Operation Game


Operation is an engaging game designed to test hand-eye coordination. In it, players must remove different ailments from a cartoon patient named Cavity Sam without touching its edges in each slot for treatment.

John Spinello, an industrial design student at the University of Illinois, invented this game. He sold its prototype to Milton Bradley for $500 with a promise of employment after graduation.


Operation is one of the most beloved battery-operated games for kids. The gameplay requires physical skill and is known to help improve eye-hand coordination while developing fine motor skills. This two or more-player game has an easy setup and simple ruleset; it aims to remove body parts without setting off a buzzer. Successful players earn money from the banker; the one who makes the most is declared the winner.

John Spinello, an industrial design student at the University of Illinois, first created Operation Death Valley. Milton Bradley purchased its rights to it in 1965, and one of their designers changed the probe to tweezers and changed the board from being set in an operating room – giving us what is known as Operation today.

Since its debut, many game versions have been made available, each with different ailments or themes (for instance, Doctor Who features an adorable Dalek) to operate upon. Furthermore, an autism-friendly edition exists as well.

The original game includes a game board with attached tweezers, 11 body parts, player money, and doctor and specialist cards to indicate which body part to remove and allow more money. Batteries must also be charged before starting this adventure!


Many have enjoyed playing Operation as children, and it remains an ever-popular family game today. Operation tests your agility and concentration; players draw cards from the doctor deck to identify which piece to remove, how much money they’ll receive for doing it successfully, and use tweezers to do just that without touching either of the sides of Sam’s nose opening – any contact between sides and space ends their turn immediately!

Players with Specialist cards for particular body parts can have another go if they fail. Otherwise, the Specialist cards return to the draw pile, and another player takes their turn.

The fun anatomy game has been enhanced to feature more bizarre ailments. While the goal remains the same, these new ailments include headaches and gamer’s thumb; players who successfully treat all Cavity Sam’s conditions win the game!

Play this timeless classic with friends or family to make this an enjoyable and challenging game experience. This game remains enjoyable and challenging even without other players to compete against! To increase its difficulty and create more competition among other players, players can time themselves while trying to treat each ailment and beat their record time as quickly as possible before competing against others and seeing who makes the most money! Usually lasting 15-20 minutes, this classic can keep younger children occupied for around 15-20 minutes before switching up for something less time-consuming; otherwise, they should consider switching games.


This game employs everyday household and recycled materials to teach children about simple circuits and electronic components, including using a 3V coin battery as a power source. Teachers can also utilize this project to encourage children to understand anatomy and the human body’s processes.

Start by drawing or printing an image to serve as the “patient” in your Operation game. “Cavity Sam” is often depicted, but any character or idea that fits on the top panel can serve this role. Once done, cover the bottom board in aluminum foil to conduct electricity between the components of your circuit.

Attach the image of your game board using glue. Glue pieces of craft foam or cardboard inside its frame for extra thickness. Cut out operation sites, the buzzer, and an opening for one of your battery leads. Wrap the bottom panel with aluminum foil.

Once your tweezers have been connected to a circuit, you can test their connection by touching one of the foil sheets at an operation site and seeing whether the LED illuminates or buzzers sound off – if they do so, you are ready to play!

While this game can be enjoyable, its many small pieces present a potential choking hazard for infants and toddlers. To prevent this from happening, it is essential to keep all parts away from these children during play and clean the game between spaces with disinfectant wipes.

Age range

Although many adults remember playing Operation as children, its demands can be too challenging for young children. Skill and concentration requirements make the game hard, creating rivalries and anger should one player lose.

This game involves an “operating table” featuring Cavity Sam with his iconic lightbulb nose. On its surface are openings containing fictional and humorously named ailments made from plastic that must be extracted using tweezers without touching either of the cavity openings or setting off its buzzer; each successfully removed disorder earns money, and the one with the most made-at-game’s end will win.

Operation game not only keeps kids entertained but can also foster socialization and peer interactions. Played by up to four players at once, the operation game offers excellent family time while helping develop fine motor skills in children.

The operation may have succeeded, but its creator didn’t see much financial reward. John Spinello, who created Operation as a student at the University of Illinois, sold his rights for just $500 and later underwent oral surgery that cost $25,000; luckily, his friends and fans raised enough funds to cover his bill.

This game provides a fun way to teach children about anatomy and the body, but parents should carefully consider their child’s age when playing this game. Toddlers or preschoolers may find it dangerous; furthermore, young children may become upset if they lose.


No matter your age, chances are that Operation has left an impressionful memory on you. It’s a classic board game that requires patience, hand-eye coordination, and fun! Designed originally by John Spinello – an industrial design student at the University of Illinois who received an assignment to create an electronic game or toy – Operation came from this idea.

Milton Bradley first introduced this timeless game; since its introduction, it has become one of the world’s most beloved. Additionally, educational versions and movies have been produced based on it, making this an enjoyable family activity for people of all ages to play together.

Though this game provides a fantastic way to practice hand-eye coordination, it may prove challenging for children without developed focus and attention skills. Because of this, it’s recommended for ages six or above, although new versions are explicitly tailored toward younger children (these versions are less effective than the original version).

Villanueva says they made this change to make the game less anxiety-inducing for young players; however, anyone familiar with old-school versions might find this transition disorienting. Touching any bone or organ opening triggers an audible buzzer, which illuminates Cavity Sam’s nose to let players know their surgery was unsuccessful.