Search And Rescue 4 is a helicopter flight simulation game. The player takes on the role of a United States Coast Guard pilot who is tasked to go on risky rescue missions. The interactive gameplay requires the user not only to fly the helicopters but also get involved in planning the rescue missions as well. As the pilot, the player must also make sure the communication line and commands given to the rescue team are clear. A command console interface allows the user to give orders to the mission’s crew.
Players can choose between an Easy and a Realistic flight mode. In each of the 100 missions, the player can fly over one of 10 flight areas using one of 3 helicopter models, namely a CH-3 Sea King, a BK-117, and an HH-65 Dolphin. The helicopters are equipped with a movable spotlight for night missions. As the game progresses, the player will also progress in rank and will be given more challenging missions on other bases. When planning a rescue, the player will learn to consider factors such as fuel capacity, weather, weight limitations, standard procedures, and other issues.
This version of the game features an improved graphics engine that shows terrains and textures in high quality. In addition to realistic physics, the weather and its effects on the aircraft capture what it is like to fly a real helicopter.