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Amateur Surgeon 2

For: iPhone

Professional effort

Product: Amateur Surgeon 2 | Developer: Mediatonic | Publisher: Adult Swim | Format: iPhone | Genre: Casual | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Amateur Surgeon 2 iPhone, thumbnail 1
How hard can surgery be? Provided you have a steady hand, adequate tools and a reasonably clean environment, any idiot could do it.

That’s the absurd premise of Amateur Surgeon 2, a conversion of the Adult Swim Flash game.

You play the role of Alan Probe, a retired (not to mention disgraced) amateur surgeon with a taste for pizza cutters and car batteries in place of scalpels and defibrillators.

Saw head

Using such everyday objects, your task is to operate on the cast of colourful characters who limp through your door.

The nature of these patients and Alan’s conversations with them pre- and post-operation (as well as the gorgeously stylised artwork) is what provides much of the game’s trademark humour.

I won’t spoil too much, but the highlight has to be a downtrodden and distinctly creepy clown, which sets up a couple of excellent gags.

The operations are entertaining, slapdash affairs where you mimic surgical actions by drawing on the screen. The idea is to follow a number of set procedures as quickly and accurately as possible. This includes sealing up minor wounds with a cigarette lighter, chopping sections of bone with a chainsaw or zapping loose insects with a car battery.

Hack job

Occasionally things can be too haphazard for their own good. The game often failed to register my gestures properly, particularly when it came to sealing up wounds with the lighter and healing cream. This was also noticeable during sawing procedures.

It could be that this is just a way of reflecting Alan’s developing skills, as you can improve your ability with one piece of equipment after each level. If this is the case, though, it’s poorly explained and sloppily implemented.

There’s also the odd issue of problem areas that stray too close to the sides of the screen, which can lead to inadvertent equipment selection while attempting to replace a person’s fibula. Nasty.

The difficulty level is oddly pitched too, proving too easy with just one or two trickier operations thrown in at odd intervals. Related to this is a rather opaque grading system that produces some mystifying swings between 'A' and 'F.'

Still, the game is funny enough, polished enough and just plain fun enough that such issues remain in the background for the most part. Despite complications, Amateur Surgeon 2 pulls through comfortably.
Amateur Surgeon 2
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 19 November 2010
A fun and humorous operation, Amateur Surgeon 2 suffers from complications with its controls and difficulty spikes, but remains an appealing prospect
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