Published on August 17th, 2014 | by JC Richardson0
Surgeon Simulator Review
True story: I was an operating theatre nurse for seven years before protecting my sanity and going to work in IT. So I can’t help feeling I’m uniquely placed to review the highly accurate Surgeon Simulator by Bossa Studios.
Surgery is hard, and it’s even harder when you have only rudimentary control of your arms. Nigel the surgeon is not only horrifically palsied in the arm department, he’s also so bad at his job that he’s forced to operate without a team, and only on one patient. Bob. Poor, poor Bob.
Even getting through the tutorial is a nightmare with Nigel’s limited motor control, but the true horror (and humour) really starts when you’re set loose on Bob and his many ailments in theatre. I’ve seen surgeons screw up before, but I’ve never seen one use a hammer to get through the ribcage, then accidentally knock a soft drink into the patient’s abdominal cavity. This sort of thing happens so often in Surgeon Simulator that the hospital probably has an incident code for it.
The controls in this game are deliberately obtuse, and they’re rendered even worse in this touch screen version. To even pick up and aim a tool requires QWOP levels of dexterity, and using it correctly is nigh on impossible. Not that this is a bad thing, mind. The awkwardness just adds to the infectious hilarity, and your successes are made even sweeter knowing that you’ve overcome a serious disability to get the job done. The operations get progressively more tricky, and as your PDA only gives you the basic instructions, you’ll struggle more and more to keep poor Bob alive.
Actually, Bob is surprisingly resilient as patients go. Like most people, he loses blood when you stab the wrong thing and goes tachycardic when you drop a syringe in his eye, so you have to work fast and be in the shower before Bob bleeds out on the table. If you’re smart and you follow the clues on the between-level set, you’ll find another patient to operate on too. One that just adds a whole other level of weirdness to the proceedings…
Summary: For once, terrible controls are a plus point in a game, and although the joke will eventually wear thin, Surgeon Simulator gives you a lot of gory entertainment for the admission price.