Saturday, 20 April 2013

Kill Doctor Lucky..... Killing pensioners with your friends!!!

Kill Doctor Lucky

From the outset the art on this game is a big draw. The image on the box lid is fantastic and humorous and a good indication of the rest of the game.
The instructions are simple enough to understand and easy to follow, it took only a couple of turns for everyone to decide that the rules can be put away!
The board isn’t among the best quality boards I own due to some warping out of the box but the art on it is very good, the room images are well presented and a good size which accommodates up to the maximum amount of players in any one room at the same time.

The pawns are card standees with images of the would be murderers on them as well as one featuring the ill fated doctor and his little dog Shamrock, and they feature a semi cartoony image of each of them brandishing their weapon of choice. The maid wields her broom as if she held a warhammer, the military gentleman hefts his service revolver as if waiting for the hapless pensioner to wander into view. They are made of a nice thick card, the same used for the spite tokens, which themselves hold an image of the good doctor looking rather worried. These standees fit snugly into plastic stands which are a decent size and don’t increase the overall size of the standees, it can be irritating when the stands are so big as to hamper the placing of pieces on the board.

Finally, my personal favourite part of the package, the cards. The quality is some of the better I’ve seen even if the static from the wrapping kept the cards clumping together until they had been vigorously shuffled once or twice. The images on the cards are in keeping with the rest of the artwork. The weapon/murder cards feature a simple picture of the weapon at hand and the murder score and any bonuses are clearly printed, as some weapons are better when used in certain rooms. The location cards simply have an image of the room and instructions to move either yourself or doctor Lucky there and the movement cards have the number of spaces it affords you/the doctor printed on them. The best cards are the failure cards, played to prevent the other would-be murderers from offing your target before you. The images are usually of one of the characters looking angry or the doctor looking worried/smug/confused. The humour is in the text. From discovering that your weapon is in fact a useless banana, the doctor disappearing in a cloud of feathers up to a mysterious kung fu master randomly appearing and saving the doctor at the last second. These make for an amusing game of positioning yourself for a good kill while robbing your opponents of victory with a well timed random event.

The only down side to these wonderful cards is that after a few games and a few more shuffles the plastic coating has begun to fray at the edges of one or two which makes wanting to play with them conflict with my OCD habit of trying to keep everything pristine.

The objective of the game, as the title suggests is to Kill Doctor Lucky. In order to do this you must maneuver yourself and sometimes the Doc himself into a position where you cannot be seen from any adjoining rooms or corridors, and use your cards to try and snuff the codger out.
In our first game the first couple of turns were a tentative affair of moving around the board, picking up a few more cards, which you do by only moving one space and no other actions on that turn, and working out how to make your move against the Doctor who wanders around a predictable path through his house. It wasn’t until the first attempt on his life that the game showed its true colours.
If you have a group with an imagination and especially one with a knack for storytelling, then the act of ruining someone’s carefully planned execution with a series of random and ridiculous events becomes a treat for the whole group.
Listening to your friend describe how you discover your gun is actually a banana which you eat and discard the skin, only to slip on said skin and fall down a hidden trapdoor can only bring a chuckle to all and the combinations only get weirder.

Each time you are foiled in your scheme you receive a spite token, which grants +1 to any future attempts. When these build up and you are attacking the doctor with a stronger attempt on his life your fellow murderers have to do their best to stop you and combine their failures and the combinations of events that befall you become nothing but ridiculous!
The game is fun for a good sized group but I can see how a maximum of 5 makes for a better game, having 6 or 7 players would make getting the doc alone and unseen all but impossible and would make the game drag on too long. As it is a 5 person game lasts 45-60 minutes and is very enjoyable.

I would recommend this game to all but the hardcore gaming groups as the slightly casual nature of the game would not suit all comers. It makes an ideal introductory game for themed board games and newcomers can pick up the rules in a very short time.

The first time I reviewed this game sometime last year I gave it 8/10 and to be honest, if I weighed it against other games of a similar casual nature I will stand by it. It’s quite a cheap pick up at around £20 so if you are stuck for a new game for your group and you enjoy a dose of daftness in an evening you could do much worse than to give this one a go.

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