My patient lies in front of me. The constant reassuring beep of the heart monitor helps me focus on the job at hand; my first heart transplant!
Examining the counters of tools either side of my patient shows a selection of surgical blades, syringes, swabs and a number of seemingly DIY tools! A hammer, hand saw, drill, powered saw and a hatchet.
Where to begin?
It appears that my first task is to get through the patient’s ribs. Reaching for the hammer I knock over several other tools, losing a couple onto the floor. I successfully retrieve the hammer and line up my first swing into the ribs. As my hands swings up and then swiftly smashes down a slight shift results in the hammer landing firmly on my patients face! A small trickle of blood starts to pump from their nose.
I readjust and this time begin chipping away at at his ribs.
As I continue to remove internal body parts through slicing, grabbing and pulling I finally discover the heart.
Reaching into the chest cavity nervously with a scalpel I attempted to cut the veins to and from the heart. As the blade made contact a spurt of blood shot out of the chest, is missed my target. Panicking I quickly tried again. In the rush my watch fell off my wrist landing neatly alongside the ask beating heart. The patient was losing blood quickly now. Reaching for a syringe to slow the flow of blood I accidentally prick my finger on it. The screen reacts violently with colours fading in and out of focus, everything is constantly moving as if I’m suddenly submerged in an oily puddle.
My attempts to successfully inject the needle into my patient fails and I drop the syringe just as a message appears on screen telling me that my patient has sadly died.
This pattern of mistakes and cack handedness continued throughout all of my gaming sessions on Surgeon Simulator.
Surgeon Simulator has been created to amuse.
If successful surgery requires a steady hand then Surgeon Simulator relishes in giving you an incredibly difficult to use control system. The left trigger lowers your hand when pulled, the right stick rotates the hand, the left stick moves your hand laterally and the two left triggers tense your fingers. This simple control system makes careful manoeuvres incredibly difficult to accomplish.
The result of this however is often hilarity as you fumble around your poor patient, or more often your victim.
As I played more though the hilarity has gradually become frustration as the controls have held me back from moving forwards too much.
The game is still fun but I find myself getting frustrated as the surgery gets more and more difficult. It often feels as though there is little learning curve, the surgeries’ success comes down more to fluke than my finesse with my tools.
This is a game unlike any other I’ve played
It is genuinely funny
The controls quickly become more frustrating than funny
No indication of how to complete surgery
An interesting idea that offers some laughs and some frustration.