Life & Death

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For articles with similar titles, see Life and death (disambiguation).
Life & Death
Picture of the Life and Death box
Life & Death box art
Developer(s) Jake Smith & Don Laabs (Atari ST & Amiga conversions by Simon Beal)
Publisher(s) The Software Toolworks
Distributor(s) The Software Toolworks
Designer(s) Myo Thant
Platform(s) Mac OS, DOS, Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIgs
Release date(s) 1988
Genre(s) Life simulation
Mode(s) Single player

Life & Death is a computer game published in 1988 by The Software Toolworks. It is one of the few realistic medical computer games ever released. In the role of a resident abdominal surgeon at fictional hospital Toolworks General, the player must diagnose and treat a variety of maladies including kidney stones, arthritis, appendicitis, and aneuritic aorta. The last two require the player to perform surgery.

A sequel, Life & Death II: The Brain, was published in 1990. In this game, the player is a neurosurgeon.[1]

Modern critics continue to praise the game for its attention to detail and the way it offers significant depth and challenge despite only using one input, the mouse.[2]


Life & Death emphasized realism and visual detail even with limited colors.

Compute! complimented Life & Death's graphics and sound, stating that the game effectively used CGA's four colors and the PC speaker, and stated that the game's warning to those queasy of blood was accurate.[3]

Life & Death was nominated for Software Publishers Association (SPA) awards in the following categories:

  • Best Game
  • Best Simulation
  • Best Use of Technology


  1. ^ Cobbett, Richard (August 27, 2011). "Saturday Crapshoot: Life and Death". PC Gamer. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ ""A Matter Of Life And Death", Leigh Alexander.". Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ Latimer, Joey (May 1989). "Life & Death". Compute!. No. 108. pp. 71–72. Retrieved 24 April 2016. 

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