A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that playing this game is kind of like watching a full season of a hospital drama on TV -- except it's interactive. And there's a fair amount of cussing (with words you can't say on TV), meant to add to the realism. While the game is mostly about the aftermath of violence, you do get to see the violent stories that lead up the the traumas you must work on. These violent and bloody stories, though, are depicted in graphic novel still frames. Also, one of the protagonists smokes.
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What's it about?
If you're a fan of TV hospital dramas and crime shows, TRAUMA TEAM gives you both the thrill of solving a mystery and the drama of surgery in the ER. Here, you'll work in a half dozen roles, everything from surgeon to medical examiner, as you proceed through various twisting stories. But the most important is one involving a young, imprisoned doctor called CR-SO1. Was he really behind the biological terror attack that got him a 250-year prison sentence -- one in which he he's constantly shackled and wears an iron mask? If he can perform various surgeries, the authorities will take years off his sentence. And he might just discover who really caused that bio-terror attack.
Is it any good?
Think of Trauma Team as a very refined version of Milton Bradley's classic Operation game. Surprisingly, the Wii remote and nunchuk work very well as you examine, medicate, cut, and suture patients. Essentially, you have a wheel full of medical equipment on the lower right portion of the screen. Choose one with the nunchuk and perform the procedure with the 'A' and 'B' buttons. While the writing is decent and the graphics are quite beautiful in a manga kind of way, some of the dialogue and cut scenes feel long and cumbersome. Yet the combination of compelling mystery, nuanced characterization, and enjoyable game mechanics make Trauma Center a worthy contender in the action-puzzle game genre.
Talk to your kids about ...
Most of the violence in Trauma Team is depicted in comic-book panel still-frame images. Does this make the violence easier to handle? Does it seem less realistic that way?
How realistic do you think the medical operations in this game are? Does the game make you want to pursue a career as a doctor or as a forensic specialist?
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