LifeSigns: Surgical Unit
If only there were steamy sex scenes, they could have just called it Grey's Anatomy DS.
Being a doctor is supposed to be hard. It's not all surgeries like it was in Trauma Center; sometimes it is all about how you deal with people and stress, too. Well don't worry, for those of you who have wanted more of a medical sim, DreamCatcher games might just have you covered. It's time to wash up, snap your gloves on, and prepare for all the drama of E.R., cause this summer LifeSigns: Surgical Unit will be hitting your DS.
While the comparison to Trauma Center will be inevitable for this game, Lifesigns appears to be taking a totally different route. Yes, there will be surgeries, but they will only be one aspect of the game. And, unlike Trauma Center, where there was only a cursory storyline that the player just pushed on through, Lifesigns aims to be a game where players help guide the story.
Players don't just walk up and immediately start cutting away at their patients in this game. Rather, players have to take the time to get to know their patient personally. As a medical intern you will have to examine your patient's medical records, ask them questions, and resolve any potential conflicts that arise as you interact. Only through the gift of gab and a keen eye will you have the chance to get to all the fun that fake medical procedures can bring.
While talking to the patient is part of the way you figure out what the hell is wrong with them, players will also have to play through mini-games in order to make a diagnosis. There aren't too many details about the mini-games, except that it includes "taking a pulse," but these games will take full advantage of the touchscreen. DreamCatcher certainly has a lion's share of potential mini-games. So many of the examinations that doctors do are such quick procedures (think checking ears, blood pressure, weight, etc.), that they could translate perfectly into mini-games.
In Lifesigns, just as in real life, patients are not the only ones that you will have to deal with. This game seeks to force you to work with your staff as well. You have to coordinate with your staff in order to keep the hospital running smoothly. Since this game seeks to be more of a hospital drama, a la E.R., it will have to have some pretty great dialog to make this part of the experience compelling. Otherwise, if the story is totally boring, players will dread the next piece of drama and just push on through to the next mini-game.
LifeSigns: Surgical Unit could be one of the great DS releases of the summer if it does everything it seeks to, and it does them well. The DS, just like the Doctor's office, lends itself perfectly to mini-games. However, the crux of whether this game is great or not is going to be how fulfilling the designer makes the "drama" portion of this Doctor sim. See you in the O.R.!