You can only move your left hand in this game, so I flipped off my mean nurse

You know how in Crysis 2 you're basically a pile of hamburger meat kept alive by a super-powered exo suit? Helping Hand is what you would get if you took the exo suit out of that equation. It's a game by developer Hubblegum that reminds me of Surgeon Simulator in that you can only move your left hand on account of every other bone in your body being broken. You communicate by making signs and gestures with your hand, moving each finger individually using your number keys and spacebar: 1 for your pinky finger, 2 for your ring finger, 3 for your middle finger, 4 for your index finger, and Space for your thumb. It's a neat and surprisingly nuanced control scheme. 

It starts with me in my hospital bed, and I quickly flashback to the accident that put me there: while fiddling with the buttons on my radio, pressing everything but my index finger to poke them, I accidentally plow head-on into a semi. (Relatedly, I'd like to remind everyone: don't text and drive.) I was wondering what sort of accident it would take to break every bone in my body, and yeah, I reckon that'd do it. 

I'm a proper mess afterward. My right leg looks like a seven, my left leg is wedged in a grill, my right arm is a limp noodle, the bones in my left arm are exposed, and my guts are falling out. I feel bad for the guy who has to patch me up. He's new to the whole EMT thing, yet here he is reenacting that one scene from Dog Soldiers, and we don't even have any whiskey. Elbow-deep in my exposed intestines, he asks me how I'm feeling. 

He also asks me to hold onto his phone. I don't know, maybe his pants don't have pockets. I don't have the energy to argue, so I press all four number keys and Space to make a fist and grab his phone. The thing is, I have a habit of popping my wrists when I type, and without thinking I do so here. My index finger comes off the index finger key, causing my index finger to come off the phone, and apparently that finger was the keystone in this whole operation because I immediately drop the phone right into my guts. It vibrates. That's gotta hurt.  

Luckily we make it to the hospital before this EMT dude's Twitter notifications can kill me. When I wake up, my doctor introduces me to my asshole nurse. The first thing out of her mouth is a comment on how gross I look. I don't know the sign language for "no u," so I settle for the next best thing.  

I'm visited by a priest of the church of Chewboiye soon after. At this point, I've figured out how to do a few different gestures. I can give a thumbs down, a peace sign, an "OK" sign, and that thing where you wiggle your thumb and pinkie as radically as possible. I've also figured out how to do the rocker horns, and in the name of science, that's how I respond to the priest's prayer offering.  

The priest's shocked response is what really sells me on Helping Hand. Its branching dialogue is smart enough to get a lot of mileage out of its simple controls, and it's unexpectedly fun to roleplay an incredibly rude hand. If you're interested in doing so yourself, you can get Helping Hand on Steam and

Austin Wood
Staff writer, GamesRadar

Austin freelanced for PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and has been a full-time writer at PC Gamer's sister publication GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover-up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news, the occasional feature, and as much Genshin Impact as he can get away with.