Life & Death

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Life & Death
Picture of the Life and Death box
Developer(s) Jake Smith & Don Laabs (Atari ST & Amiga conversions by Simon Beal)
Publisher(s) The Software Toolworks
Designer(s) Myo Thant
Platform(s) Mac OS, MS-DOS, Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIgs, FM Towns, NEC PC-9801, X68000
Release 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 for Best Game, Best Simulation and 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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