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Game Review

Kill Doctor Lucky
A "Pre-mystery" board game

Ages 12 and up
Cheapass Games
Game © 1996 Cheapass Games, Inc.
game in play

2-8 Players 30+ minutes


Most mystery board games involve the players AFTER the murder has happened. This game takes place before those do...and every player has a reason to kill the main character Dr. Lucky. The Doctor, however, can be tough to kill without any witnesses being around. Your goal is to isolate Dr. lucky, and put an end to him.


The board is assembled out of 8 sections. Players supply their own markers -- and one special marker is set aside for the Doctor. Players pieces start in the Foyer. Dr. Lucky starts in a random location determined by the draw of a room card from the deck. The cards are shuffled, and each player is dealt 5 cards.

On each players turn, players choose one of two types of turn: "Snoop" or "Do Something."

When players snoop, they get to move one room adjacent to your location -- then, if the room they are in has a name (i.e. not a hallway) then they draw a card from the deck.

When players do something, you again may move one room, and then play cards from your hand -- as many as you want -- hopefully culminating in a murder attempt on the Doctor.

Between player turns, the Doctor's piece will move to the next highest numbered room.

To make a murder attempt, a player must have his/her piece in the same room as the Doctor, and no other players can see into the room they are in. That is, if a person can see through the doors from 3 rooms away...the murder attempt can't happen. When a murder is attempted, the player can choose a weapon card from their hand -- the base number on the card is the number of points for the attack (no weapon is a 1 point attack.) Once chosen, in a clockwise pattern, your opponents are given the chance to play "failure" cards. Failure cards have a value of 1, 2 or 3 -- and reduce the attack strength by that many points. opponents may combine cards to reduce the attack strength to zero. When the total strength is zero, the murder attempt fails and the Doctor escapes. If the opponents cannot reduce the strength to zero, the murder attempt is successful.

The game ends when one player kills the Doctor.

game board
sample cards

Winning Conditions:

  • The player who kills Doctor Lucky wins.

a murder attempt!

Our Opinion:

Thumbs Up!This game won the Origins Award for "Best Abstract Game of 1997." It shows when you play it -- the game is so balanced, it is difficult to corner the Doctor long enough to kill him. Everyone in the game has a fair chance at winning. We found that it was better to snoop the majority of the time, because you simply needed cards -- weapons and failure cards are critical.

Cheapass Games has a good way to keep game prices down -- they supply you with rules and a board -- you supply dice and playing pieces. In our game, we used RoboRally pieces. The game is priced below $10 -- which makes for an excellent reason to pick up a copy: you won't go broke.

The game is fun, but the Zombies believed that you need a group larger than four people to really enjoy the game to its fullest extent. Our three player games went a little too quickly for our taste, but we all could see that it was extremely well designed. As with other games we've reviewed, like Guillotine the game is for an older crowd... the concept of murdering someone can be distasteful to parents with kids younger than 12. That aside, the humor inside the game is pretty good -- where else can you kill someone using a "tight hat?"

Where to buy:

Any local game store -- Our copy was from Coyote Games and cost about $7.

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