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Surgeon Simulator (iOS) game review

Get surgical with your hands, with the iOS version of Surgeon Simulator for iPad. Check out our full gory app review…

We have nothing but the highest respect for surgeons, who spend hideously long hours elbow-deep in chest cavities, rectums and other squishy areas, fiddling with wibbly bits and cutting out nasty fungus-rot. A proper full-on surgeon sim would probably be the most ruthlessly difficult and joyless game of all time, which is why we’re thankful that Bossa Studios went with a tongue-in-cheek approach for Surgeon Simulator, out now for Apple’s iPad.

It’s still harder than a dozen Steven Seagals, but it’s also hilariously over-the-top with its excessive gore and bad taste humour, making it worth a punt at £3.99.

Surgeon Simulator iOS iPad app review

Surgeon Simulator on iOS gives you four operations to complete in order, including a heart transplant, kidney transplant, incredibly disgusting eye transplant and an icky bit of tooth extraction. All four operations offer their own challenges, and all four are tricky as hell thanks to the (we suspect deliberately) shonky controls.

Surgeon Simulator app review iOS iPad

Why simply pull off a face mask when you can stab it off with scissors instead? And no, this isn’t us being sadistic – this is the actual method you have to use…

In each op, your patient is spread out on the operating table, surrounded by a host of deadly implements, and you’re effectively left to achieve your mission in any way you like. Some tools obviously work better than others for each stage of the operations – for instance, while it’s perfectly possible to use an axe to open up someone’s ribcage, you might want to try the bone saw instead.

Surgeon Simulator app review iOS iPad

Of course, it’s the experimentation and piddling around with completely inappropriate devices that makes Surgeon Simulator so much fun. After all, why would you carefully drill out someone’s teeth when you can just smack ‘em out with a hammer? And the game doesn’t worry too much about realism either – you can toss organs about with merry abandon, and even ripping out someone’s lungs won’t kill them dead.

Sadly you can’t go too crazy though, as foolhardy behaviour will raise your patient’s heart rate to obscene levels and have them pissing blood all over the surgery floor, both of which unsurprisingly could prove fatal. Thankfully you can use anesthetic to calm them and injections to (miraculously) stem blood loss, and you can even bring them back to life with electro heart paddles – something we had to do with alarming regularity.

Surgeon Simulator app review iOS iPad

Open wide and say “Arrrrrghhhhhfffkdgkfhfhkhk”

You can go to town and use your own techniques, or follow the helpful idiot’s guide on your virtual smartphone to get through each op, but even with the guide you’re bound to fail a good few times before finally stumbling to success. That’s mostly thanks to the tricky controls, which have you seizing and aiming each instrument of torture with your fingers. After a couple of hours you’ll be wielding the tools with a bit more confidence, but it’s still a hilariously inept way to slice into your patient’s/victim’s juicy innards.

Surgeon Simulator app review iOS iPad

Although we managed to stumble our way through the first three ops, we just couldn’t hack the final tooth extraction. Sliding the replacement teeth into the bleeding gum holes was just too difficult with the touch controls, as our fingertips kept obscuring our view of the action. Eventually we gave up, although apparently completing this op opens up a new ‘endless corridor’ mode, where you have to complete each level again while your patient is wheeled down a dingy hospital hallway.

The stingy number of levels is a shame considering the £3.99 asking price, but we had a lot of fun with Surgeon Simulator on the iPad, and there are multiplayer modes and the option to record and share your medical blunders with the world, adding a bit of extra value.

Update 7/8/2014: Bossa Studios has just announced that an Android-compatible version of the game is in the works too. Here’s the announcement video:


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