Did you grow up playing Operation, the game of maintaining a steady hand as you de-bone a cartoon patient using unsanitary tweezers? The answer is probably yes. Now, imagine playing that game in the following scenarios: during an earthquake, after an evening of heavy drinking, and after eight cups of coffee. Do those sound like fun? If so, go ahead and download Stitches right now, because that’s what the game simulates.
Of course, there’s a good chance that the above scenarios don’t sound like fun to you. Maybe your hands don’t move with mechanical precision, and you found Operation so difficult that the sound of the blaring buzzer still haunts your nightmares. In that case, you might want to save yourself a lot of unpleasantness and hold off on buying Stitches.
Let’s open you up and have a look inside.
Stitches comes with just four levels, and each one is essentially the same, but with a slight twist. Every level has you rotating and plucking a number of internal body parts out of a severely unwell patient. Among other things, you’ll remove a pickled liver, a jar of toe jam, and a frozen brain. In each case, you’ll rotate two fingers on the touchscreen to turn the problematic organ, and then spread your fingers apart to lift it out of the aptly-shaped hole in the skin.
On each stage, two factors are pressing in on you: a time limit, and the patient’s health points, which decrease when you let an organ touch the side of the hole as you pull it out.
Dinner is served.
The controls are great– they’re very responsive and perfectly suited to the task. And it’s awesome to have what is essentially the board game Operation on your iPhone. But the game’s big problem is that, to increase the difficulty, it simulates you being in an earthquake, drunk, or high on caffeine.
So instead of being creative and giving you new complicated things to remove from the patient each level, it makes you remove the same items, but adds shaking or blurring effects. To be sure, this makes the game more difficult, but it doesn’t make it any more fun– just more annoying. On the plus side, if you want to keep playing after you’ve beaten the levels, you can play them again to get a high score on the online leaderboards.
That’s all there is to Stitches. It’s a near carbon copy of the board game Operation, with some annoying onscreen effects tossed in for good measure. All told, it took us about an hour to beat the game, and that’s including the time we spent fuming after rage-quitting several times at the unfairness of the shaking effects. If you love Operation and want to play the game on your iPhone, by all means download Stitches. However, chances are that after five minutes you’ll find yourself wanting more, and not the more they give you.