Help Me Doctor
Switch version tested
Review code provided
Many of us grew up with parents wanting us to be doctors, lawyers or powerful business executives. Ultimate Games decided to take this a step further by letting us live out those dreams… well, at least sort of with Help Me Doctor. The ‘Ultimate” yes I did do that, the question here is it any good?
Help Me Doctor, from the aforementioned Ultimate Games is something to behold. You take on the role of the titular doctor. Opening your very own practice you are tasked with examing new patients as they walk in and diagnosing them properly so you can bankroll your endeavour as well as satisfy management. In a nutshell that is the entire game, but you didn’t come here for a synopsis.
Gameplay-wise, HMD, is menu-driven click-a-thon. You are tasked with reading what amounts to index cards that help describe certain types of ailments or diseases. When a new patient enters your office, after a brief stop in your lifeless waiting room, you button press your way through their symptoms. Using the L or R button you find the proper malady and attach it to their file and send them on their way. Oh, don’t fret, that is not all you do, you see in order to make this even trickier the devs have designed this to be a true medical sim. If you don’t want to lose money, due to fines, the player must also verify that the patient’s insurance information is correct as well as their personal information. Rest assured they don’t ask you to do any more thinking outside of that.
Does this not exhilarate you? Me either. Unfortunately, HMD does not expand outside of this formula. After several successful diagnoses, the day comes to an end and you are rewarded with more cards with even more outlandish symptoms and diseases. In an attempt to spice things up you may be leaned on by the owner to do a special favour for a friend or lie to a certain patient. This is supposed to create a sense of moral conflict as you weigh the pros and cons of lying to the board or patients vs the greed of taking a bonus. Unfortunately, it plays out more a game of chance with no real inherent consequence or gain. Initially, this was intriguing as it could have easily added a much-needed level of depth. Instead, porting HMD to Switch feels like a rushed attempt at a cash-in after the success of Two Point Hospital.
Visually, this one is more on par with a free clinic in Detroit than a primetime network TV office. This is not a looker on any level. The lack of detail, texture or variety is not only striking but further ruins any hope this had at being a respectable title. The cartoonish look almost gives off an orientation video vibe minus the unintentional humour. Characters lifelessly move along their predetermined paths to and from your office as you stare at a semi-static screen looking for discrepancies to save yourself a few hundred dollars.
On the audio side of things, we do have some positive. While the drab, emotionless voice is horrific, the few tunes that are here don’t completely suck. They had just enough pep to keep me from falling asleep… most of the time. The included sound effects are nothing more than the standard insert generic register sound here.
Help Me Doctor is an absolute avoid no matter the price. From the lack of depth to the poorly-edited dialogue and bland visuals, HMD feels more like a cash grab at a perceived emerging market. Finding a target audience for this title has left this reviewer scratching his head.
Platform: Steam, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 10/02/2020
No. of Players: 1
Developer: IceTorch Interactive
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Download link: eShop