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Cheapass Games: Kill Dr. Lucky – Review

July 19, 2011

Publisher Cheapass Games & Paizo Publishing
Genre Family Board Game
Number of Players 3 to 7 (3 to 10 with the director’s cut)
Play Time 45 minutes
Initial Review Date 3/19/11
Last Updated 3/19/11
FAQ
Files/Tools Theme Song
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So, do you remember the old Parker Brothers’ game Clue?

Haven’t you ever wanted to play before the murder took place?

Well, that’s exactly what you get to do in the game Kill Dr. Lucky. Instead of trying to solve a murder you’re trying to commit murder. Unfortunately, you aren’t the only person in the mansion with the same idea. Additionally, while you certainly want to kill dr. lucky you don’t want to get caught in the act. Additionally, dr. lucky is… well, really lucky. Random events seem to happen that foil your attempts to off the old man. But tonight, tonight his luck is going to run out. You just need to be persistent.

Game Play

The board to this game looks similar to the one for clue, enough that the casual passerby will think that is the game you’re playing. But the mechanics of the game are a bit different. You still have room cards and weapon cards as per the original game but instead of suspect cards you have movement cards and failure cards.

Each player has a token that represents them and there is another token that represents dr. lucky. This is important because in this game “line of sight” matters. That is your token can “see” though open doorways that line up into other rooms as can other player’s tokens. This is important because if you can be seen you are not allowed to make an attempt on dr. lucky (who must be in the same room with you).

If however, you are alone with dr. lucky and no one can see you, you can play a weapon card to attack him. Each weapon has an attack value and some weapons are more dangerous when used in certain rooms (like the rope in the balcony). At this point each player has one chance and one chance only to either play a failure card or pass. The failure cards represent random events that happen to stop the murder. Each card has a value as well. If all the failure cards add up to or exceed the attack value of the weapon then the attempt fails and it is the next player’s turn.

Other then attacking the doctor you can also make a single move from one room to another. Room and movement cards allow you to augment your movement or move dr. lucky to put yourself in a better position to make an attempt on him.

Alternatively, if you don’t play any cards and you end up in a named room (hallways aren’t named) then you can search the room for something useful. IOW you may draw a card.

Conclusion

The game is a lot of fun. Most of the weapons and random events are fairly silly (one of the weapons is a runcible spoon) making for a light-hearted game that doesn’t require too much thought. While I haven’t covered all the rules here it is a fairly easy game to pick up and play. Also, It’s nice given the range of players that can play it (3 to 7).

A number of versions of this game have come out over the years. There is the original game which comes in a medium-sized envelope. The Director’s Cut which comes in thin cardboard box and the “nice” version which is full color (the other versions are not colored) and comes in a standard box like the one clue comes in.

While it would be tempting to get the “nice” version of this game I would recommend getting the director’s cut if you can find it. The reason is that the director’s cut comes with 2 boards instead of just 1. The 2nd board that it comes with is a mansion with more rooms and allows for a 10 player game. The other 2 versions of the game only come with the original board meaning you can only play up to 7 players.

I’ve played the full color “nice” version of the game and I have to say I was actually disappointed with it. The artwork actually makes it difficult to read the room names and the pieces that it comes with are really bland and generic. While it’s true that the other 2 games don’t come with pieces at all I have a set of the knight’s of the dinner table pewter miniatures that I use. I like this particular set because all of the characters are wearing modern clothing making them fit right in with the game.

There is also an “expansion” for the color game that adds Dr. Lucky’s dog. This is yet another reason to get the director’s cut if you can as that version comes with the rules for playing the game with Dr. Lucky’s dog. What’s more the director’s cut is cheaper than the color game, much less the color game + the expansion.

The game is a lot of fun and in many ways has become a classic of its own.


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