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Surgeon Simulator: Inside the World's Hardest Game

Unknown Lamer posted about 6 months ago | from the oh-my-god-brains-everywhere dept.

Games 64

An anonymous reader writes "In the space of a few short months, Surgeon Simulator 2013 has attained cult status. A sort of spiritual successor to the maddening QWOP, the PC game requires you to operate the individual fingers of a hapless surgeon in an increasingly absurd set of gore-filled scenarios. What's so remarkable is the turnaround time: the initial prototype came out of a 48-hour game jam, and was released as a commercial game just a month and a half later. A new profile of the studio's founder looks at how Bossa Studios, the London-based development team behind SS 2013, iterates so quickly, as well as what's next from the team, including an iPad version of Surgeon Simulator, and a cross platform MOBA that's half League of Legends, half Mario Kart battle mode."

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64 comments

Harder than this? (2)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about 6 months ago | (#45212731)

http://www.addictinggames.com/action-games/theworldshardestgame.jsp

Re:Harder than this? (3, Insightful)

neminem (561346) | about 6 months ago | (#45212915)

I just googled that, cause I was curious what kind of game it is (games sites are obviously and reasonably blocked at work). I learned that there are apparently 3 such games in the series - they can't *all* be the world's hardest game...

Re:Harder than this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45213149)

Well Hardest Game #1 was the hardest until number 2 came out... that's how currently running series work...

Re:Harder than this? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45213937)

Yes, they can, if they are all exactly equally hard and harder than all other games. It's a preorder not a linear order.

Re:Harder than this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45217739)

Fuck you idiot. World's hardest game - not games. They have a title referencing a single object. Go die from AIDS.

Re:Harder than this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45219765)

wow you sure showed them

Re: Harder than this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45212949)

Much, much harder. That "world's hardest game" is simply an exercise in muscle memory, and boot a difficult one at that.

Re:Harder than this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45213215)

That's nothing compared to the IWBTG style games.

Re:Harder than this? (1)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about 6 months ago | (#45214079)

http://www.addictinggames.com/action-games/theworldshardestgame.jsp

That is pretty hard, I couldn't even figure out how to move!

Re:Harder than this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45215329)

W/A/S/D or the arrow keys

Re:Harder than this? (2)

drsquare (530038) | about 5 months ago | (#45228791)

The most difficult thing about that is getting used to the awkward keyboard controls. Also the game moves the goalposts in the middle of the game by telling you the object is to complete the game with fewest deaths after several levels, when you've previously been playing recklessly.

Simulator (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 6 months ago | (#45212779)

... is the operative word here. Bad puns aside though, impressive stuff!

Re:Simulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45212841)

I'd argue that the term "Surgeon" instead of "Surgery" is the more important detail :)

Not a Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45212819)

It was fast to make because it's not really a game. It's sort of a physics tech demo, I guess, but it's impossible to do "well" at.

Re:Not a Game (3, Funny)

seepho (1959226) | about 6 months ago | (#45213375)

I've found that I play better the drunker I get. After ten beers the zero-G heart transplant was a breeze.

Re:Not a Game (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45214737)

Fatality!
Lawyer Wins!

Slashvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45212843)

Blatant and obvious. Keep your shitty, rushed, unbalanced and impossible "game".

Although not very realistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45212847)

Atlus' Trauma Center series were pretty fun

Not the hardest. (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about 6 months ago | (#45212893)

Dwarf fortress in an Evil area where everything keeps reanimating is harder. Battletoads 2 player is harder.

Re:Not the hardest. (2)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 6 months ago | (#45213083)

Dwarf fortress in an Evil area where everything keeps reanimating is harder.

Nonsense. Unless you self-impose a challenge that reduces your starting inventory, FUN can be averted for decades.

If the Evil area is over a glacier and you didn't embark an anvil, on the other hand ...

Re:Not the hardest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45213607)

Try no picks + glacier.

Re:Not the hardest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45213141)

Battletoads 2 player is harder.

...and if it's the NES version, it's outright impossible because you can't get past level 11 (due to player 2 being unable to move).

Peek of the game (5, Interesting)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#45212977)

If you aren't familiar with the game, some months ago Kikoskia made a quite funny clip about the gameplay [youtube.com] .

Re:Peek of the game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45219579)

The most worrying thing is that you never see the doctor's right hand. I'm just going to assume he's only got one arm. I think that's best.

The game is only hard because it's so terrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45212987)

Imagine a flight simulator where you controlled the plane by dancing. That's how much of a simulator it is.

Re:The game is only hard because it's so terrible (1)

jxander (2605655) | about 6 months ago | (#45213269)

Fun fact : there's a similarly unconventional and ridiculous piloting method in the game Wonderful 101.

You use a tablet to move your character around within the interior of a ship, stepping on and activating giant arrow keys that steer and activate weapons. The main problem being that you can't actually see the ship on the tablet, that's on the TV. So if you want to turn left, you have to watch the TV screen, figure how WHEN to initiate the turn, then look down, run your silly ass over to the left turn arrow, then go over to the right turn arrow, to straighten yourself out. Oh, and there are enemy ships in the air too, so you have to dodge their fire, dodge collisions, and return fire. Plus, because it's a video game, baddies attack you inside the ship while you're trying to execute this crazy dance number

I can't say the whole experience is great, but it's certainly entertaining... and unconventional as hell.

1988 Version: Life & Death (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45213041)

Much more retro with 8 bit graphics:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdfWCc8n_GQ

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_%26_Death

Re:1988 Version: Life & Death (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 6 months ago | (#45213135)

Always wished they made a modern version of that game. I killed so many people because I didn't click on exactly the right pixel. You had to make a 24" cut just to get at the appendix. And apparently cutting off blood flow in the aorta is ok for five to ten minutes.

Re:1988 Version: Life & Death (1)

Gramie2 (411713) | about 6 months ago | (#45213387)

I'd love to see that too. I played it with my younger brothers, and one ended up becoming a surgeon!

Re:1988 Version: Life & Death (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 6 months ago | (#45213445)

That's awesome. I'd show my patients the game and tell them that's where I learned most of my technique.

Re:1988 Version: Life & Death (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 6 months ago | (#45213789)

I can't remember how many patients I killed in L&D2. I destroyed so many brains, I should have started a zombie feed store.

Re:1988 Version: Life & Death (1)

Valdrax (32670) | about 5 months ago | (#45226745)

The Trauma Center series for DS? (If you ignore the weird plot and time-slowing mechanic.)

Re:1988 Version: Life & Death (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#45215085)

for life & death you can train by having the manual..
it's not so hard in that regard.

surgeon simulator makes much funnier videos though.

Harder than nethack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45213203)

Just wondering...never played either...

Re:Harder than nethack? (1)

davewoods (2450314) | about 6 months ago | (#45236497)

Different type of hard. Surgeon Simulator is hard if you do not have the right eye/hand coordination for it, I did not find it all that difficult once I got the controls down.
Nethack is hard because you can be unlucky, and given the amount of time required to play in order to win, the chances of you being unlucky (dying) once ends up being really high. You never know when you may turn a corner and get hit with a wand of death from a random weak monster that is smart enough to know how to work a wand. Just happened to me yesterday, as a matter of fact.

Problem is the interface (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 6 months ago | (#45213237)

Requiring the use the buttons to move limbs and digits is deliberately obtuse and a test of your abstractive coordination and processing ability more than anything else.

QWOP is just a silly web game purposefully eliciting utter hilarity, but calling this thing a "Surgeon Simulator" is intellectually insulting. It's just an advanced QWOP.

Re:Problem is the interface (1)

rhazz (2853871) | about 6 months ago | (#45213651)

Ever play Super Mario Bros using only one hand? It's the HARDEST GAME IN THE WORLD111

Re:Problem is the interface (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 months ago | (#45214063)

My brother could beat most of the Nintendo games we owned using his feet on the NES Advantage [wikipedia.org] . He was perfectly capable of using his hands, but got bored with the games we owned and eventually moved onto using his feet. There was some advantages offered by using the NES Advantage like the turbo fire, but I still think the was pretty impressive to beat games using just your feet. Took some serious dedication.

Re:Problem is the interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45214657)

i played with normal nes controller super mario 1 through mirror with toes, without shortcuts and naturally bet was involved which i ended up winning.

maybe i need to get 8-bit nintendo and play to the earth again and see if it's beatable :D

Re:Problem is the interface (2, Insightful)

RMingin (985478) | about 6 months ago | (#45213835)

Like many others, myself included, you have misunderstood. It is not a surgery simulator. It's not simulating you performing surgery. It's a SURGEON simulator. It simulates you performing a surgeon.

It's deeply broken and bad, and Steam refused to allow me to return for refund, so I watch people play it on Youtube sometimes, and it's in my library. Worst 6$ in recent memory.

Re:Problem is the interface (2)

_xeno_ (155264) | about 6 months ago | (#45217087)

It's deeply broken and bad, and Steam refused to allow me to return for refund, so I watch people play it on Youtube sometimes, and it's in my library. Worst 6$ in recent memory.

I disagree entirely. The physics screwups just add to the hilarity.

Don't play it to be any good at it. Play it for the absurdity of the entire thing. Grab the hammer and whack away at the guy's rib cage, rip out his organs, and chuck a heart in. I'm sure he'll live.

The controls being bad is the entire point to the game and makes for some truly hilarious situations. Whoops, there goes my watch. Oh crap, I accidentally lost the bone saw and am now going to have to make do with the hammer. Oh no, I accidentally stabbed myself with the syringe! Gotta keep going through the psychedelic effects!

If possible, play it with friends. Having a group laughing at the misadventures of Nigel the surgeon makes the entire thing great.

Re:Problem is the interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45220777)

That'll teach you to buy things without doing any basic research, dumbass

Re:Problem is the interface (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#45215125)

but calling this thing a "Surgeon Simulator" is intellectually insulting.

that's what makes it so damn funny. beats train simulator any day.

Re:Problem is the interface (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | about 6 months ago | (#45216901)

QWOP is just a silly web game purposefully eliciting utter hilarity, but calling this thing a "Surgeon Simulator" is intellectually insulting. It's just an advanced QWOP.

It's a joke on "Train Simulator" and "Farming Simulator" and all those other "Thing Simulator" games on Steam. That's why the PC version is called "Surgeon Simulator 2013" - to mock things like Train Simulator 2014 [steampowered.com] , Farming Simulator 2013 [steampowered.com] , or Euro Truck Simulator 2 [steampowered.com] . I'm sure there are more.

Incidentally, for a laugh, go to that Train Simulator 2014 [steampowered.com] link, find the DLC section, and hit "see all." Currently at the bottom I see "$2953.65 - Add all DLC to Cart".

This isn't highschool (4, Informative)

Alomex (148003) | about 6 months ago | (#45214563)

Inside the World's Hardest Game

It's like, the worst habit _ever_ to use, like, so many super duper words, like in, like the "hardest game _ever_", as if! It's like OMG how do they know that, WTF?? I was like, no way it's the hardest ever.

/sarcasm

Seriously, can we do away with unsupported high school superlatives such as "world's hardest", "best ever", etc.?

Oops, I forgot, this is slashdot, editors are morons.

Re:This isn't highschool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45216365)

There are editors?

Re:This isn't highschool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45216469)

Well,
you HAVE also the baseball "World series" as a national sport over there, even though the game and series is played pretty much in one country.
Sounds good of course, and evidently it makes a difference for the general audience - why else would the series be named in such a way.

Re:This isn't highschool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45239745)

Ever hear of the Toronto Blue Jays?

At one time, the Washington Nationals were known as the Montreal Expos...

Thank your for a literal LOL (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 6 months ago | (#45215131)

When I saw this [youtube.com] I literally LOL'd. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know this ain't brain surgery.

Re:Thank your for a literal LOL (1)

davewoods (2450314) | about 6 months ago | (#45236611)

My favorite part of the game is the utter callousness of it all. He literally bashed the skull off of the guy, sliced the brain stem, karate-chopped the lid off of the jar, and dropped the brain in. And that counts as finished.

The fact that you can go in with a hammer and just flail about inside the ribcage for a few seconds while the entire contents of his torso empties in a torrent of bone and flesh is just hilarious to me... I will have to check out more speed run videos.

Surgery Simulator (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 6 months ago | (#45217563)

Decades ago, I had a "operating room simulator" for my 286 which presented you with a series of patients. Your job was to assign tests to be performed (but not too many!), interpret the results, and recommend the proper course of action. For some patients, surgery would be needed and you would need to administer the anesthetic, slice the patient open, perform the needed operation without the patient dying from blood loss, and then close them up again.

I stunk at this game so I found entertainment in ruining the lives of my virtual patients. First, I would recommend all possible tests to run up their hospital bill. Next, I would recommend surgery for them no matter what. ("Sore throat? Got to slice you open!") For some patients, I would "forget" to administer the anesthetic (resulting in a badly synthesized scream and the operation coming to a halt). For others, I'd put them under, and then just start cutting left and right until they bled out and died. Needless to say, the game kicked me out of the virtual hospital every single time.

"The Surgeon" on the Amiga (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 6 months ago | (#45218451)

The Amiga had a program (game?) called "The Surgeon" it got old fast loading graphics from a 3.5 disk.
You had different surgeries to perform; I'd cut the guy open he'd scream and die. Just too much fun.

Atlus' take on surgery operation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45219343)

The Trauma Center series are pretty good.

DAMMIT JIM..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45223623)

I'm a doctor not a gamer...

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