''Code Blue'' -- With an ''ER''-size-cast, the new interactive CD-ROM makes you the doctor

By Ann Limpert
Updated July 21, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

”Code Blue”

Code Blue has an ensemble cast of seasoned actors like Stephen Collins (7th Heaven) and Ann Dowd (Nothing Sacred). It features a 112-page script — about the head-spinning craziness that is commonplace to a Los Angeles emergency room — that was penned by a former writer for ER. What’s so original about it? When you consider that Code Blue is an interactive CD-ROM that puts the player to work as a resident in a Los Angeles hospital, a lot.

The Legacy Interactive title, which hits stores in late October, was shot like a film over the course of six days in a Long Beach, Calif., hospital, and involved the largest Screen Actors Guild cast to be hired for a computer game to date. ”This is what we call a ‘real life’ game,” says Legacy president Ariella Lehrer. ”A show like NYPD Blue or Law & Order, while not medical-related, is the type of show that would lend itself to this kind of treatment. It’s two-way. You let people be creative, but it’s built around your characters.”

Still, the final product will depend on the gamer, who will have to handle 35 medical cases that require skills from treating a dog bite to performing heart surgery and dealing with drug overdoses. The story line changes with each decision the player makes, and promotions are given according to the success of each case. In other words, you start out as Maura Tierney and, with luck, work your way up to George Clooney. No word on whether you then leave for a film career.