“ Manufacturer: Jowood / Genre: Role Playing „
I bought Lifesigns:Hospital Affairs for my DS as it seemed to be a mixture of the game types that I enjoy - puzzles and the 'real life' where you take control of a character and follow their life.
The game is set in a hospital and you become a young intern, keen to practice his new skills and impress his bosses. You need to interact with other members of staff to gain clues to help you along your way as well as exam, diagnose and treat patients. There are clues to collect and solve as well as social interaction.
PLAYING THE GAME
Control of the game is most often using the stylus and tapping on the screen. For operations etc, you have to use the stylus precisely and draw zig-zags and circles and perform stitches. You have to select which room in the hospital you go to next and talk to whoever is in there and offer answers to their questions by using the clues that you have already collected. It can be difficult working out what you need to say to whom sometimes and this affects your progress in the game.
To diagnose a patient you have to perform tasks such as listening to the heartbeat, breathing and examining wounds. The controls are simple and easy to understand and pick up.
Personally, I find the game really slow paced. There is far too much dialogue to work through and it can sometimes be ages before you actually get to do anything in the game. It can feel like you are just reading through a story at times. When you do actually get to do something, diagnosing a patient can be a challenge - this is good because I don't want a game that I can simply work through without thinking,but equally can be bad if you get stuck because there are no extra help options and you find yourself going round in circles.
Operations can be tricky but they are not difficult. By this I mean that you are completely walked through the procedures and not left to figure anything out for yourself. For example 'stitch here' and the position that stitches need to be placed are marked. You then simply have to trace over this with the stylus. Where it becomes tricky is that the DS does not always recognise where you have placed the tip of the stylus or you have not pinpointed the exact position you need to be in.
Another thing that I find frustrating about the game is that it is divided into chapters. Each are quite lengthy and involve a lot of dialogue. There are only certain places in the game that your progress will be saved from. Therefore, if you need to stop playing you either have to continue to the next save point or lose all your progress since the last one. Also, if you go wrong somewhere, for example a patient dies on the operating table, the chapter is restarted. This means you have to work through all the dialogue again - boring.
All in all, I would say there are better games out there that offer similar things. This one takes a lot of perseverance with and I could not see many younger children having the patience for this. There is no real excitement to the game nor any great challenge, it has not held my interest at all.
There has been quite a few Hospital DS games on the market, but none of them are quite like this.
The gameplay is simple, very much like trauma centre, where you are a rookie doctor, and you have to perform surgery and diagnosis, and the levels get more difficult as you progress... The great thing about this game is that the underlying story is engrossing, realistic and very dramatic. Not only is there hospital drama, it is romantic at times, mixed with a comedic style, not found elsewhere.
THe game is somewhat too easy in my opinion, whilst certain parts are extremely difficult, and the need to be precise and point to the specific part of the body too much for some to handle. It uses mainly the stylus but the buttons can also be used.
Overall it is a superb game and i would recommend it to anyone who wants a quick challenge, likes anime games such as Phoenix Wright, Lost in Blue etc and has patience as well!
However, There is quite alot of reading, which can be skipped and alot of watching, but it is a new and fun experience! This game is an innovative and fresh take on the hospital DS market!
You can get this around £15 to £20 at most stores and online, but i would only get it for less than £15, as there is not much replay value, or multiplayer.