Paging Dr. Awesome. Dr. Awesome, you have a semi enjoyable video game at the app store.
Apple's iPhone becomes a surgical instrument in ngmoco's Dr. Awesome, a game where you tilt the device to destroy nasty viruses and bacterium. Despite growing monotonous, we sort of enjoyed saving our friends, unlocking achievements and cutting cells.
Dr. Awesome casts you as, well, Dr. Awesome, a master surgeon out to save lives, or in this case, your contact list. The game pulls names and uses them as patients, giving you the opportunity to save your family and friends. You receive a limited number of tries, and the more patients you rescue, the higher rank you achieve; high ranks give your extra lives and more complicated puzzles. Fail enough times, however, and the game demotes you.
Each puzzle presents you with a rectangular cell filled with nasty viruses and bacterium. Your goal is to cut the cell in such a way as to limit the germs' movement and destroy them. To do this, simply tilt the phone in the direction you want to cut. It only takes a few seconds to get the hang of things, and before long, you'll quickly encircle germs and cut like a pro. Just keep in mind that you have a limited number of tries, and you'll lose one every time you hit an enemy or get struck with a projectile.
Much like Atlus' Trauma Center franchise, Dr. Awesome features 2-D characters that praise and berate you. Although we dig the artwork and the humorous dialogue ("Believe, Dr. Awesome. Believe."), the hospital staff repeats their lines after just 20-30 minutes of play. Not only does this kill whatever story ngmoco attempted to tell, but it also forced us to skip the cut scenes. Considering the game's numerous puzzles and hours of content, that's quite disappointing.
In addition to the attractive 2-D drawings, the game has appealing visuals that showcase red blood cells and multicolored enemies. We just wish the soundtrack was equally impressive. Whereas Trauma Center features catchy music, Dr. Awesome's is mostly forgettable.
This game's biggest flaw, however, is its inability to live up to its name. The good doctor may be awesome, but by the time we reached Level 4, we'd grown tired of cutting the same old cells and rescuing grandpa multiple times. There's just not enough content (even with the achievements) to warrant playing this for several hours. Our prognosis? Don't overdose on Dr. Awesome.
What's Hot: Uses your contact list as patients, well-drawn 2-D characters, enjoyable accelerometer controls, lots of achievements to unlock.
What's Not: Characters repeat their lines, lack of variety makes the surgeries more boring than they should be.