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Review

Surgeon Simulator 2013 Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed:
  • PC

Surgeon Simulator 2013 is hardly a simulation, but it makes medical malpractice an absolute delight.

"Perform a heart transplant." These are the words that greet you at the beginning of Surgeon Simulator 2013. Beyond that, there are no instructions to speak of: it's just you, a table full of surgical instruments, and a patient whose life you hold in your woefully unprepared hands. While that may sound like a recipe for disaster, it's also what makes Surgeon Simulator so wonderful. This is an absurdist parody of one of the world's most skillful occupations, a game that has you fumbling your way through one operation after the other as you drop your watch inside a patient's abdominal cavity, lose entire organs out of the back of a moving ambulance, and giggle with delight over your own surgical incompetence.

In Surgeon Simulator, you exist as an arm hovering above an operating table. Dragging the mouse moves your hand about the screen, and from there you can control the grip of each finger through five keys on the keyboard. Clicking the right mouse button as you drag left and right lets you rotate your hand side to side, while dragging up and down lets you adjust the angle of your wrist. If all this sounds a bit confusing, that's because it absolutely is. Surgeon Simulator makes it incredibly complicated to so much as pick up a scalpel. Performing a successful operation, meanwhile, is like juggling and riding a bicycle at the same time.

And yet, that ungainly control scheme is one of the biggest reasons Surgeon Simulator is such dumb fun. This is surgery as a slapstick vaudeville routine, an eccentric comedy of errors where everything can and will go wrong. Whether you're causing massive blood loss by dropping an electric drill inside a patient's abdominal cavity or seeing hallucinations after accidentally pricking yourself with a syringe, this game is littered with hazards meant to make you giggle with morbid delight. Surgeon Simulator has all the potential to be frustrating, but the sense of humor is so pervasive (the game-over screen reads "Brutal murder achieved") and the gore is so whimsically over the top (performing a brain transplant is like cracking a hard-boiled egg) that you can't help but cackle with glee even as you're fumbling a patient's life away. It's a game that's acutely aware of its own ridiculousness and wants you to join in on the fun.

The ease with which your watch falls off is one of this game's many clever touches.

That fun is spread across three basic types of operations: a heart transplant, a double kidney transplant, and a brain transplant. No matter the procedure, your goal is always to complete the operation before your patient runs out of blood. The challenge lies in removing any ribs and extraneous organs in your way without causing too much collateral damage. When you're done, the game assigns you a grade based on how quickly and carefully you completed the job. It's too bad there aren't more types of procedures, because in addition to some occasionally wonky physics issues, that relatively limited selection of surgeries is one of the game's only flaws.

Fortunately, Surgeon Simulator gives you plenty of reasons to keep coming back. For one thing, each of those three surgeries can be performed in a ridiculously difficult alternate scenario that has you operating during a very bumpy ambulance ride. Your utensils and replacement organs go bouncing all over the place, and the back doors randomly swing open--it's pure chaos. On top of this, there are a number of Easter eggs to discover (like a top secret heart transplant performed in zero-gravity space) as well as some truly inventive achievements, such as completing an operation with less than 10 milliliters of blood remaining, or dressing your patient in a scarf made from his own large intestine.

Extracting the brain should be a slow and delicate process. But who cares about that when you've got an A rank to achieve?

Throughout all this, Surgeon Simulator strikes a terrific balance between realism--or at least relative realism--and all-out absurdity. Hack away at your patient's ribs with a bone saw, and you might put the whole operation at risk by slicing open a lung; but the only way to get at the heart is to remove the lungs entirely, at which point you can toss them to the floor without the slightest concern. If your patient starts losing too much blood, you need to slow the bleeding with a hemostasis shot; but you can use that very syringe to haphazardly stab your patient in the face as many times as you like, and he'll be right as rain. It all adds up to a wonderful contrast between the grounded and the ridiculous. The result is a game that's both challenging and lighthearted, clumsy and clever.

Surgeon Simulator is a game that defies logic. Even the oddly dance-worthy synth soundtrack has no business working as well as it does. And yet, it all comes together beautifully in one great big symphony of eccentricity. This is a game that makes it an absolute joy to not only fail, but fail spectacularly. And the best part is, you don't even have to worry about malpractice suits.

The Good
Makes failing at surgery a joyous experience
Wonderful use of over-the-top humor
Lots of little hidden extras
Music is oddly complimentary
The Bad
Only three types of transplants
Physics can sometimes get wonky
8
Great
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Discussion

500 comments
Z-Z-Zorpheus
Z-Z-Zorpheus

So many people in these comments who simply don't get the point of this game...

CrysisFPS
CrysisFPS

This could have been a very cool game had the controls not been so atrocious. Unfortunately, they are and it has to be realised that when you can barely make it past the "Menu Screen", never mind the levels, it's not remotely a fair game. It's OK to acknowledge that a good premise has abysmal execution! Gamespot needs to stop underrating one game, and overrating another.

leeti
leeti

This is game is the stupidest thing I've ever played. That score is a joke.

Nightmare799
Nightmare799

when you think about it, why would you buy this, when you can have final fantasy 7 for same price?

ALPRAS91
ALPRAS91

Lol, how much did they payed you to give that score? This game not even a 4 deserves! This game is tedious in every aspect, and not even mentioning the terrible controls (or the lack of controls) of the game, probably the worts ever seen...
Not even the jokes can save this game...
Its thanks to reviews like this that Gamespot is loosing its credibility...

skr10
skr10

It's weird how this game gets such a high score, when the controls are so bad. I miss the old reviewers, those were actually good professionals who knew how to review a game.

HKILLER88888
HKILLER88888

Fun Game : Yes Graphics : MEhhhh, Controls: BAD Music: nothing especial! Simulator and Medically Accurate : HELL NO!this game is on a level that it's SO BAD and stupid that it's GOOD!i don't know if i should also leave a comment about the review,score and the reviewer himself or not...
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the price for this is actually 10$ on steam.Fez has been released for PC 3 days ago and it's also priced at 10$. that game also got an 8.0 too from here you can go read the review.so which one would you buy for 10 $?Fez?or Surgeon Simulator 2013?

Thunderbear24
Thunderbear24

You cant give a cheap game a small rating just because its cheap. It does what its mean to. Yes, an 8 for a big title would still be a better game even though the score is the same. But, take price into concertation too as you get what you pay for. This game is roughly only £7.00 Its an 8 for the price. Trust me, its hours of fun.

Thunderbear24
Thunderbear24

I got it. Its only a cheap game so dont expect it to be as good as a big title, but it does what its meant to for its price. Is a very fun game.

doktron
doktron

wait a minute...this is a late april fools joke.

doktron
doktron

I want whatever the reviewer was smoking when he reviewed this...thing!

doktron
doktron

cant wait for surgeon simulator 2.0!

Broodwin
Broodwin

This garbage scored 8/10. Someone has lost the plot.

Cmon3y
Cmon3y

Gamespot is slowly losing their mind. This game gets an 8.0 and Dead Island Riptide gets a 4.0? C'Mon Man!

Ilikemyname420
Ilikemyname420

I just didn't find the game that amusing. Slapstick just doesn't work for me when it's as set-up as this.

thermalmotion
thermalmotion

Surgeon Simulator, the first great idea for kinect?

mistery6950
mistery6950

8? Come onnnnnn. This game is pure crap. A 2 score is closer to the truth.

JuggaloZero
JuggaloZero

A game which is only good for making youtube videos about how bad it is gets an 8.0?... Makes sense if you use GameSpot logic.

theblackfrog
theblackfrog

eeeh lol, and resident evil 6 got 4.5 or so? that game is a mess and totally broken

Nikola Jovanovic
Nikola Jovanovic

I just BARELY inserted floppy disk into the pc just because of controls

alechair
alechair

After reading most of the comments here I think it's time for GS to open an "indie" game section.

Instructor_Doc
Instructor_Doc

.what's next?  'gynecologist simulator'? ;)
with '
urologist' dlc.. :D

Dean Musumeci
Dean Musumeci

They've already got Street Cleaning Simulator, it's close enough.

Allicrombie
Allicrombie moderator moderator

It looks like a successor of sorts to Theme Hospital, albeit more specialized, and it makes me wonder what took so long.

Tyler Hanson
Tyler Hanson

I think a cheif simulator would be pretty funny.

TheLeftHandDoom
TheLeftHandDoom

This game honestly looks more interesting that Dragon's Dogma. 

gix47
gix47

amazing how a joke can last forever

Luis Gil
Luis Gil

Food simulator would be freaking hilarious to play as a chef and make something super digusting !

Bob Rea
Bob Rea

Its so hard. But hilarious

David Sellers Jr.
David Sellers Jr.

Surgeon Simullator 2013 Boob implant Edition should be made lol

Kevin Wong
Kevin Wong

isn't there already "I Get This Call Every Day"?

Robert Morgan
Robert Morgan

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Manager, and I am a Wolves fan. Lol.

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

shows how ppl in NA think a game looks like shit has bad control seems to have no point as a real Simulator {Sega had much better ones on the dream cast}yet omg it has lots of blood so lets slap an 8.0 on it as most of what you hear Shaun McInnis saying is yay over the top blood and fun since it dose not work right. :P grow up man 8.0 needs to be for something good not a lazy ass game like this

anakvunky
anakvunky

@alechair yah agreed with you sir, there a lot of youngster here don't know how to score an indie game... 

OldKye
OldKye

@Allicrombie It didn't take them that long lol the original game was made in 48 hours(basically just to see if they could make a fun game in 48 hours) so when it was a hit they made this one in 48 days lol

guess the next one won't be out for 48 weeks then? hehe

tushwacker
tushwacker

@OldKye @Allicrombie speaking of which.. I wonder if they're ever going to make a '28 Months Later' movie?..

Surgeon Simulator 2013 More Info

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  • First Released
    • Android
    • iPhone/iPod
    • + 4 more
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • PS4
    • Unix/Linux
    Surgeon Simulator 2013 is a darkly humorous over-the-top operation sim game where you become Nigel Burke and perform life-saving surgical maneuvers on passive patients.
    5.9
    Average User RatingOut of 164 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Surgeon Simulator 2013
    Developed by:
    Bossa Studios Ltd, Bossa Studios
    Published by:
    Bossa Studios Ltd, Bossa Studios, Mastertronic
    Genres:
    Simulation
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms
    Blood, Violence