Surgery Simulator 2013
Time commitment: An hour or so.
I played this after watching the hilarious Idle Thumbs cast about it
. So, in this game, you control a single arm with an amazing amount of fidelity: You individually control the arm movement through x and y planes, the arm's movement through the z plane, wrist movement, and each finger individually. It's extraordinarily difficult to do each of these things individually. From there, you're asked to do heart, kidney, and brain surgeries. The game is surprisingly mercenary about what counts as acceptable, as will find yourself ripping out the lungs and the heart completely, dropping the heart into the chest cavity, and calling it a day. You will likely kill several people before you succeed for the first time.
Controlling with this level of detail is interesting, challenging. The experience is very focused. It's funny to play, both in a weird way and in a funny way. Funny-morbid, really. I managed to do all the transplants, and then also do the heart transplant while in an ambulance. So that was cool.
Time commitment: A few hours
This is a game where you delve into a castle to defeat a monster of some kind. When you die, your kid makes the next run some twenty years later. When you die again, your great-grandkid makes the next run. Each of the traits your characters gain are represented as different medical conditions or outlooks, like "gigantism" means that your character is giant, while "nostalgic" causes you to view the game in sepiatone. The castle itself is randomized each time you go in.
It's pretty fun, pretty funny, very clever in design. Good for listening to podcasts while playing.
Viscera Cleanup Detail
Time commitment: About half an hour.
A first-person game where you play a janitor in the aftermath of some kind of battle on a space-station. Your job is to mop up blood and clean up gore and bullets. The level of fidelity on this is that you're required to pick up each piece of gore or bullet individually, and put it into a garbage bin. Eventually your bin will fill up, and you'll need to empty it into the incinerator... and be careful not to spill the bin, as it's simulated in the physics engine. Likewise, your mop will eventually become saturated, and you'll need to rinse it out. Eventually, your water-bucket will get too bloody, and you'll need to change it out.
It's amazing how focused one can get doing this. You know how you can get, sorting things on a shelf, or tidying a folder system? It's a bit like that.
Cities in Motion 2
Time commitment: More than a few hours.
Like the first game, this is a public-transit management system. If you imagine Sim City, and then imagine the entire game was building and managing the bus and train routes, you'd have Cities in Motion. It's pretty fun, in the way management games often are. This has been nicely refined from the first game, and some sharp corners have been smoothed. It's very pleasant. Good for podcast listening, too.