Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.
Growing up, one of my favorite computer simulators was a game called Life & Death. In it, you assume the role of a hotshot surgeon, and you must perform tense, invasive procedures on the body in front of you. Owing to my fourth-grade-level knowledge of human anatomy and modern medicine, my patients usually bled out within minutes, and with a memorably horrifying scream. (I said it was a favorite game, not that I was any good at it.)
Surgeon Simulator 2013 is the first time I’ve scrubbed up since Life & Death, and apparently my scalpel hand hasn’t become any steadier in the ensuing decades.
The basic setup of this game is similar, but where I had only myself to blame for the nightmarish butchery of Life & Death, the controls in Surgeon Simulator 2013 are so hilariously unwieldy that the patient would be doomed even with Dr. Oz on the keyboard. In this way, it’s more of a joke than a game, but the joke is so good that it demands at least a couple playthroughs. Just trying to grasp a bone saw or the heart you’re transplanting is an exercise in near-total futility, and you’ll knock at least half your tools to the floor before you get anywhere near a damaged ventricle. It’s as if you’ve pumped your hand full of Novocain before trying to thread a sewing needle. If nothing else, it’ll make you think twice about ever going under the knife, and it’s rare times like these that I’m thankful for my complete lack of health insurance.