Game Review: Amateur Surgeon Hospital

Title:  Amateur Surgeon Hospital

Type:  Facebook Social

Creator:  Adult Swim and Mediatonic

Rating:  3 Stars

Once upon a time, Adult Swim created a game called Amateur Surgeon. In this game, players perform back-alley-esque surgery with pizza cutters and lighters in an illegal hospital. The premise and stylization brought me in. However, I found it difficult to perform some of the tasks using my laptop’s trackpad and abandoned my surgeon’s post (because, really, I was not buying a mouse for one casual online game).

A few years (and sequels) later, Adult Swim releases Amateur Surgeon Hospital on Facebook. In this iteration, the player is managing the hospital, as well as performing surgery. This includes everything from hiring scummy staff to building rooms to the decorating scheme. I figured I would give it a shot, since the simple Facebook games have been manageable with the trackpad (and I have since invested in a mouse, if the difficulty persisted).

For the first two weeks, this game is enjoyable. There are a variety of interestingly designed characters, as well as items for the hospital. I found the surgery easier than before, but whether that is true to gameplay or me getting better at computer games is uncertain. Players can only perform as much surgery as their blood bar permits, so the rest of the game is time management and layout. It’s easy to set up a hospital shift and let the staff handle the patients while players are away. This also allows the blood bar to fill, vending machines to collect coins, and machines to produce materials.

There are some problems I’ve experienced, though. When I leave the game with a shift in progress, the money earned is usually less than if it is up in my browser, and occasionally, I have reopened the game where the staff has cured zero patients and earned zero coins. I’ve also noticed the tendency of higher level patients flooding in before I have unlocked the rooms they need in order to be cured, which, if lines are too long, will make the curable patients leave in a huff.

The biggest issues for me are the repetition and necessity of neighbor activity and real money. I am into the third week of play and right now all of my quests are curing 50 patients, of several different types. That will take several shifts and a few days at least. I am also getting to the point where I need diamonds, instead of coins, to purchase items. There are a couple ways to get diamonds. Completing certain quests will give you one diamond, but at this point, they are few and far between. Second, players can buy them with Facebook credits, which cost real money. I am not giving Facebook my credit card or Paypal information. Lastly, you can earn diamonds through the loyalty card—where players earn coins, and eventually diamonds, for logging in each day. Otherwise, you can ask a friend to send the needed items to you, but I cannot allow myself to annoy everyone like that.

So I am rapidly approaching the point in which I will be unable to progress–unless Adult Swim allows me to buy diamonds with in-game coins. That would be fantastic. But even if I stop at that point, it was fun while it lasted. Amateur Surgeon Hospital is a decent casual game to kill a bubble of free time too small for anything immersive.

Some people use tongs for cooking. I use them like MacGyver. . .
to save lives.

Don’t forget to check out Adult Swim online for TV programming and other casual online games.

What casual games do you play? Tell me in the comments!