Trauma Center: Under The Knife Review - Screenshot 1 of 2

Trauma Centre is one of those games that I never imagined would become a game. You play as a new, rookie surgeon. That's right, a doctor! Using the touch screen, you perform a variety of surgeries on all sorts of patients. From burning away tumors, to massaging someone's heart to resuscitate them.

The game's extensive story begins in Hope hospital, where you are a new doctor. The first operation is removing glass from the patients arm. It starts easy, suture up some cuts on the arm then using the forceps tool, remove each piece of the glass, and drop in the tray that pops up. Then splash on some antibiotic gel to heal up the small cuts. Now you need to remove the galss thats deeper in the arm, so grab the scalpel and cut down into the arm. It might be worth noting here, that the graphical style is not realistic, it's more cartoony, with the characters in an exaggerated anime style, and the gameplay elements not far from that either. You won't pass out with all the gory details, so don't worry. Once you have made the incision the view will zoom into the arm, where you have to repeat the earlier procedure, remove the glass then soak the cuts in gel. Finally suture up your incision, add more gel, and bandage up the area. Later on it the game, the operations get very challenging you will be battling with viruses which in this game look like dragons!

Trauma Center: Under The Knife Review - Screenshot 2 of 2

Each operation is introduced by a lot of exposition which will need to be skipped through if you fail a mission, the story can go on a bit, some sections are so long they have their own save point! You can save after every operation, and if you fail you will only have to retry the last mission. Each operation has a time limit, you also have a limited number of 'misses' that you can make before the operation is failed. Also if the patient's heart rate drops to 0 you also lose, makes sense really You are rated on your perforance after each successful operation, with a score and rank. It seems very difficult to get a decent rating, or maybe I'm just sloppy with my slashing :/ You can repeat any previously completed operation in the challenge mode, at the main menu which simply shows you all your ranks and scores for the operations you have unlocked, to improve your skills.

Trauma Centre is a tough game, requiring speed and skill to successfully complete the later operations. It's quite a long game, with more than 40 different operations and with no multiplayer mode that's just as well. The game will last you a long time which, unless you get stuck, you shouldn't tire of.


I'm so glad the DS is here to help more innovative ideas like this to come about. I couldn't imagine playing this with a regular control scheme, and am looking forward to playing it on the Wii next year. Trauma Centre is perfectly suited to the touch screen and is a welcome, innovative addition to the DS game library.