|Publisher: Legacy Interactive Genre: Simulation|
|Min OS X: Not Supported CPU: 601 RAM: 32 MB 4x CD-ROM Graphics: 640x480 @ 16-bit|
|Emergency Room: Disaster Strikes|
October 20, 2000 | Bart Farkas
Iíve probably previously mentioned this about myself over the years that Iíve written for and managed Inside Mac Games magazine, but before I got into the business of critiquing computer games and writing strategy guides, I was a registered nurse. I know itís hard to believe (heck, itís even hard for me to believe), but I used to spend my days (and nights) working in Trauma ICU in a major hospital. I even put in some time riding in ambulances and working in the Emergency department.
So, with all this medical background and a wife thatís still a nurse, it stands to reason that a game like Emergency Room: Disaster Strikes would pique my interest. After all, even though I try to stuff my medical experience down deeper than a South African diamond mine, I do enjoy the mental challenge of a good medical problem from time to time. Sadly, about 15 minutes into the game I wanted to gain access to some of the drugs in the treatment room (of the game) so that I could end my misery. Still, for a layperson it might be semi-interesting experience; indeed it must be if the boxes statement that the gameís predecessors have sold over 350,000 units is true.
The GameEmergency Room: Disaster Strikes bills itself as a game where you are a doctor dealing with the results of an urban disaster. It even has a flash on the box from CNBC that says "What itís really like to make life and death decisionsÖ the pressure is on." The problem is that this game isnít Ďreallyí like anything, at least not anything in I ever saw in medicine. With a mouse driven interface you pick the patients you want to treat, develop a plan with the SOAP method, then move to treat the patient. In the treatment room there are tables and trays with drawers that you can open. Each drawer may or may not contain something that you can use to treat the patients. To treat the patients, you click on the tool you want to use (such as bandages or a tongue depressor), then click on the part of the patientís body that needs treatment.
I guess for a layperson this might be an interesting first look at what medicine and emergency care is all about, itís just implemented in a way thatís more like a bunch of doctors and students making rounds on patients and taking lots of time to discuss them. Itís hardly an Ďemergencyí feeling. The manual for this game isnít adequate either. When I first got the game I just picked it up and started playing (figuring that I was a medical expert), but it didnít take long for me to start rooting for the manual to figure out how to do something, anything, to make the game move forward. The manual supplied just enough information for me to figure out how to move on, but a tutorial would have been helpful.