Amateur Surgeon 3 should have been renamed Amateurish Surgeon, since the developers believe a few minutes of surgery is worth your coin right off the bat. It may be a free to play experience, but don't let the zero price tag fool you. This is a freemium nightmare of epic proportions, and if you actually want to spend valuable time on a title without constantly shelling out cash, leave this emergency room asap.

If Amateur Surgeon 3 didn't deliver the goods regarding the actual game play, this would have been an easy to title to dismiss. Sans all the advertisements and necessary in-app purchases, this medical adventure is completely engaging. Cauterizing and stitching up wounds, along with performing heart surgery, is something that's definitely out of my pay and skill grade, so inhabiting that world via my iPad wasn't such a bad thing.

Between surgeries, there are humorous cut scenes which deal with new surgeon Ophelia Payne as well as insight on her various patients. Since its an Adult Swim title, amusing one liners and witty banter is a given. Getting to know one of my first patients was a thrill, especially since he screamed out my favorite planet.

Each operation requires the utmost care and expedience, as you may run out of time as you're preparing to stitch your patients up. Learning how to properly use forceps and clamps, as well as injecting your patient when his heart beat is dropping, are also important. Amateur Surgeon 3 is a challenging experience on a couple of fronts, and based on a purely game play level it works.

Partners are available to help you on each operation, and the faithful dog Mr. Giblets is your first comrade at arms. Blessed with healing powers derived from his drool, he's perfect to summon when your patient's heart rate is dropping way too fast for the surgery to succeed. With part of Amateur Surgeon 3's allure centering on its tag team element, this would have been a total home run if the developers didn't exploit this feature to their benefit. Once Mr. Giblet is utilized, his powers must be recharged by in game currency, which is only accrued by more surgery experience. If you don't have the cash or do an in-app purchase, you'll be playing the waiting game for this slobbering pooch. Thinking about buying another partner for your procedures? Sure, if you want to blow a few bucks to purchase currency, because there's no way you'll get these guys from the get go.

Don't expect a fresh supply of blood packs during your operations, either, as they're gone within the blink of an eye. You have the option of waiting for more blood or purchasing these items from the store. Whether it's man's best friend, or your very own case of true blood, the only color you'll see with Amateur Surgeon 3 is green. Want a seamless game play experience? Greenbacks, dead presidents, and dollar dollar bills is all you need.

The developers will argue that all it takes is time to restock your items and re-energize your partners, and they would have a valid point if they enabled gamers to actually play Amateur Surgeon 3 for at least a solid 10-15 minute stretch. Hitting us with purchase options before we can actually relax is just a ridiculous way to do business. There is an excellent game that's waiting to be cut open if you want to spend a bunch of money or have minutes to burn waiting for your items to restock. I can only go so far, and when you throw a pop-up unicorn ad in my face, you're not exactly helping the cause.

Amateur Surgeon 3 should have been an engaging operation that kept you glued on your device for more than a couple of minutes, but it's a total freemium mess. Take your scalpel elsewhere and use your skilled hands for another app that's actually worth of your time -- and your money.

App Store Link: Amateur Surgeon 3 for iPhone & iPad | By [adult swim] | Price: Free | Version: 1.0.2 | 258 MB | Rating 12+

4.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating