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Surgeon Simulator 2013

I was one of the fortunate souls to discover the demo to this game a number of odd months ago.  I quickly realized however that my lifelong experience as a gamer didn’t prepare me for “Surgeon Simulator 2013”.  Bounding over pitfalls while jumping on Bullet Bills?  No problem.  Taking high-speed turns while launching missiles at the cars ahead of me?  Easy. Building a space shuttle from the ground up and launching it into space?  After some trial and error…cakewalk.  Guiding a single hand to perform rudimentary open heart surgery in “Surgeon Simulator 2013”? Well, some things are better left unsaid.  In this particular game, players will take on the role of a quote unquote doctor (Nigel Burke) that will be performing a series of medical procedures.  Before we get started with the review, I’d like to thank the folks at Bossa Studios for providing me with a free copy.

Surgeon Simulator 2013

Surgeon Simulator 2013 (Windows, Mac, Linux)

The main menu had me laughing right off the bat, which I knew was a good sign of things to come.  Using your character’s hand, you can navigate around your desk and proceed to make a mess of things.  When you get tired of breaking stuff, you can pick from the available operations via the clipboard, adjust game options, and view achievements.  The options menu allows the user to set the volumes via audio sliders, control sensitivity, keybinds, screen resolution, fullscreen/windowed mode, graphics quality, and more.  I was personally glad to see this functionality, as these options weren’t available in the free demo released a while ago.  You’ll see a lot of different achievements as you play, most of them in my case were discovered accidentally.  When messing around on the main menu for example, I “accidentally” caused my character’s hand to flip off the camera.  Imagine my surprise to find that I had earned an achievement for being an inconsiderate jerk-face.

For those of you that have never tried the demo or played the game, you’re in for a rude awakening.  Using your mouse and the keyboard, you’ll need to guide your character’s hand around the interface to complete a particularly gruesome goal.  By default, the “A”, “W”, “E”, “R”, and Space Bar keys control the fingers of the hand, while your mouse and mouse buttons control the movements, rotation, and elevation.  Needless to say, my eye-hand coordination and dexterity were put to the test.  Those who have played the demo will recognize the very first mission, where you’re tasked with performing a heart transplant.  Despite how complex surgery and controlling your hand are, the game mechanics are surprisingly simple.

Surgeon Simulator 2013

Well…sorta simple.

The interface you’ll see during a procedure is easy enough to read.  The time you’ve spent playing in a particular level is displayed in the upper left and your patient’s blood reserves are in the upper right.  You’ll be able to manuever your hand around the environment, pick things up, and make them interact with the patient in question…emphasis on the word “make”.  The controls are extremely hard to get used to and after hours of playing, I’m no better at picking tools up and using them properly.  Every time you cut or smash things into the patient, part of their blood reserves dwindle.  If you aren’t careful, you could harm them to the point where they begin to lose a certain amount of blood every second.  At that point, time is your enemy.  Once the blood reserves hit zero, your session fails and you’ll be forced to start over.

From what I’ve been able to gather, there are a total of six procedures to participate in.  The first three will take place in the hospital while the other three will test your reflexes in the back of a moving ambulance.  The three types of surgeries you’ll encounter are heart transplants, double kidney transplants, and brain surgeries.  Each one varies in difficulty, though once you discover the order in which you need to cut away certain organs and body parts, the easier it will become.  It’s not ideal in the real world when it comes to medicine, but in this game, practice makes perfect.  For those of you have beaten all six levels, there’s a hidden seventh level available for players to pick at.  If you thought the ambulance levels were hard, try playing in zero-g…that’s all the spoilers you’ll get.

Surgeon Simulator 2013

Protip: Operating a surgical laser in the back of a moving vehicle is harder than it looks.

In the end, “Surgeon Simulator 2013” is the type of game that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  It’s not a simulator by any sense of the word, so those going into the game expecting a real-life simulation will be a tad disappointed.  This game is aimed at those who can laugh and don’t mind its unusual and morbid tendencies.  I found it to be a fun experience and caught myself laughing out loud on a regular basis, despite my attempts in futility in mastering the controls.  I get the feeling however that the difficult controls are part of what makes this game so fun…it almost gives me an excuse to mess up and chuckle while doing it.  $9.99 (as of 6/3/13) isn’t a bad price all things considered, but I think a few more modes, maps, and tools would help replayability a smidge.  It took me about five hours to get through, averaging about five replays per level.  It’s a fun romp in the park that’s definitely worth revisiting from time to time, especially if you need a pick-me-up from a bad day at work.

Final Verdict: 7/10

You can learn more about and purchase the game by visiting the following websites:

http://www.surgeonsimulator2013.com/

http://store.steampowered.com/app/233720

You can check out walkthroughs here:

http://www.dadsgamingaddiction.com/surgeon-simulator-2013-2/

You can view video play sessions here:

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