Stitches by Applied Studios icon

Stitches ($0.99) by Applied Studios will remind you of your younger days and the popular game of skill: “Operation.” Stitches is very similar to that crazy board game, that scared the daylights out of you when you hit the side of the wound with the tweezers.

Now you can play a similar game on your iPad and iPhone. Gather your family and friends and see who has the steadiest hand. The bonus is you won’t lose all those small pieces of bone and organs.

Stitches by Applied Studios screenshot

When you begin, choose your level of difficulty: Quack, Doctor or Surgeon. Then, you are given 120 seconds and five hearts. Double tap on the area of the body where you would like to start and it will zoom in on the piece to take out.

There are the same classic pieces like: Charlie horse, broken heart, funny bone, brain freeze, lock jaw and more. Carefully remove each piece by rotating and using the pinch and zoom feature to slide it out. Once the piece is successfully removed, you will drag it over to the surgical tray.

Be careful not to touch the sides. This will set off a loud buzzer, which sounds a lot like the original game. Your iPhone will actually vibrate, which is a nice added effect. (Unfortunately, the iPad does not vibrate.) You will also lose one of your hearts when you touch the side. As you lose hearts, your timer will countdown faster, so you have less time to complete the level.

Stitches by Applied Studios screenshot

As you get better, you will have the opportunity to try different modes, such as “earthquake mode.” This will make it challenging, as the board will shake and make it more difficult to get the piece out.

There is the option to use a pint of blood to restore a heart and slow down the clock, but this will cost you some points on your final score. There is also a defibrillator that will pause the clock for 10 seconds, if you need a little extra time. This will also cost you some points.

If you have downloaded a previous version of this app, especially on your iPad 2, make sure you run the update. When I first downloaded the app a couple of months ago, it did not work. Since the update, it has been optimized for the iPad and iPad 2.

Stitches is a refreshing change from other games in the App Store and I don’t believe there is much out there like it. I loved the game Operation as a kid, and I think Applied Studios did a wonderful job of recreating it for the iPhone and iPad. At $.99 for a universal app, it really cannot be beat.