The phone rings and it's the Chief on the end of the line. Seems there's been another murder and you've been sent in to investigate. Again. Thirty years you've been at this and each new case only finds you more and more jaded, counting the days till you can retire and your pension kicks in. Sighing, you grab your hat and head for the door. You've been here before. And you'll be here again. It's all just a vicious cycle. An old man gets murdered, a case gets solved, and a killer frantically says he had it coming. You're getting too old for this.. You slap the cuffs on and get him in the car as he pleads for you to understand. "You've never hated someone so much you wanted them dead?"
As you pull away from the house you give that a thought. If you could, and get away with it, would you? No.. You couldn't.. Could you? Well, maybe.. There is that one.. That Doctor. The one on the pension review board that's threatening to slash your retirement benefits. He's always had it out for you. And you worked 30 years for that pension and you'll be damned if his vote takes that all away. You find yourself gripping the steering wheel, knuckles whitening. Do some people really just have it coming and deserve their fate? Could you do it? Could Colonel Mustard have been right all along? Could you actually bring yourself to kill Doctor Lucky?
- Players: 3 - 7
- Duration: 45 - 60 mins
- Difficulty: Easy
- Type: Board Game
- Point to Point Movement
At first glance of Kill Doctor Lucky you're immediately reminded of the game Clue. But while Clue's objective is to solve a murder, Kill Doctor Lucky's objective is, simply put, to commit one. The name says it all. You must kill Doctor Lucky. Get him alone, successfully bump him off, and win the game. But you're not the only one that wants him dead. Everyone here wants to do him in and each any every one of them will try to prevent you from doing so first.
The board, or mansion, consists of 32 rooms. 24 of those are named, such as the Carriage House (Matt's favorite room), and 8 unnamed rooms, such as the hallways and stairs. These are the rooms in which you'll attempt to kill Doctor Lucky. Every player starts the game in the Drawing Room while the Doctor starts at a room that's randomly assigned. Everyone gets 6 cards to start.
Your possible cards consist of 4 types, 3 of which can be used during your turn. MOVE cards can be used to move you or the Doctor up to the number of rooms stated. ROOM cards move you of the Doctor to a specific room. WEAPON cards are used to make an attempt on the Doctor's life. FAILURE cards are used by other players to foil murder attempts and are always played out of turn.
During your turn you can do several things. You can take one free move action, play any number of move or room cards, and attempt to kill the Doctor. A murder can be attempted only once per turn. If you end up in a named room, you might be able to draw a card. But only if you have not played any cards or made any murder attempts this turn. But who wants to draw cards when there's murder to be had?
Not so fast! First, you'll need to find yourself alone in a room with Doctor Lucky and out of sight of any other player. If you do, feel free to murder away! You can try to do so by playing a single WEAPON card from you hand. The strength of that attempt is the value stated on the card. If you find yourself with an opportunity but no WEAPON cards, you can still attempt to throttle him with your bare hands at a strength value of 1. Once the attempt is made, each player, starting to your left, has the opportunity to play FAILURE cards. If the strength of the attempt is greater than the combined values on the FAILURE cards played it's successful and you win the game. If not, the WEAPON card goes into the discard pile and the FAILURE cards are removed from the game. His luck has to run out sometime, right? A failed attempt also gets you a spite token. This increases the strength of each of your future murder attempts by 1. You'll get him next time! And if you don't, your spite for him only grows. Your turn is over and now it's time to reluctantly send Doctor Lucky on his way.
Doctor Lucky is a creature of habit and wanders from room to room in an orderly fashion. He will move from a numbered room to the next highest numbered room, ignoring all hallways, stairs, or unnumbered rooms that may lie between them. It's now the next players turn. Usually, that's the player to the left but the Doctor can absentmindedly change that if he happens to wander into an occupied room. If he does, the turn order immediately skips to the player who he's in the room with. Call it a crime of opportunity. They get to take their turn, play their cards, and try to kill an old man (if they can). If Doctor Lucky survives and wanders away to an empty room, play order resumes to the left of that player.
That's pretty much the game in a nutshell. Sounds easy enough, right? He's just a shambling, predictable old man after all. Just keep telling yourself that. But don't forget that he's got luck on his side and things are never quite as easy as they may first seem. So ask yourself, do you have what it takes to take him out? Is your grudge strong enough to throttle an old man and get away with it? Can you somehow manage to kill Doctor Lucky? Or will his incredible luck prevail yet again? Everyone here tonight wants him dead and someone's going to kill him.
Why shouldn't it be you?
What better to celebrate the luck of the Irish (and Doctor Lucky!) than with some Luck of the Irish Nachos? They're a tasty concoction of waffle fries smothered in taco-seasoned ground beef, hot sauce infused cheese sauce, and pico de gallo with fresh jalapenos for that little extra bite. Next up is Smithwick's Irish Red Ale. First brewed in 1710 in Kilkenny Ireland it would have to be good to still be brewed two centuries later. I'm not wrong in that assumption. Finally, we round out the nights mixed drink with a Sparkling Leprechaun's Kiss. A blend of Apple Pucker, vodka, and Sprite it's a drink that will have you looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But too many and you just might be looking for another pot entirely..
First off, let me say that Paizo did a great job with this one. The box and game art is beautiful, very much capturing the whimsical tongue in cheek humor of the game. The box itself was very sturdy and I can see it standing up to the wear and tear of future plays. When we unboxed Kill Doctor Lucky we found the board and the pieces to be of very good quality cardboard. The cards are incredibly durable and have a very good feel to them. Overall, I'm incredibly pleased with the quality of this game.
Prior to game night, none of us had played Kill Doctor Lucky before so I read through the instructions and found them to be very concise, easy to read and understand. 10 mins later we had the basics in hand and started a game. The game states 3 to 7 players so we played our review games with 3 people (thanks Matt!). I do think that optimally it may work best with 4 players. That way, it would be slightly tougher to get alone with Doctor Lucky, and when you did, the other players would have a better chance of stopping you. Many more than 4 and I fear that would make for some very long games due to difficulty in ever getting him alone or being overrun with Failure cards if you were ever actually able to do so. But all that aside, with 3 players it still made for a very fun game. Considering that it was new game for all of us, we all still picked it up fairly quickly.
Game play was fun and fast paced so I never felt that I was out of the game when it wasn't my turn. You are also always involved when other players make an attempt on Doctor Lucky's life, responsible for playing Failure cards to ensure they don't succeed. Oh, and just a tip for you, when it's your turn and you have the Doctor alone but lacking a weapon, don't hesitate to just poke him in the eye for that measly 1 attempt. Sure, you'll most likely fail but it still forces Failure cards out of other players hands and gets you a spite token. And with enough of those you can hardly imagine the power of your bare hands.
Overall, I'm very happy with this game. The quality was top notch, it was easy to learn and a lot of fun to play. I can see breaking it out as an entry level game with my non-gamer friends and family. I never thought I would ever hear the words "I had fun killing that old man" let alone be the one to actually say them. But due to humorous and whimsical way they approached what could have been a darker subject matter, I could only laugh when I said "Let's kill him again!"
*Side note, as of January 2016 the Paizo version of this game is out of print but Cheapass Games just finished a successful Kickstarter to bring Kill Doctor Lucky back to a store near you. Keep an eye out!
I think murder suits me. I would prefer to have used the crepe pan but a french horn will do nicely. If only the chef wasn't watching! I was hesitant about this game at first after Dave first described it as what happens before the game Clue begins. No offense to the classic game lovers out there, but Clue was not one of my favorites. However, this game was quite fun to play. I enjoyed the aspect of planning ahead in order to be the first person to knock off this guy. Maybe I have some latent homicidal tendencies that I need to work out with my therapist.
The game play was fairly easy and once we figured out the rules, things moved quickly. My attempts to get Doctor Lucky in the desired room with a high value weapon never were successful, especially early when there were plenty of failure cards and plenty of people watching my every move. I learned quickly not to become too attached to a plan and if I was in the right place at the right time, my hands would do nicely. Even if it failed, at least I gained a spite token to help with the next attempt. Overall, Kill Doctor Lucky made murder an easy and fun family event.