Be a Surgeon: Written iPhone App Review
Do you recall the fine Trauma Center and Surgical Unit games for the Nintendo Wii and DS consoles? These medical-themed games had players wielding antibiotics, scalpels, sutures an more in their frantic quest to cure an ailing patient. Until recently, the iOS appeared to be lacking in similar titles. Not anymore! Enter Be a Surgeon from developer Ruben Pecellin. Are your fingers ready to operate as a virtual iOS surgeon?
Basic game play requires the player to operate and close the incision on a patient as fast as possible and with the least number of errors in the game. There is a countdown timer racing the gamer along, plus a star-score system at the end. There is a nice variety of medical and surgical tools to wield with precision in the operating room, including the popular scalpel, sutures, ultrasound and more (9 total). While the game involves getting different patients and treating them in the operating room, there is also an underlying storyline with multiple characters, each with their own personality. There’s even an ominous force lurking behind the scene, one that your main character, Zack Starks, must eventually face. It’s a pretty fun and intriguing storyline, complete with challenging cases and humorous dialogue. The sound track and effects are great and the game menu allows users to select not only from the campaign mode, but also from former procedures. You’ll be able to see the old procedures you have complete, as well as your best time and rank. Attempt to do them again to score even higher with your new-found skills if you desire!
Appearance and Layout:
The graphics for the various medical tools and body parts are relatively well-done and really help set the stage for a surgical operating room. It’s really easy to browse Be a Surgeon from the start and jump right into the game, even on older devices. The actual layout is pretty intuitive, as are the game controls.
Of course, Be a Surgeon isn’t perfect. Some of the most glaring issues include the typos and poor English translations at various points of the game dialogue. It’s sometimes annoying, but usually still understandable enough to figure out what is going on. The other issue with appearance and layout that the user may find troubling is the character graphics. They are clearly inspired by many of the Wii anime-medical characters; however they aren’t exactly on the same level of detail. Still, I feel the developer has poured a lot of time into this project and the graphics are certainly decent enough to a solo app team. A few of the option tabs seem to have a very small radius of sensitivity to touch (i.e. selecting English or Spanish) and a larger “bubble” button would be nice on various menu option, perhaps in future updates. Also, on smaller iOS devices (iPod Touch and iPhone), the gamers’ finger often obscures the sutures or cut line, making precise localization difficult. This may not be an issue on devices with larger screens like the iPad.
Currently, Be a Surgeon is on sale at $0.99. It is a pretty awesome price for the array of game play and interesting storyline tucked away in this app gem. There is significant replay value in this app as well, thanks to the neat former procedures mode. The multi-language support (both English and Spanish) in the same app certainly adds to the value of Be a Surgeon. However, the sometimes awkward translations to English may throw a few users off. For those willing to overlook the lack of polish in Be a Surgeon, they will be rewarded with a really fun and unique medical-inspired game app for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone.
Be a Surgeon iPhone app requires iOS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review. The iPhone app reviews rating: