Video games can let you live out your fantasies. And Amateur Surgeon 3 is perfect for that, if your fantasy was to be a surgeon working as an apprentice for a crazy doctor with a weird (but hilarious) sense of humour. You’ll take up the strangest cases ever seen, from crocodiles to zombies.
Yup, you’ll fix anyone and anything in Amateur Surgeon 3, the third iteration of the Adult Swim’s take on the classic Operation. This is the first Amateur Surgeon game to come to Android, the previous ones being available only on iOS. And it’s completely free, although there are a few in-app purchases and restrictions that we’ll get to in a bit.
A Quirky Sense Of Humour
The biggest requirement to playing Amateur Surgeon 3 is a quirky sense of humour. Adult Swim games are known to entertain and offend, and this one is no different. There are silly puns abound, like the name of the character you play: Ophelia Payne. She serves as an apprentice for series regular Alan Probe, and there’s a darker overall mystery that the two have to solve throughout the course of the game.
The storyline is not that important though. But what you will enjoy are the conversations between Alan or Ophelia and any patient they come across. Lots of puns, wisecracks and funny references await you!
Slicing and Fixing
If you’ve played the previous Amateur Surgeons, you’ll be right at home in the new game. For those who don’t know what Amateur Surgeon is all about, here’s a brief primer.
Like in Operation, you have to fix up a body using the tools at your disposal within a limited time. Amateur Surgeon supercharges the whole experience by bringing some cool tools, like a chainsaw to cut bone and a car battery to zap the patient (or the things harming them) with electric shocks. You’ll be slicing them up, fixing whatever has gone wrong, and then putting them back together with a stapler!
It’s not as intense as Surgeon Simulator, plus the graphics are cartoonish and funny, but the gameplay is actually quite similar.
The tools can also be upgraded between levels, using the money you earn out of every successful operation. You can also buy more coins through in-app purchases to get the upgrades faster.
Amateur Surgeon 3 introduces a new element: tag team partners. As you play, you will unlock (or you can buy) new partners, like a dog whose lick can heal the patient or a sergeant who will whack and kill any enemies (like bats inside a vampire). You need to choose a tag team partner before each mission and activate them whenever their bar is charged.
Limited Turns & Limited Space
Like with Candy Crush Saga and several other new games, Amateur Surgeon 3 restricts the number of tries you get at a time, refilling them after a certain period. So if you lose three times in quick succession, you’ll need to wait another 30 minutes to be able to play again. While this may sound annoying, in my experience, it wasn’t a big deal. Each level lasts for at least 3 minutes (and sometimes more) so that’s at least 10 minutes of gameplay you get before running out. Plus, the game isn’t so difficult that you’ll lose three times in succession. For me, I ran out of lives only on three occasions through the course of completing the game, and I was fine with taking that small break in those cases.
The game also requires you to earn stars to unlock future levels, forcing you to play levels again to earn those bonus stars. Personally, I found Amateur Surgeon 3 enjoyable enough to happily do that. If you want a shortcut, you can buy those stars through in-app purchases, but I really don’t see the need to.
While Amateur Surgeon 3 has a lot of these in-app purchase options strewn through the game, I like that you can still play and finish it without ever needing to spend a dime. Like Plants vs. Zombies 2, it’s smart free-to-play.
The one problem I did have with the game is that it doesn’t translate so well on small screens. If you are playing it on the Moto G’s 4.5-inch display or a smaller screen, it can be difficult to get the pin-point accuracy required to get those stars and ace the levels. At several points, there are many objects in a small cluster, so even if you are precise, the game is unable to detect exactly which point you meant to press — granted, it’s partly because of how capacitive touchscreens work, but it is an issue you should be aware of. However, move to a phone with a 5.5-inch screen or a tablet and Amateur Surgeon 3 is perfect at handling the input.
Should You Play It?
Yes! Amateur Surgeon 3 is a whole lot of fun, but be warned that this isn’t a game to give to your kids because of some of the adult-oriented references in it. For anyone else though, it’s a fantastic game and it’s brilliant that it’s free. Plus, it’s an offline game that doesn’t need Internet, so you can play it anywhere.