Surgeon Simulator 2013… STAT…
What began as a bit of fun for Bossa Studios has now turned into a full digital title with additional surgical procedures for the player to mess up and inevitably kill the patient. Let the carnage begin!
In Surgeon Simulator 2013 you have to manipulate an arm, presumably belonging to a surgeon of questionable skills, suspended above a patient who’s waiting for their life-saving operation.
Using the mouse, you can move the arm around the screen, moving between your patient and the selection of medical equipment available to you. Through twisting, pulling and the pressing of various mouse buttons, the arm has a full range of movement. The surgeon’s fingers can be manipulated using a different keyboard key for each finger and the thumb, and can be used to pick up equipment and maneuver around the different organs of the body.
The first surgical procedure that the player is required to perform involves first removing the theater cloth to get a good look at the internal organs of the patient. During this operation, your patient is attached to a heart monitor, which beeps in the background as you take your patient under the knife. The game also monitors how much blood your patient is losing and gives you a firm indicator when the amount they are losing becomes life threatening, encouraging the player to act with haste.
The technique of using the surgeon’s arm and hand is quite comedic as it’s floppy and doesn’t really seem like the surgeon has any muscle whatsoever inside his arm. Trying to move and guide the arm around the theater resulted in fits of laughter, as the hand tried to retrieve a hammer from the side table to break my patient’s ribs. This resulted with my patient having slight concussion from the flying hammer and most of the medical equipment being swept off the side and falling to the ground. But I was not going to be deterred by this rather freaky arm that had no regard for my patient’s well-being and carried on with the procedure.
For this first operation, my objective was to perform a heart transplant on ‘Bob’. Bob was completely unconscious and unaware of my surgical abilities and the nervousness that accompanied them. After several failed attempts, I managed to grab the hammer from the side and carefully tap away at his ribs until they had broken to pieces, allowing access to the heart and any other organs that were getting in my way. It was a very tricky procedure that needed much dexterity and patience on my behalf; however I was successful and completed this part of the operation.
Using each piece of medical equipment is quite time consuming, and if you manage to knock most of the equipment accidentally to the floor, or you become hurried because your patient is losing too much blood, it all becomes a bit ‘ER’ and you want to run around shouting ‘STAT’ in a convincing tone.
Clicking the right mouse button enables you to drag the arm across the screen, and allows you to rotate the hand until it’s in the right position. Moving each digit on the hand is quite difficult and I had trouble picking up a scalpel and actually keeping hold of it. The silly thing is, it’s all part of the fun and enjoyment of Surgeon Simulator 2013, the game doesn’t take itself, or the health of your patient, seriously. I literally couldn’t stop laughing when I played this game, because no matter how hard I tried to save my patient, I would find myself removing things that shouldn’t be removed, dropping stuff and even accidentally jabbing my floating arm with the syringe. I didn’t realize what had happened until I started getting trails from the arm on the screen. Operating under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug was certainly a challenge and just added to the ridiculously funny scenario I had found myself in.
Once the effects had worn off and I remembered I was a top class surgeon, I got back to the job of trying to prize various organs from my patient’s body, which involved inserting the hand into the person’s body cavity and having a good old rummage around. This would either result in the successful removal of any organs, or my patient’s death. On the very rare occasion that the operation is a success, your skills are graded and the patient walks away happy.
Beyond the first heart surgery, which was available in a much less complex form in the initial free game, there are a number of new surgeries for you to try your wobbly hand at. The game places you in various tricky situations such as performing surgery in the back of an ambulance, while the doors fly open as you trek along a bumpy road, while surgical equipment bounces around all over the place and your patient becomes bound up in his own intestines.
Trying to keep your patient alive, no matter how good you are with a bone saw, is a very trying experience, because all the time you’re trying to complete the operation with the least amount of damage to your patient’s health. It’s hard to manipulate the hand and not accidentally slice up a lung, or tap away at the ribs without your wrist watch randomly flinging itself into the air. When my watch came off, it was almost like my wrist had somehow inflated and couldn’t withstand the pressure, and it was highly amusing to see it narrowly miss my patients forehead and end up in the medical bowl along with the syringe I managed to prick myself on. At the end of the day, I’m no Meredith Grey and haven’t had years of sewing up people or performing daily incisions to claim the right of being a professional surgeon, but I’ll give anything a try.
Surgeon Simulator 2013 is a funny and yet clumsy game that tests the skills and patience of any fine surgeon. The game doesn’t take itself seriously and gives an amusing look at surgical procedures that would probably end up with a malpractice suit, rather than a recovering patient. The controls are slightly haphazard as you try manipulate the many movements of the hand and fingers. In Surgeon Simulator 2013 You’ll become a successful surgeon who will go on to restore people’s health through major operations, or you’ll be killing off patients left, right and centre. The game is very difficult and will see you killing off many patients before even your first success, but persistence is the key. And in the meantime, you can have a lot of fun causing carnage without a law suit in sight. Surgeon Simulator 2013, from Bossa Studios, is a genius concept in which failing is as much fun as succeeding.