The Wii U Eshop has a wide variety of games, ranging from the similar, the retro to the completely unique. While they don’t have as large a selection of games as perhaps the other consoles, the Nintendo shop is catching up on a few levels. The game pad provides indie developers the chance to do games with a different angle to others, whether it is a touch screen or a second screen, it gives an opportunity for them to get creative.
The Underground developers have took this to another level, the game is actually part way a training tool for key hole surgeons apparently! Well that’s cool, who would ever of thought you could train as a surgeon as part of a gaming hobby ever? But here we are talking about the game that makes that happen. The real question here is actually can you make a real surgery training program as fun as an average game?
Short answer, yes and no, I will get into it more once I get the premise out the way. Simply put you use either right or left analogue sticks to move arms to break rocks, build bridges, clear paths for robots to get from one part of a level to another ect. I think the over all concept can be comparable to a three dimensional version of Lemmings. The same problem solving and quick thinking you use in Lemmings are required here, the robots you are helping have no decision making skills of their own and will happily jump into pits ect like the aforementioned lemmings of the previous games.
Overall the game is quite fun, once you get into the swing of the controls and how the game acts, which can be difficult. The control of the arms are clunky and off sometimes, getting used to everything is fine, but the same problems can persist, leaving the experience frustrating at times. I think surgeons would maybe find this good for training but it just isn’t that great fun really for me. Although I have looked further into this and there is even an external controller to take the training idea to another level with light guns pointed down, while that isn’t entirely accurate still it seems strange to me, but it is indeed legitimate, it’s even been developed by in conjunction with a university and everything.
This brings me to the idea of can you make a job like being a surgeon fun, monotony of a training regime or an everyday job that is hard to bear after a while, even for something as unique as this. The game of course combats this by varying enemies, locations, tools and game play in general. Between that and the overarching unique concept of the game, that is the main strengths I see. It is worthwhile overall, but to me not perfectly worthwhile at all really at the same time.
The graphics are charming and okay, nothing spectacular, but they do the trick for what they need to do. The music is fine for the type of game it is also, but again yes nothing spectacular for me. The story here is simple and uneventful, it is told nicely through short animated cut scenes between gameplay. With these unremarkable traits and the off kilter controls, I feel myself like it is a bit more of a chore than what I would like to play. It can be slow, frustrating, but still it is okay to play too.
If this was the way I trained for my job I wouldn’t moan, however if I paid the price point they want on the eshop currently I could have been moaning for a good while afterwards! Unique premise, clunky controls, okay graphics, interesting game play, short replay value, yes, overall to me this is a mixed bag and probably not worth the money they are asking for. Still it is an okay game, just be sure you want to try it before you splash the large amount of cash they are asking for!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Wii U code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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