Surgeon Simulator is a ridiculous and wonderful medical-themed game for the iPad. It puts you in the shoes of Nigel, an incompetent surgeon, and asks you to wrestle with deliberately awkward controls while attempting to complete a series of life-or-death operations.
It's not an easy game - and it's not meant to be, either. But if you're stuck on one of Surgeon Simulator's levels, you may be looking for tips. You've come to the right place.
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Surgeon Simulator for iPad tips: General advice
Use the Apple Newton PDA (or 'iZac', as they call it) on Nigel's desk before every operation to see the steps you're supposed to follow. It also has general tips and advice, and a couple of games, including a Flappy Bird parody called Floaty Dot.
You need to use two fingers to use most tools. Tap and hold to pick it up, then move that finger around to move the tool. Tap another finger on to the screen to set a targeting point, then jab the original finger downwards to stab that point.
A few tools need to be switched on. The drill has a black switch on it. Use a second finger to tap this before targeting. Turning it off afterwards is sensible, but not really necessary.
The green syringe is for slowing blood flow, and should be given to the patient whenever the bleeding gets too fast for your liking. Inject by stabbing it into any exposed part of Bob. If you touch the point of the needle by mistake you'll start experiencing hallucinations.
The blue syringe is for speeding up blood flow, so you shouldn't give it to the patient at all. It also stops hallucinations. In other words, tap the point of the needle to administer it to yourself if you pricked the green syringe and started going all woozy.
The blue button above and to the right of the patient's head is the anaesthetic supply. (It has an icon that looks like a computer mouse, for some reason.) Press this to bring down the heart rate if it gets excessive - above 100, say. Remember to switch it off again when you get it back down to around the 70s.
The two paddles in the beige trays with the green heart icon are for restarting Bob’s heart. If the screen starts flashing red and the heart rate has dropped to zero, press the green button to charge them up, then pick them up - the lights should have turned orange - and press them to his chest. (We've found that the easiest way to do it is to nestle them either side of his head, as if they were epaulettes. You don't need to use the targeting action - just shove them either side of his neck.) This is a bit fiddly. Try not to stop Bob's heart.
The monitor above and to the left of Bob's head tells you stuff you already know from other areas of the screen - heart rate, the time, blood levels and blood loss rate. You can switch it off without causing any problems. You can also change the colour of the readout - use the blue button.
Don't worry about accuracy. You don't need to put the organs into the same position, just the approximate vicinity. And you can use the wrong kinds of teeth. (These tips do not apply to real-life surgeons and dentists.)
Some things can be used for unexpected purposes. The beakers can be broken into handy shards of glass, for instance.
Play around and experiment! A lot of the achievements are awarded for doing something stupid: putting something where it wasn't supposed to go, or breaking something important. But if you want to know the official way to do each operation, here are step-by-step guides:
Surgeon Simulator for iPad tips: How to complete the heart transplant
1. Get the ribcage out of the way. The rotating cutter is the best choice (turn it on with the yellow switch), but the axe and a few other things work fairly well. Cut each rib near the edge of the chest opening and lift the whole thing off (a good approach is to target the centre line and then gradually lower the cutter on to the rib). Chuck it away somewhere. Also pick up and chuck away any loose bits of bone.
2. Start pulling out organs. The liver comes out easily, and the lungs are fairly easy to yank out with a bit of persistence.
3. To get the stomach out of there you'll need to cut the, er, food pipe. Oesophagus? Pick up a scalpel and make a neat little cut at the top and bottom of the long light pink pipe. Then lift that out, and the pink stomach after it.
4. The chest cavity should be pretty clear now. Now you just need to free the heart - cut the dark purple artery above left of it, and the redder vein to the right of that. The heart should stop beating. Pull it out and chuck it away.
5. Tap the two clasps on the organ box to your right and lift the lid with a swipe. Lift the new heart out and bung it somewhere in the chest cavity. Done!
Surgeon Simulator for iPad tips: How to complete the kidney transplant
1. We'll get the large intestine (the fatter but shorter one) out of the way first. The iZac shows where the cuts should be made, but it's basically top-left and bottom-right. Slice twice and throw the large intestine away.
2. Two more cuts (in fact it might take a good few hacks with the scalpel in each point) around the top-left region of the small intestine will free that. Chuck it away.
3. See the two kidneys? They want chopping out too. Make some cuts around the point where each one joins its connective pipe thing.
4. As before, open up the organ box and replace the old kidneys with new ones. You'll need to be a bit more accurate this time - just get each one roughly in the right area of the chest cavity.
Surgeon Simulator for iPad tips: How to complete the eye transplant
1. There are goggles in the way, so you either need to cut the straps (unavoidably harming the patient in the process - don't worry about that) or smash them and work through the holes. We recommend the former.
2. Stab Bob right in each eye. (Sorry, this is pretty unpleasant.) You need to 'pop' them, but it's not as spectacular (or as graphic) as that sounds. The eyeball will look different when popped, but only slightly.
Popped (left) and unpopped eye. Here's what the process looks like in action (hopefully an extreme gore warning isn't necessary - you're about to see someone take a scalpel in the eye!):
3. Now you need to dislodge each eyeball by hitting Bob on the temple with a hammer or something similar.
4. Once the eyeballs are hanging loosely, make a quick cut with a blade to separate them from Bob's head.
5. Get a new eyeball out of the bowl and target one of the empty sockets, then pop it in. Repeat for the other eye.
Surgeon Simulator for iPad tips: How to complete the teeth transplant
This is the hardest operation to pull off, and requires a lot of persistence to get all of the bad teeth out of Bob's mouth. The bad teeth will be in different locations each time. You can manipulate the position of Bob's mouth by swiping across it - this can help you find the rotten teeth.
1. Get the face mask off, using the scissors.
2. Look in Bob's mouth. Do you see the darker, grey-brown teeth? They're the bad ones. Get the drill out, switch it on and start drilling away at those bits. You need to dislodge every bit of rotten tooth - don't just get the main part of the tooth out, keep going until there's no brown left at all. Try to avoid the good teeth if you can, but we've found it’s almost impossible to avoid taking down a few.
3. The replacement teeth can be found in three trays on the right. Pick them up, one at a time, and pop them into the spaces you've created in Bob's mouth. In principle you can get away with using the 'wrong' kind of teeth - we've passed the level with molars at the front, for example - yet sometimes you'll find that a tooth just doesn't want to go in, and trying a different shape sometimes seems to help. Also make sure there aren't any tooth remnants left in there, which may be stopping you from getting the replacement in. It should be pretty easy to get each tooth in, and if it's not, one of those two things is probably what's wrong.
Surgeon Simulator for iPad tips: Corridor operations
When you complete the teeth transplant, Surgeon Simulator opens up the second set of missions, which is the same four operations but this time on a wobbly hospital trolly being wheeled through a corridor.
The trollies with your tools on roll past from time to time, and one of the game's own tips advises you to grab whatever you're going to need and save it for later - you can leave things on the patient or on his bed. We've found this quite hard to pull off, though, since things tend to roll off (or into) Bob's chest. Our advice would be to keep the number of tools you use to a minimum, and work quickly - heavy dependence on the green syringe isn't a great idea here.
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