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Operation Rules: How Do You Play Operation?


Be the player with the most money as a budget surgeon for the extra sensitive Cavity Sam without general anesthesia.

Game type: dexterity, patience

Number of players: 1 or more

Suggested age: 3+

Game Pieces

24 doctor or specialist cards.

“Cavity Sam”, the patient, on a plastic bed with 12 holes, 1 red light bulb

Corded “surgical” tweezers

Play money

Rubber band

Pregame Setup

Make sure there are good batteries in back of Cavity Sam’s plastic bed. Place the plastic “Funatomy” parts in their matching slots within Cavity Sam. They must be set all the way into the cavity and not have any parts “sticking out.”

Separate the doctor and specialist cards. Shuffle them both. Deal out specialist cards to each player evenly. Remove the odd number of remaining specialist cards, if any, from the game.

Place the shuffled doctor cards in the middle of the play area so all players can reach them.

Assign a banker and then determine who goes first.

Playing the Game

Draw a doctor card at the beginning of your turn. The doctor card indicates the part that must be removed and the fee given to the player for successfully removing that part. In order to successfully remove the part, you must use the surgical tweezers to remove the part without touching the metal sides.

If you touch the metal sides of the cavity then the buzzer will sound and/or the red light will flash on. If either, or both, are observed, then the current player loses their turn and the player with specialist card (if any player has it) for that exact same operation can try. If they succeed then they are paid the higher fee listed on the specialist card.

If the specialist also fails then the doctor card is returned to the bottom of the doctor pile, and the specialist card is returned to the original player that held it (to possibly be used again).

Turns pass to the left.

Continue playing the game until all parts are “extracted.”

The “anklebone connected to the knee bone” operation requires the player to use the tweezers to wrap a rubber band around two posts to connect them without touching the metal walls.

Winning the Game

When the last operation has been completed then the player with the most money at the end of the game is the winner.

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