Heart’s Medicine: Time to Heal (Gamehouse)
When the head surgeon won’t take Allison Heart as an intern, she has to make do in other specialties. Meanwhile, Allison’s ex-boyfriend, Daniel, becomes the new head of the hospital and Connor, another old flame, dates another intern. Can Allison succeed in her career while also having to juggle her personal life?
This is it, the long awaited season 2 of Heart’s Medicine. Your favorite characters are back and new characters join in the fun. Even Emily makes a cameo in her own special levels, but I’ll discuss that later. In the last game, each venue had a side plot to go with each doctor’s specialization. This game starts out similarly until you get to the Emergency Room. Then you have one issue you have to solve for the rest of the game. Not only is it heartbreaking, but we also learn more about Allison’s past which I won’t give away. This case will follow Allison all the way to surgery, where she’ll meet a doctor who cares more about efficiency than he does about his patients. This conflicts with how Allison develops emotional attachment to her patients. As for which I think is better, this situation reminds me of the movie Patch Adams. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, it’s about a doctor who believes that you can heal patients through emotional connections. According to the Nostalgia Critic, the movie undermines its own moral through the side-plot with Patch Adam’s love interest, Carin. She starts out cold and distant until Patch persuades her to start trusting people. This leads her to go to the house of a medical patient with severe mental issues who ends up killing her. The Nostalgia Critic uses this scene to undermine Patch’s sarcastic argument asking about what would happen if the doctor developed emotional attachment to their patients, would they explode? Then points out that, when you get emotionally involved, you make bad decisions that could be potentially lethal. However, Dr. Quinn (the head of surgery) makes decisions based on what would save the hospital money and doesn’t really put his full-effort into helping his patients. In fact, like the medical staff in Dr. Strange, I suspect that he would be more likely to cut off an organ donor. It’s the very reason why my mother refuses to have her organs donated and encouraged me to do the same.
As I said in the first paragraph, the love triangle from Season 1 returns. In the first game, Allison had to choose between the sweet and stable Daniel and the jerk with a heart of gold Connor. Here, the two have switched roles with Daniel becoming more reckless and Connor turning into the stable one. What I’m about to say comes with spoilers, so feel free to skip this paragraph. The stress of becoming the new head of the hospital gets to Daniel as he turns into a pill-popping maniac, stealing medicine from his own hospital. Despite the seriousness of the situation, I’m very happy about this development. Usually, when people want to have a drug addict in their stories and still want to keep the rating PG-13, the go to drug is marijuana. Amateur writers treat these users as if they’ve just been discovered using heroin, one prominent example being a cartoon drug PSA movie I watched in Middle School that the Nostalgia Critic tore apart in a review. In this game, they use an actually addictive drug, Ritalin that often has the street name of kiddie coke, to demonstrate Daniel’s addiction. Connor becomes the voice of reason Allison depends on to help her through a tough emotional time. Many people are unaware of this, but there is a label known as the Madonna Whore complex saying that a woman can either be an innocent and virginal wife or an evil and manipulate whore. There is no middle ground. While the gender reverse can happen in fiction, people usually give the bad boy of the love triangle more sympathy than they would give a bad girl. In this story, neither one of them are the good boy or the bad boy. Daniel and Connor are just people with strengths and flaws who can’t be so easily labeled as to which one is good or bad. The woman version of this makes an appearance in the game with Connor briefly dating the new intern, Jenny. While Allison does show jealousy, Jenny is not evil. She’s just the new intern who happens to be dating Connor and breaks up with him because they’re incompatible.
The game play in this story is similar to Season 1 with a few notable differences. For instance, you can now play special challenge levels and, once a venue, you can play as Emily in the hospital cafeteria.
These levels are my favorite because it’s such a unique take on the Heart’s Medicine game with the addition of a familiar character that is, in a way, responsible for Allison’s existence. Had it not been for the success of Emily’s series, Delicious, the same people would have never made Heart’s Medicine. Another difference in this version is that the game will occasionally show cut scenes set to music that sets the mood of the situation.
Other than that, the game play is not so different from Season 1. You click on patients and take them to the treatment center that they request. Then heal them and check them out.
Some patients will require you to play a mini-game, which can get rather difficult, believe me.
When they get their full health back, you can check them out at the front desk. You need to get at least one star to advance to the next level but try to get all three, if you feel lucky. You can find Oliver the guinea pig and complete a challenge in each main story level. Every challenge you complete gives you more diamonds, which you can use to buy items for the new hospital wing. You can also collect trophies throughout the game and view character profiles. One thing I didn’t like about the profiles was that the game classifies Dr. Quinn as slightly autistic. As someone with autism, I found that classifying one of the game’s sociopathic characters as such is a little insulting. When I played the game, I assumed that, because many patients die in Dr. Quinn’s profession, he just stopped caring. To say that he’s slightly autistic feels like putting a label on him the same way a girl I knew used to put a label on me. She would go so far as to see a rude character on TV and loudly declare them autistic. Last but not least, be sure to check out the ending credits for a little Easter egg that’s almost guaranteed to make you laugh.
This game is heartfelt and challenging. I give it 7 out of 10; it loses a point for the issue I touched upon earlier.