Operation is an electronic board game of patience and skill that tests each players' steadiness and hand-eye co-ordination. Be careful, if you get sloppy and make a mistake the patients pain will be expressed for all to witness with the lighting of his nose and sounding of the buzzer.
The game was invented by John Spinello as a school assignment while he was a student at the University of Illinois. When the game reached Milton Bradley it maintained the original core concept, but was redesigned to the game we have come to know and love. Milton Bradley released the game in 1965 featuring Cavity Sam with his light up red nose and many ailments; Bread Basket, Butterflies in the Stomach, Ankle Bone Connected to the Knee Bone,
Spare Ribs, Funny Bone, Water on the Knee, Charley Horse, Adam's Apple, Writer's Cramp, Wish Bone, Wrenched Ankle and Broken Heart.
In celebration of the games 40th birthday Americans voted on Cavity Sam's newest trouble. Brain Freeze was the winner beating Growling Stomach and Tennis Elbow.
Over time there have been many special editions to the game including Spider-Man, The Simpsons, and most recently Toy Story 3. No matter which version it still remains a staple of family game night.
In 2008 Cavity Sam got an update with thirteen new embarrassing and interesting "Funatomy" ailments, each with their own unique sound associated with them. Players must listen to the sounds for direction. Game play is slightly different than the original game, but still a blast to play.
Collect the most money by performing successful "operations".
Place all the Funatomy pieces in their corresponding locations. Make sure they lay flat in the bottom of the cavity.
Choose a player to be the banker. They will be responsible for paying the players.
Seperate the cards into two piles. One pile of Doctor cards and the other Specialist cards.
Shuffle the Specialist card and deal them out so each player receives an equal amount. Place any extra cards to the side.
Shuffle the Doctor cards and place them face down within reach of all players.
It is a good idea to set a time limit for attempting an operation. One minute seems to be sufficient. If the player does not complete the task in the time limit it is considered unsuccessful.
Playing the Game
The youngest player goes first followed by the player to their left.
The player draws the top card from the Doctor pile. The card will tell them which funatomy part to remove and the fee they will be paid for a successful operation. The player then takes the surgical tweezers and attempts to remove the funatomy part without touching the edges of the cavity. If they are successful they are paid from the bank the fee designated on the card, they keep the part, and the Doctor card is placed out of play. It is now the next players turn.
If they are unsuccessful the part is dropped back into the cavity and their turn is over. The player with the specialist card for the unsuccessful operation is now allowed to give it a try. If the Specialist is successful they receive the fee on the specialist card. If the Doctor and Specialist are both unsuccessful, the Doctor card is placed at the bottom of the draw pile and the Specialist holds onto their card for the next time that operation is attempted.
In the event that the player has both the Doctor card and the Specialist card for the same operation they get two tries to perform the procedure.
Winning the Game
When all twelve funatomy pieces have been removed successfully the game is over and the player with the most money is declared the winner.
Return to Rules and Instructions from Operation
Original 1965 Instructions
TV Commercial from the 70's
TV Commercial from the 80's
TV Commercial from the Late 80's
Did you know that the earliest board games discovered are more than 3,500 years old?