Brief Write of a Brief Flight – Surgeon Simulator

When I first clicked play for Surgeon Simulator 2013, I was expecting a high-intensity, finicky game that would require quick, precise and confident movements as you strive to keep your patient alive while extracting a bullet or burst appendix. So more or less a PC version of Trauma Center. Instead I got this:

Firstly... yes that's a lung in my hand. Secondly... who gave me a hammer?
Firstly… yes that’s a lung in my un-gloved hand. Secondly… who gave me a hammer?

Surgeon Simulator is a game where you get to simulate being a surgeon. Well, not exactly… It’s a game where you simulate being an arm belonging to a man who is simulating being a surgeon. You have all the usual tools at your disposal. Scalpels, tweezers, bone saw, hack saw, drill, hammer…  ok, so a couple of extra tools as well. You have to proceed through a series of levels where you perform specific operations on your vict… I mean patient.

With the goal on operating without your patient dying, this game is incredibly hard. The control scheme is partly to blame for this. You control your left hand and that’s all. The fingers with the A, W, E and R keys and the thumb with the space bar (go on, map your hand out now). You move the arm with the mouse, holding the left mouse button down to lower the arm and releasing to raise it again. While holding down the right mouse button, you can twist the arm and pivot the hand.

Now with these controls in mind, imagining have to perform a delicate operation without the patient losing so much blood that they die. I never succeeded in this. The furthest I got through the first level of a heart transplant was sawing the ribs into many pieces, pulling both lungs out (a long process of my jimmying the mouse around while yelling, “Get out of there!”) and sawing through the esophagus. When my patient started to bleed out too quickly, I have a frustrated yell and decided to drill into his skull, or make rude signs with the fingers (an achievement by the way).

I got a lot of immediate enjoyment out Surgeon Simulator purely because I wasn’t expecting a game where you obviously played an individual who shouldn’t have been let  out of Arkham Asylum, let alone in an operating theater. Asides from this and the interesting control scheme in the PC version, Surgeon Simulator doesn’t deliver a huge amount and so I would rush to buy it unless it was on sale.

Surgeon Simulator 2013 is currently available on Steam for $9.99 and Surgeon Simulator Touch is currently available on the App Store for $5.99.

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