Publisher: Bossa Studios
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Simulation, Party, Multiplayer & Action
Release Date: September 13, 2018 (EU & NA)
There is certainly a lot of dark humour to be found in this game that it is borderline worrisome. You never quite master the controls and just picking up the surgical tool you want is deserving of applause itself. Every tool has a purpose but you don’t get told what does what. The only “Tutorial” per se by inserting the floppy disks that accumulate after operations into the PC in the reception. Only then will you have a better idea of which surgical tool should be used for, unless you actually are a Surgeon then you should probably know already.
When you begin the game, you will find yourself at a cluttered desk. To the left is the aforementioned computer and the floppy drives. In the centre are your patient files where you can choose the operations you would like to perform. You can also access the main menu here and alter settings like controls and language. Your achievements can also be found here. Some achievements you will obtain by completing operations. Others by performing absurd tasks like performing an operation whilst drugged, electrocuted or both. You can even pull off a number or hand gestures like flipping the bird, showng your appreciation to heavy metal and pinky swear. Hey, if this is what counts for achievements, then sign me up.
Your first operation as a newly unlicensed surgeon is to perform open heart surgery on a victim, uh I mean patient, the affectionately named “Bob.” First up is cracking open the rib-cage with the saw or hammer or even a coffee mug if you are feeling ambitious. While you are at it, you could even pimp slap the poor sap with said coffee mug. After getting the Ribs out of the way, it is then time to tackle the vital organs. The lungs won’t pull themselves out. As you bumble your way through, you may notice that your victim, I mean patient (Why do I keep saying that) may be losing blood. To help stop the bleeding, there is a green syringe that you can just prod into the patient and it will stop the blood loss rate. Be careful not to prick yourself with it otherwise, you will become delirious and if you though it was difficult before, you are in for an even harder time now.
Should this happen, prick yourself with the white syringe, if you can find it. This will get you back on form. Once you make the necessary incisions to pop out the bad organ, you can proceed to insert the new one. As long as the new organ goes into the cavity, you are golden. You don’t even need to reattach it. You can then move on to the next assassination, uh, operation (Oh, who am I kidding? you will most likely murder most of your patients before successfully saving one).
As regards to controls, they are purposely atrocious and will give you a newfound respect to real-life surgeons as it is not an easy profession. The Switch version has the added functionality of supporting a second player in the form of another hand. If you thought it was hard enough with one hand, wait until you are trying to squeeze two hands into an open chest cavity. Each player takes a single Joy-Con to control a singular hand. Rotating the Joy-Con will rotate the hand and pressing the Joy-stick in will recentre the hand to its neutral position. You would think that motion control would give you an edge of standard button controls but nope. I found the motion controls even more baffling and found that playing the Switch in handheld mode was the safest bet.
I have often joked about if only the human body could be more like cars. Where if a part fails, you could simply chuck out the damaged part and slap in a new one. Surgeon Simulator CPTR is pretty much that. It is Motor mechanics but with human body parts. The carefree attitude of the game relies on how gloriously bad you do as opposed to how incredible you can be. Throwing vital organs around or fumbling for surgical tools on trolleys as they clamber about as you run down a corridor. Surgeon Simulator CPR is like a cross between Carry On Doctor, Monty Python and Frankenstein. If you don’t find it funny, you will be fuming like a steam train.
Chaos and hilarity are two words that come to mind when I think of Surgeon Simulator CPR. For something that is centered around one of the most delicate and precise professions in the world, Surgeon Simulator turns it on its head, smashes its skull with a hammer and then scoops out its brains with a plastic spoon. I have a new found respect for anyone in a green apron now as it is an incredibly tough job to do what they do. The whole debacle can be hilariously funny until you actually want to play through sensibly. Then it is an absolute nightmare as everything in the game is against you. There is a true sense of accomplishment when you finally do succeed, even if only with a D rank. The most fun you can have is challenging your friends to try and do better. In short Surgeon Simulator CPR is funnily disturbing, whilst disturbingly fun to play.
The Verdict: 7/10
*Review Key Provided by Bossa Studios
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This post was written by Mike Scorpio