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Rachel Weber

Jul 05, 2011

Surgery Simulator

If you really want to perform surgery without a licence, grab some sharp kitchen knives, a soundproofed cellar and a lot of chloroform. A life sentence is preferable to the medical malpractice of this terrible surgery sim.

There's no story: just ailments, like a broken leg or tonsils, for you to mechanically slice and dice. Operating is just clicking, pointing and dragging as instructed by your frankly impertinent assistant. She barks an order at you for every action, from the hernia repair to the appendectomy. It makes it not only pretty impossible to mess up, but conversely hard to experiment and have some fun. She won't even let you carve 'I heart knives' into your patient's stomach, or make intestine balloon animals. It's all forceps and disinfectant, spray and clamps.

Whatever it is just cut it off!

Funnily enough she's not very helpful about the trickiest bit: fiddling with your patients' drip and anaesthesia to keep them from crashing and ruining all your hard work. Maybe if I just repeated the tedious tutorial on that particular topic to the patient they'd go numb and pass out from sheer boredom?

Once you learn to manage the vital signs, cutting people open and sewing them up again turns out to be sort of satisfying, even if all you have to do is drag and click. There's a ghoulish delight to pulling out a varicose vein like a bit of red spaghetti, and performing the cataract operation is more upsetting than any horror game in the past five years. But just as I was starting to think I had judged this too harshly, it flat-lined. A mere eight operations means this is over in an hour. It's more Holby City than ER.

Surgery Simulator

It's not just the visuals that will make you lose your lunch.

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