It’s safe to say that Surgeon Simulator is a one of a kind game.
Think ‘Operation’ crossed with a darkly comic movie about an accident prone surgeon and you’ll get the jist of what’s lying ahead for you.
On loading up it might seem like there’s not much to this game with only four surgery choices, and only the heart transplant available to start. But dive in and you’ll soon find out that four is really all that’s needed to test your mettle.
You get an idea of what you’re in for from the menu, or rather your desk.
Pretty much everything you can pick up and move around, and the tutorial operation game is on the right hand side if you fancy brushing up on you skills a bit.
Visually it’s one of the better looking ipad games I’ve seen for awhile. The style has a hint of the lo-fi hospital TV drama to it and all the parts are recognisable in their slightly gory detail once you get inside your victim, I mean patient.
So how does it control? Well I’m going to borrow a portion of the support section here -
“Although you probably won’t believe us, the controls are like that on purpose. They were carefully designed to match the challenge and awkwardness of the original Surgeon Simulator 2013 on Mac & PC. That’s what makes the game fun. Try a couple of times and you’ll get the hang of it. We promise !”
For those that have played the PC version this will come as no surprise, but for newcomers not knowing what to expect you’ll be greeted with one the of the most dubious control systems I’ve ever experienced in a touch screen game.
The thing is though, after the initial shock you’ll warm to it (well I did at least), and with a few more plays you’ll get progressively better. And if you’re anything like me that little itch at the back of your brain that “you can do better next time” will kick in.
There is a large portion of trial and error involved. There are some rudimentary tips on the surgery to be found on you iZac, but those don’t really help you when you accidentally throw your required instrument off the screen and have to improvise. Yes you read that right, it’s possible to drop the tool you need off the screen. But if you look carefully at the items on the tables you can try and MacGyver an alternative. Annoying at first but then you realise it just adds a little bit more to what makes this game gem of a cult classic.
Surgeon Simulator definitely falls into the “marmite” category of games, some will love it and some will hate it. What I do urge you to do is at least try it out for yourself. Just keep a steady hand and your tongue firmly in cheek, you might be pleasantly surprised. To some this may seem like a one joke game, but that one joke is done very well and doesn’t grate even after you’ve killed your patient for the umpteenth time.
Now if you’ll excuse me I think I just dropped a pen inside my patient’s ribcage…