Sawbuck Gamer

House, M.D.: Critical Cases

Playing Doctor

You really don’t want to be one of the patients in House, M.D.: Critical Cases.

By Samantha Nelson • June 26, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

The House, M.D. TV series ended its run in May, and Ubisoft is hoping that fans are already hankering for more of Gregory House’s wisecracks and hypochondria-inspiring medical mysteries. House, M.D.: Critical Cases sticks closely to the show’s formula, but it makes you pay for doses of Dr. House’s sarcasm and misanthropy by playing lots of repetitive mini games.

The game is divided into episodes that, just like on TV, begin with the patient developing the awful symptoms that send them to the ER, complete with gross animations of projectile vomit and hapless people coughing up blood. You play as a rookie added to House’s diagnostics team, hanging out with bobblehead versions of House, Foreman, Chase, and Thirteen. You eliminate possible maladies, inevitably misdiagnose the patient (causing the obligatory Code Blue), go back to the drawing board, and then discover what’s really wrong.

The diagnosis process has you running tests and investigating the scene where a patient got sick—where “investigating” means playing hidden object and memory games. There’s a game where you have to click on the right blood cells, because of science. You’ll also need plenty of medical supplies, favors, and money, and to get those, you have to treat the many other patients that filter into the Princeton Plainsboro clinic. That means repeatedly playing the same games and getting Facebook friends to lend you a hand. As cases get more complicated, the tedious labor piles up. The writing is fun, but popping in a DVD may be more gratifying.

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929 Responses to “Playing Doctor”

  1. HobbesMkii says:

    So that’s what Hugh Laurie would look like if he had macrocephaly. Huh. Well, now I know.

  2. The_Misanthrope says:

    It’s not lupus!

    • Electric Dragon says:

      The flaw in that screenshot is immediately apparent. It doesn’t have “Lupus” on it.

      • PhilWal0 says:

         Can you enter your name as “Lupus” and unlock the second, more difficult quest?

  3. Emperor_Jim says:

    Someone should just make a game where you go around as House, pranking Wilson and Taub, while constantly being alert for counter-pranks.

  4. Aaron Riccio says:

    No more hidden object games for me. I’ve already invested enough time into Zynga’s “Hidden Chronicles” on the long-ago advice of an A.V. Club “A” review, and now I’m done with the genre.

  5. Aaron Riccio says:

    Although, on second thought, if I get to watch old characters like Kutner or Amber die in that hilarious-looking art style, I may have to grit my teeth and check it out.

  6. Cornell_University says:

    if you fail enough minigames, will your character shoot himself in the head for no appearant reason?

    too soon?

  7. STOP_RIGHT_THERE_CRIMINAL_SCUM says:

    LUPUS