• Publisher: Atlus
  • Release Date: Oct 4, 2005

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
Buy On
  1. 75
    An unusual, creative, and very polished game that anyone with a Nintendo DS should seriously consider purchasing. The gameplay is addictive, even if it's restrictive.
  2. AceGamez
    Succeeds in creating an engaging story full of equally engaging characters that will push you to complete the game just to see where it goes and what kind of sadistic surgery you'll have to perform next.
  3. The gameplay is fast, intense, challenging and addictive, and the amount of variety the game consistently manages to come up with is staggering.
  4. Challenging and fun but it's short on replay value. It's a great prescription for temporary relief of the blues, but if they persist you might be in need of a solid, next-gen game fix.
  5. Computer Games Magazine
    Trauma Center is an experience you can't really get anywhere else. [Dec p.89]
  6. 90
    A game that is truly incredible and oftentimes deep, offering gamers the opportunity to perform surgical procedures (fictionally) in the comfort of their own home without all the mess of a real operating room!
  7. Players who don’t enjoy the unforgiving gameplay might find Trauma Center off putting, but most gamers will relish in the intense experience.
  8. 80
    While Doogie Howser may have a better chance of returning to television than you have in learning any real medical knowledge from Trauma Center, the frenzied pace and slick controls easily make this one of the most “infectious” DS games yet released.
  9. Game Informer
    It's the fast-paced, procedure driven puzzling gameplay really sets Trauma Center apart. [Oct 2005, p.154]
  10. I also stress that people looking to buy this title do so as soon as possible because it will soon be almost impossible to find since Atlus has stopped its production of this great title.
  11. There's nothing else on shelves quite like it, and it's a perfect example of the sort of out-of-the-box thinking that will transform Nintendo's fliptop from an ungraded GameBoy into a true next-generation handheld machine, conceptually as well as physically.
  12. 90
    Even if needles make you squeamish or you feel faint at the sight of blood, Trauma Center is a cure for what has been a spell of mediocrity on the DS. [Nov 2005, p.131]
  13. games(TM)
    A drama-heavy storyline adds to the already deeply tense, ER-style atmosphere, making this a must-have DS title. [Christmas 2005, p.117]
  14. It is fun while you are playing the game, even though the game can be extremely unforgiving with your moves, as it should be if you were actually operating on someone.
  15. Trauma Center succeeds because it strikes such a good balance between its medical theme and its puzzler roots.
  16. 90
    You'll likely never see a better utilization of the DS' touch-screen, nor will you play a pseudo-sim this engaging.
  17. It's not that the story is bad; it's just that the surgeries are so addictive that you’ll be anxious to scrub back in to the O.R. and pick up your scalpel/stylus.
  18. If you don't mind the repetitiveness of using the stylus during the gameplay then you should love this game.
  19. The game sucked me in and made me feel like these patients’ lives really depended on me.
  20. I implore you, don’t skip out on this one because it’s ‘too hard’ or ‘too weird’. The sheer anxiety of carrying out the surgeries with accuracy and haste is a thrilling affair, one that needs to be experienced by all gamers.
  21. 80
    Atlus has pulled off a very original and clever design on the Nintendo DS platform, and even with the repetitive gameplay and occasional stumble in the design the game still manages to be one of the shining lights in the system's library.
  22. How much you get out of Trauma Center really depends upon your tolerance for difficult, sometimes unfairly so, puzzle/reaction games.
  23. 80
    A well polished and kick ass surgery game that makes excellent use of the Nintendo DS' touch screen. But what I wasn't prepared for was its engaging story, and that added bonus puts this game over the top.
  24. An incredibly enjoyable game that feels like a mix of an adventure puzzler. The idea may not be totally new but the way it is implemented with the touch screen makes it feel like a fresh experience that you won’t be able to feel on another system.
  25. Uses the Nintendo DS’s touch screen beautifully, and also has an awesome concept in its hands.
  26. NGC Magazine UK
    Original, clever, cute, frustrating, too bloody hard and slavishly linear. Love and hate wrapped up in one antiseptic pack. [Apr 2006, p.32]
  27. Nintendo Power
    If WarioWare was Touching 101, Trauma Center is Applied Touching 501. [Dec 2005, p.114]
  28. One of the best third party offerings on the DS so far and comes highly recommended for DS owners, especially if you don’t have a load of friends to play multiplayer against.
  29. While it can get repetitive at times, Trauma Center is an incredibly fun and unique game experience that offers some of the fastest paced stylus action out there.
  30. A wonderfully unique game that does an excellent job of sucking the player in through both the tense operations and intricate story segments.
  31. Pelit (Finland)
    Fresh and interesting. More levels, more game modes and a deeper story would have brought the game further. [June 2006]
  32. Play Magazine
    I never thought a game could get so intense using a stylus. [Oct 2005]
  33. The epitome of a sound investment. Exciting gameplay, some very innovative uses for the stylus and graphically passable, this is one title that really hits the spot.
  34. A unique experience that only the DS can handle. If you own a DS pick this game up, it’s well worth a play.
  35. What makes this game stand out above the others is that it is a perfect example of how to implement the stylus and touchscreen in to a game.
  36. Here is a game that is both more exciting and more educational than Casualty, ER and Scrubs put together.
  37. Yet another strong and original title for Nintendo DS, Trauma Center provides an addictive and tense experience for players, though it's worth remembering that just because you managed to perform surgery on a multi-lacerated thoracic cavity (it's in there), don't expect to called into a real OR anytime soon.
  38. 84
    While its short story and tough difficulty may turn off most casual gamers, DS owners looking for a good challenge can do no wrong with picking this one up.

Awards & Rankings

#12 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
#25 Most Shared DS Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 47
  2. Negative: 3 out of 47
  1. Nov 3, 2014
    This game is a diamond among not only NDS but all the devices with a touch-pad. Dynamical mechanics combined with an interesting story wouldThis game is a diamond among not only NDS but all the devices with a touch-pad. Dynamical mechanics combined with an interesting story would grant a lot of unique and exciting experience to most of the gamers. Full Review »
  2. Oct 15, 2011
    one of the finest ds games gets a 94%, the only thing is they may use medical terms you may not understand, such as use theone of the finest ds games gets a 94%, the only thing is they may use medical terms you may not understand, such as use the huialklbvbaihfsocbhauitaoibc, and you dont know what a huialklbvbaihfsocbhautiaoibc is, so you run out os time using the cutteropenerthingthatyoudontknowwhatitdoes and kill the patinet... but, an overally very satisfying Full Review »
  3. Mar 10, 2011
    This is my favorite DS game.