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

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
Buy On
  1. Here is a game that is both more exciting and more educational than Casualty, ER and Scrubs put together.
  2. The gameplay is fast, intense, challenging and addictive, and the amount of variety the game consistently manages to come up with is staggering.
  3. 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.
  4. 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]
  5. 90
    You'll likely never see a better utilization of the DS' touch-screen, nor will you play a pseudo-sim this engaging.
  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. 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.
  8. Nintendo Power
    If WarioWare was Touching 101, Trauma Center is Applied Touching 501. [Dec 2005, p.114]
  9. 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.
  10. Play Magazine
    I never thought a game could get so intense using a stylus. [Oct 2005]
  11. A unique experience that only the DS can handle. If you own a DS pick this game up, it’s well worth a play.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Pelit (Finland)
    Fresh and interesting. More levels, more game modes and a deeper story would have brought the game further. [June 2006]
  16. Game Informer
    It's the fast-paced, procedure driven puzzling gameplay really sets Trauma Center apart. [Oct 2005, p.154]
  17. The game sucked me in and made me feel like these patients’ lives really depended on me.
  18. 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.
  19. Uses the Nintendo DS’s touch screen beautifully, and also has an awesome concept in its hands.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. A wonderfully unique game that does an excellent job of sucking the player in through both the tense operations and intricate story segments.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Computer Games Magazine
    Trauma Center is an experience you can't really get anywhere else. [Dec p.89]
  28. 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.
  29. Players who don’t enjoy the unforgiving gameplay might find Trauma Center off putting, but most gamers will relish in the intense experience.
  30. 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]
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. If you don't mind the repetitiveness of using the stylus during the gameplay then you should love this game.
  35. Trauma Center succeeds because it strikes such a good balance between its medical theme and its puzzler roots.
  36. 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]
  37. 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.
  38. How much you get out of Trauma Center really depends upon your tolerance for difficult, sometimes unfairly so, puzzle/reaction games.
  39. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    I respect the innovation found here, but I wish the game were a little more forgiving. [Nov 2005, p.160]
  40. It's a good idea, well measured and put together. Its problems are spiking difficulty and mechanical obstinacy.
  41. This game will manage to frustrate players within a relatively short amount of time. Repetition and some really difficult operations will be more than enough to push any gamer away.
  42. 70
    Its extensive campaign is likely to be played and thoroughly enjoyed at least once, but any replayability has been sabotaged by its own shortcomings: the bugs, the enforced narrative and the lack of rewards.
  43. A fun and original game, but I wish they cut back on the difficulty level.
  44. 70
    Trauma Centre is much like any other medical procedure - it feels fine until the anaesthetic wears off.
  45. netjak
    If you find yourself in a charitable frame of mind, and can overlook the ridiculous story, one-dimensional characters, and hackneyed story elements, Trauma Center is a great twitch-action game.

Awards & Rankings

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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 51
  2. Negative: 4 out of 51
  1. Apr 26, 2021
    Best game about doctors with very nice plot,anime graphic in this game is very awesome.This game is classic of simulators.Trauma Center is myBest game about doctors with very nice plot,anime graphic in this game is very awesome.This game is classic of simulators.Trauma Center is my fvourite game series. Full Review »
  2. 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 »
  3. Mar 10, 2011
    This is my favorite DS game.