Life And Death
|a game by||The Software Toolworks|
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 1 review|
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It's hard to imagine, but Life & Death makes hospital rounds and the surgical theater an entertaining and educational computer game. The discreetly gory package includes an operating manual, a history of surgery, a "pager," a latex glove, a surgical mask, a memo from the chief of surgery, and nearly 100 pages of notes on anatomy and surgery.
In this rigorously procedural, interactive game, you are both the diagnostician and surgeon. After choosing the novice, intermediate, or advanced level, you start by signing in on a clipboard, which records your successes and failures. To diagnose ills, palpate the patient's abdomen. Listen to digitized groans. Decide whether to recommend observation, x-rays, ultrasound, referral to another doctor, medication, or an operation. But be careful — your analysis and operating room performance will have immediate consequences.
In the OR, prepare to wield a host of instruments while monitoring the patient's EKG and blood pressure. To manipulate these instruments, you can use the keyboard, mouse, or joystick. I prefer the mouse, although the keyboard is good for making clean incisions.
When the operation begins, cut through five layers of tissue, and be sure to tie off and cauterize bleeders. (Life & Death depicts such details as bleeding with vivid graphics.)
Is that a proper McBurney incision? Did you incise muscle tissue parallel to its striations? Administer lidocaine when the EKG signaled premature ventricular contraction? Dopamine when the blood pressure dropped? Atropine for bradycardia?
Any failure to use the proper surgical tools in the correct sequence, or to neglect the all-important intravenous tubes, will dispatch your hapless patient to "the choir invisible." The chief of surgery then sends you to school for more instruction and EKG replays.
Your assistants, picked from profiles of six staff members, will remind you to scrub and administer presurgery antibiotics, and they'll flag you if you forget to anesthetize the patient or accidentally perforate his colon. But ultimately, in Life & Death, you're on your own.