Quite often, developers that attempt to be too ambitious in trying to make their games offer what no other game of the genre has to offer can fall flat. Their attempt to innovate spiral out of control and the end result is a game that is almost a chore to play. Surgeon Simulator 2013 seems to suffer from this developer’s ambition, but the end result is something a little bit different than ‘unplayable’. Somehow, in spite of its ridiculous control system, Surgeon Simulator 2013 ends up actually being quite intriguing and fun to play in a ridiculous and clumsy way that doesn’t really feel like careful, life-saving surgery at all. On the face of it, it looks just like any other surgery simulator with some tuned-up graphics that sit high on the flash-game spectrum but at the very bottom in the pool of big-boy games that use real rendering and actual 3D graphics. Surgeon Simulator is an anomaly therefore because even though the elements that it is composed of are flawed, the end result is something that could be classed as fun. Sort of.
You wouldn’t think that Surgeon Simulator 2013 is a bad game from just looking at it, since it looks just like any other surgery game on the face of it. The aim is to perform certain operations like kidney or heart transplants by using only the tools that you have in the operating room. Where developers Bossa Studios have tried to innovate beyond their means, however, is the control system. The idea is that you stand over a patient and use a single hand to do all the work from looking around the tables, too picking up your tools and lowering the hand up and down towards the patient to perform the vital tasks when necessary.
You would think a game that lets you control the fingers and thumb individually with the A,W,E,R, and Spacebar keys would actually be quite fun to play, and the fact that you can control the positioning of the hand with the mouse would give you more control than any other surgery game such as Barbie Dentist. This isn’t the case, though, since controlling the fingers individually is too complicated an affair to achieve with any sort of enjoyment, and in practice, it makes picking anything up nearly impossible. The game physics are also way off, and things don’t sit in your hand like they should. You can’t even use items in a definitive way due to the lack of an ‘action’ or ‘use’ button, but instead have to thrust your hand back and forth to cut and swipe clumsily at objects like a heart in order to grab them.
In spite of the ridiculous control system and poor physics, you can have some fun with Surgeon Simulator 2013 since it is effectively an operating-room free for all . It can be fun to send a heart flying across the room and also to stab the patient repeatedly. Whether this kind of fun is purposefully included or not, it is there nonetheless, and even the graphics which aspire to be 3D don’t really do the trick here. Try this game if you want a fun experience that is inadvertently ridiculous and almost without purpose, but not if you want a consistently fun game that you can perform the intricacies of surgery in.