Dark Cut (1 & 2)
Dark Cut and Dark Cut 2 are surgery games where you use the mouse to make incisions, stitch, scrub, saw, whatever is required to save the patient in each case scenario. These are not games for the faint of heart, both in terms of graphics and gameplay; therefore, they are recommended for mature audiences only.
The Dark Cut series is a gory, more intense Web alternative to Trauma Center for the DS and Wii, with a historical premise. The first Dark Cut takes place in medieval times, while the second takes place in the Civil War. The medical tools you use fit the respective period in sickly humorous ways: whiskey for the 19th century, rose water for the middle ages (and you thought your HMO was bad).
Gameplay consists of clicking the mouse over stars that mark key points on the patient, and sometimes tapping the arrow keys to saw (Dark Cut 1). Instructions are given for each case, but the stress of a patient whose vitals are constantly dropping, coupled with abrasive sound effects in the background, makes for a difficult experience. For example, bandaging (Dark Cut 2) involves taking the mouse cursor to the eyeball in the upper right corner and circling around it. Go through all the steps of the procedure without killing the patient and you pass.
Analysis: The two games are interesting to compare, such that the first one gets some things right that the second one breaks, and vice versa. For example, having to select tools from a tray in Dark Cut 2 is cumbersome, both from the click detection and by having to visually identify the particular tool. Since there's no health boosting item as in Trauma Center, this selection handicap seems unnecessary. Conversely, the first Dark Cut simply hands you the item you need and is therefore a much more playable experience. Dark Cut 2, on the other hand, is a massive improvement in terms of production values and overall aesthetics: you really feel like you're a civil war surgeon trying to focus on saving a man's life with bourbon anesthetic, some gauze and a scalpel. You feel the dirt, sweat and blood and it succeeds as a phantasmic experience, beyond being merely fun; but, unfortunately, the interface gets in the way of the latter.
If you can handle the mire of pre-Modern health care, and the mire of taxing difficulty, the Dark Cut games will deliver a rare experience.