Virtual Surgeon: Open Heart is a challenging and interesting surgical simulation. The introduction features a pulsating heart theme with fast paced clips of medical personnel working in a hospital setting. The intro was great the first couple of times, but lacking an.. uh... by-pass feature [ouch], it soon grows wearisome.
You start out at "Fellow" level, which is the least difficult. At this level, the game spoon-feeds the necessary data as you perform patient assessments and order the appropriate tests. As skills are gained, and hospital confidence in your talent rises, you advance to the "Attending" and "Professor" levels, where you're more independent and must figure out the reams of patient data yourself. Despite the extensive array of books and videos to help, this can be a difficult task depending on your real life expertise. Gamers unexposed to the world of medicine will need a little time to acclimate from the five-second appendectomies seen on E.R. to the slow, methodical procedures used for diagnosis of patients in the real world.
The designers do a good job making things fairly realistic during the assessments and surgery portions of the game. Beware of the Chief of Cardiology, as he tends to page you to his office to evaluate your performance. If you order unnecessary tests or procedures, you will be reprimanded. A helpful, well done, and necessary tool is the video system in the library. It's a lifesaver (no pun intended) in providing the needed information to successfully diagnose patients.
Despite the serious overtones of a surgical simulation, whimsical secrets hide in the hallways, like a painting that then when clicked on animates a certain "natural disaster." Depending your performance, you may wish you were in the photo.
All in all, Open Heart is much more a grueling, intensive simulation than a light-hearted game. If you have an interest in the medical field, specifically cardiology, or you've worn out the electrodes on your Operation board game, this is the simulation for you.
Written by Dr. Myo Thant, the brains behind the Life & Death series, Virtual Surgeon takes you from the classroom to the operating table. Choosing technical accuracy and realism over quick thrills, it is nonetheless a multimedia extravaganza of medical information. Featuring full-motion video of your travels through the hospital and instructionals on proper technique, a plethora of reference material, and periodic tests, Virtual Surgeon aims to capture the feeling of actually being in residence. Of course, one couldn't be a surgeon without cutting a few people open, so you will have to deal with patients needing cardiac surgery to progress.
People who downloaded Virtual Surgeon: Open Heart have also downloaded:
Ultimate Human Body 2.0, The, Way Things Work, The, Qin: Tomb of the Middle Kingdom, Wyatt Earp's Old West, Yukon Trail, The, Where in America's Past is Carmen Sandiego?, Beyond Planet Earth, Wishbone and the Amazing Odyssey
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