Dr. Awesome, Microsurgeon M.D has quite a spectacular name. And the premise, ridding patients of disease with the help of your iPhone or Touch, magnificent.
It even has the over-the-top, finger-pointing, absurdly kitchy graphics and dialog of some of Japan's greatest imports. (I'm looking at you Trauma Centre and Phoenix Wright).
But what about the actual game play? Can an iPhone game live up to all of that hype? Well, yes and no.
Turns out that Dr. Awesome is a master of the Qix. Yeah, that Taito 80s game that had you drawing lines across a blank screen trying to claim a certain percentage of the playing screen. But that's not bad news, that's great news. I love Qix.
The game kicks off by introducing you to those over-the-top characters seen in the promos. They'd don't move, they're static images of finger-pointing and alarm, which is pretty awesome. After a bit of hyperbolic conversation you're thrown into the waiting room to select your first patient. The game taps into your contact list to come up with your patients. While that sounds pretty cool (don't worry they don't email anyone or save the data), it's actually implemented pretty poorly.
First off, the names were listed last name first when I played, which seems weird since the game is built for the iPhone and pulls the data from the iphone. Also, it really doesn't do anything with the data. What's the purpose of adding the names if that's all your going to do. Not a big deal though.
Once you get to a patient you have to fight off a number of viruses. Each virus is "killed" by cutting off pieces of the cell it's living in until it can no longer survive. The cell is basically the entire screen and you cut off pieces by tilting your iPhone to move a laser across the screen, drawing a Qix-like line from one part of the border to the other.
The game's tilt controls work surprisingly well and add a nice change to the classic play of Qix. There are also a few other tweaks. You can grab power-ups, which do things like slow down or shrink the virus or give you more time to cut out the necessary amount of cell to "cure" a patient.
While I've really enjoyed playing the game, I was a bit let down that there isn't more to it. I was hoping that they would mix things up a bit with perhaps a couple of other retro-games remade with a medical slant.
It's still quite a bit of fun and for $US2 it's well worth it. Not get to that Qix.