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Surgeon Simulator 2013 (PC) Review

Surgeon Simulator 2013 (PC) Review
Surgeon Simulator 2013 (PC) Review
Surgeon Simulator 2013 (PC) Review

At a Glance...

Formats: Steam download (PC, Mac, and Linux compatible)
Final Score
7/ 10

User Rating
1 total rating


We liked?

  • Good "party" game
  • Fun in short bursts
  • Budget friendly

Not so much?

  • Limited instructions
  • Controls are awkward
  • Can be frustrating

Final Fiendish Findings?

Surgeon Simulator 2013 is a humorous (and gory and possibly offensive) parody of medical simulation games.

Posted May 10, 2013 by

Full Fiendish Findings...

Despite what some people may think, not all video games are about blowing things up and killing people.  There have been a handful of games,  like the classic PC game Life & Death and the Trauma Center series for the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS, where you assume the role of a doctor whose goal is to save lives, and not take them away.  Surgeon Simulator 2013 is not that type of game… well, not really.

Let’s begin with a little back story before we get into the review.

Surgeon Simulator 2013 began as the result of a game created in a 48-hour time period during the 2013 Global Game Jam in January 2013.  The Global Game Jam is a workshop where people of various technical and artistic backgrounds, come together and form small groups to gather ideas and create games in a very limited time span.  The version of Surgeon Simulator from Global Game Jam became an instant viral hit on the Internet.  Developer Bossa Studios improved upon that version, and in April they released the full version of Surgeon Simulator 2013 on Steam for the PC, Mac, and Linux.

Simply put, Surgeon Simulator 2013 is a dark-humored surgery simulator where the goal is to complete a variety of medical tasks, primarily transplants, without killing the patient.  Achieving your goal often requires (literally) cracking into your patient’s chest, abdomen, and head using a variety of legitimate and non-legitimate ways (hammer, axes), sawing, slicing and yanking out the vital organs that are in the way, and dropping the newly transplanted organ into the gaping wound before the patient bleeds out.

Surgeon Simulator 2013 (PC) Review

Did the coil of the patient’s intestines slide off the table and on the floor when you were trying to replace a kidney?  No problem!  As long as you place that new kidney in the vicinity of where the old one was, the patient will be fine… we think. You don’t have to worry about putting everything back and sewing them up — that’s probably somebody else’s job.

While the game was obviously designed to make you laugh, depending on your point of view, Surgeon Simulator 2013 may be uproariously hilarious or downright gory and offensive.

To make the game more of a challenge, the Surgeon Simulator 2013 employs a very unconventional control scheme.  Rather than, for example, using a mouse cursor to make precise incisions with a scalpel or extracting with a pair of forceps, you control the awkward and clumsy left arm and hand of the surgeon.  The defaulted A,W,E,R keys, and Space Bar control the fingers of your left hand, starting with the pinky and ending with the thumb.  Combining and holding the keys will allow the surgeon to make a fist and grip onto medical tools and patient organs.  The mouse movement controls the reach and positioning of the arm, while the left and right button will allow you to raise, lower, and rotate your arm.

The controls are awkward at first and getting used to them takes time, but it also makes for a more outlandish (and entertaining?) experience, further distancing Surgeon Simulator 2013 from the more legitimate medical games, and demonstrating that playing doctor is supposed to be “fun” and not to be taken seriously.

Surgeon Simulator 2013 (PC) Review

Surgeon Simulator 2013, despite being a a precise simulator, actually does require some patience and a little know-how.  Outside of the tasked medical procedure, the player is given very little instruction as to how to remove and replace a patient’s vital organs.  This led me to a dozen or so failures (aka patient deaths), requiring a lot of trial and error through experimentation (get it?), before I had successfully completed the first surgery.

For a game that prides itself on not being taken seriously, Surgeon Simulator 2013 tends to offers a tough challenge that may frustrate people early on in the game.  Part of the difficulty is learning to master the unconventional controls and the other part is figuring out just what the hell you need to do.

There were times when I found myself stuck, not being able to continue until I searched the Internet for clues, often wishing there was a sandbox mode for those who just wanted to jump into a quick game without first unlocking the surgery procedure by completing the surgical missions.

Surgeon Simulator 2013 is a budget-friendly title, and is an enjoyable game for those who enjoy a little dark humor — just don’t underestimate the game’s humor for an easy-breezy experience.  After all, there is a reason doctor’s go to medical school for so long… I think.

Surgeon Simulator 2013 is available for $9.99 through Steam, and is playable on PC, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Troy Benedict


  • mowmow

    The first time i saw and played this, i laughed my butt off. It’s just one of those games that’s so ridiculous.

    • Yeah it looks stupidly great fun! Was gutted I had to hand the review off to Troy *grumble grumble stupid work*! There was a hilarious video (I think it was Joystiq or Destructoid) where they played it… almost wet my pants laughing :)