to 30 main and supporting characters, elaborately dubbed and with fascinating background stories. Get to know your crew and radio in regularly to the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Center.
  • Wide-ranging: Two scenarios (North Sea and Baltic Sea) provide a wide range of missions.
  • Salvaging: Salvage ships! Pump water out of shipwrecks! Extinguish fires on the open seas! Rescue people in distress at sea! The game features the entire spectrum of sea rescue missions.
  • Changing: Experience realistic water, waves and weather that react in real time to the operation, time of day, and the ships and their movements. Sail in bright sunshine or the most raging storms, crystal clear twilight or dense morning fog!
  • Challenging: Take note of tide conditions, use the nautical chart to navigate and deal with the many problems of the On-Scene Coordinator! Steer the ship using either simplified or realistic controls!
  • Collaborating: Produced by simulation and game experts kindly supported by the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS)
  • Connected: A product penned by simulation and games experts with the support of the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service. Includes dev diary. Every copy sold supports the work of the Search and Rescue Service.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows Vista/7/8
    • Processor: AMD ® Athlon 64 X2, Intel ® Core2Duo or comparable dual core processor min. 2.4 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card with Shader 3.0 support (min. 1 GB VRAM, 1.5 GB recommended), AMD CrossFireX is not supported, AMD Radeon HD3870/NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT or better (AMD HD5870/NVIDIA GeForce GTX470 recommended)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 2700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Sound card
    • OS: OSX 10.6.8 or higher
    • Processor: iMac or MacBook Pro, 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 processor (min. 2.6 GHz i7 recommended
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD6970M or NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1 GB VRAM
    • Storage: 2700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Sound card
    • Additional Notes: mouse (with scroll wheel, left and right mouse buttons recommended – otherwise control via Secondary Click)
Helpful customer reviews
82 of 103 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
19.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 2, 2014
First note, that despite the very suggestive title, this is not associated with the game Ship Simulator Extremes that you can also buy on steam, and is developed by a different company. This is both a good and bad thing - it's good because there are many, many fewer graphical bugs and general slowness than you get from the classic ship simulator, but it has problems that I'll get into later.

My biggest concern with the game is the ship physics. They just don't feel right - a long endurance rescue vessel seems more like a small boat, and the boat feels terrible at low speeds, because of how it moves in the wrong direction when trying to steer. This might be realistic, but it sure doesn't seem like it.

Secondly, there's a distinct lack of content. There are only a few other ship classes, and cargo ships are represented by fishing boats etc. It gets annoying, but not too badly. Given the nature of the ships that they've modelled, a true open ocean scenario would be wonderful.

Third, the towing and cable attachment walkaround system is way, way too slow, even in calm seas.

I actually rather like this game. Poor ship physics aside, the campaign is at least okay, and there is a fair amount of diversity. However, it isn't quite worth 25$ - if it was 15$, I'd say you should buy it, but not at the current pricing. I hope that the developers continue to expand the content that's avaliable, though I'm not too hopeful.

Edit (too long for a comment):
I think that the easiest one of my complaints to fix is the walk-around one, I suspect that there's just a constant somewhere that can be changed.

The motor launch dynamics also need to be improved, as the sliding action when attempting to turn at low speeds makes it difficult to perform rescues effectively. However, this might be a realisim thing, as I have very little real experience with these boats.

The thing that I'd like the most to be added, content-wise, is an open-ocean component, far distant from the shore. The Hermann Marwede in particular was designed for this, and it doesn't show up a lot in the game. This would also go well with the addition of the emergency towing vessel Mellum, also based on Heligoland.

Only one real new ship class is needed for freighters, really, and I think that something like a 5,000TEU containerized vessel would be enough. I'm not sure how hard it would be to add, though.

With respect to the missions, something that's been bothering me about the ones that exist already is that they're so close to shore and in good enough weather that the majority would seem to be done by helicopter. It would be nice to make you cooperate with a helicopter, possibly even conducting air operations off of the Marwede.

Finally, a mod kit would be very nice. VSTEP doesn't have one, for reasons I can't determine, but I know that I would be interested at least in developing new content for the game.

I think that implementing any two of my suggestions would make me, at least, reccomend this game. I'm excited to see where the game goes in the future.

Edit #2:
The ship physics are really the worst thing, though. The ships's weight more or less does not exist (the RHIB pushes a 5000 ton freighter around), and the boyancy model is nonexistent. Floating appears to happen based on a uniform height above the water. Furthermore, the drag model doesn't work: when you have a ship under tow, the top speed does not decrease whatsoever.
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26 of 35 people (74%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 1, 2014
After some issues with the controls I managed to track down the issue. An old joystick driver was giving fake control inputs to the game and making it unplayable. So be aware that you need to get rid of all inputs aside from that which you are using.

The game is something different from the normal shooter or horror survival game that seems to be the norm these days. It is fairly enjoyable and simple to get the hang of. Do not skip the tutorial however or you will be completely lost.

My final verdict is; Wait for a steam sale. The game isn't worth $25 in my personal opinion. However it is definitely enjoyable.
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33 of 50 people (66%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 1, 2014
So far so good.... Not like the other Ship Sim but ok... If you go to the web site ( ) it helps with the controls... Advance controls handle alot better in the first person view and rescue missions.... Good reading any way.... I like it...
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14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 11, 2014
The bad:

*Clunky controls - horrible mouse acceleration in first person view, and if you turn it down it will be way too slow in other situations. I have on-the-fly settings on mouse, but it's annoying to have to constantly adjust it.
*In first person mode, you'll be surprised at the amount of things that you will snag on while trying to move around.
*Physics for ships could really do with an overhaul. The large HERMANN MARWEDE feels WAY too light and the VERENA wobbles around like a cork (and is just about as maneuverable as one when you try to pick up people from water).
*When using the VERENA I keep seeing water coming through the deck (nitpicking a little here, but it does detract from the visuals and immersion).
*No possibility to turn off the music, there's just one slider for sound volume.
*Very limited control over graphics settings as this is also limited to a few presets.
*Models for scenery/buildings are flat and repetitive, it seems they didn't put much work into this considering how small the island is, it feels a little lazy.
*Poor (esp. english) voice acting. German voicing + english subtitles is somewhat better.
*Cockpit and ships being almost entirely non-interactive. Besides opening/closing a few of the doors, you can't do anything but click the radio and a few screens which have no real functionality. Oh and for some reason you can click fire extinguishers to "check" them, no idea whether that is going to be useful at some point. But whether you can really call this a simulator, is debatable.

The good:

*The weather and physx water looks nice. While not extraordinary, the visuals are for the most pretty decent.
*There seems to be a fair amount of various missions and scenarios.
*You progress through a story, and that fact is pretty cool.
*Supports ultra-wide surround/eyefinity resolutions natively, just some menu elements are negatively affected, but in those cases it's not a big deal.
*Seems well bug-tested, had no issues so far.
*Reasonably priced for a new game, and no greedy DLC rubbish.
*Sales supposedly support the real rescue service (However - to what degree, is not specified. For all I know it could be less than 1%).


It sits somewhere in between "simulator" and "casual game" and while it's an entertaining experience so far, it could really benefit from a little more work and attention to detail.
It's generally fairly well made, but is marred by clunky controls, lack of options/settings, and some lack of attention to details.
Not letting you turn off the music separately feels just sloppy/lazy. But perhaps most importantly - more realistic handling for the ships would really improve the overall feel, and is critical to a game like this. There is (unsurprisingly) going to be a lot of looking at your ship going from port, to sea, and vice versa, and just piloting the ship. When a ship large enough to have a helicopter platform feels like a small cruiser it detracts considerably from the overall experience.
I don't regret purchasing this game and it should (portioned appropriately) entertain me for a while ahead.
I would really like to see a patch addressing some of the mentioned issues, but I would still recommend it in its current state, if it sounds like your kinda thing.

Manual for the game can be found here (recommended)
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19 of 28 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 8, 2014
I'm giving this a 'thumbs down' not because it's a complete disaster. It's not. The game is stable, free of obvious bugs, and it is somewhat engaging for the first couple of hours. Let me run through the first challenge as a case study:

You get a call that some one is in trouble. You put the pedal to the metal and head toward the arrow which indicates where the people are who need rescuing.

You realize very quickly that this is taking a long time. Ten minutes in fact. That's ten minutes of doing nothing but holding down the 'w' key. I discovered later that there's an option that doubles the speed; so reduce the time to five minutes of holding the 'w' key.

[Edit] Greanthal pointed out that I could go at 4X speed. I didn't remember that option so I returned to the game and headed out to sea. Under menu there are several speed options one of which is 'fastest'. This is what I had clicked before and got 2X speed. So I clicked it again and got the same result. What I didn't realize was that 'fastest' is not 'fastest'. If you click the option again you get 4X. I guess it means 'fastest acceleration'.

[Edit] This does not save the game from my thumbs down rating however. In the third mission under the Baltic senario, it still takes 7 minutes at 4X to reach the rescue destination.

Once you arrive on the scene you perform a couple of tasks including pulling three people out of the water. This all takes less time than it took to get there.

Now you discover you have to take the rescued people back to port . . . another five minutes of holding the 'w' key. You get back to port and you find out you have to return to the damaged boat . . . another five minutes of holding the 'w' key.

Back at the rescue site you attach a rope to the boat (takes about a minute) and you turn around to head back to port . . . another five minutes of holding down the 'w' key. I think you get the picture.

Among other issues I have is that you can't turn off the music. It's integrated with the master volume. The music is louder in the menus but still in the background while travelling back and forth holding down the 'w' key.

Also, the claim about the wonderful water physics is a gross exaggeration. I spent most of my childhood on the water, including open sea. The water in this game barely resembles anything I've experienced. A passing boat makes a deep furrow which lingers for an unnaturally long time; it looks more like a large furrow left by a tractor and plow ('plough' if you're outside North America). Worse is that your boats do not interact with these 'furrows'. You practically hover as you pass over them; not so much as a slight dip.

Some one in a review said it might be a $15 title. I'd say it's barely worth it at $10.
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