Kill Doctor Lucky – A Game of Murder reviews the 19.5th Anniversay Edition of a classic game from Cheapass Games.

KIll Doctor Lucky 1It is hard to believe that the first edition of “Kill Doctor Lucky” was released nearly 20 years ago. But now, Cheapass Games has a new version of the original game. They even made a few changes (better in our opinion) to the basic rules and Doctor Lucky also now has a cat named “Patience,” who can impact the game in a very unique way.

For those unfamiliar with “Kill Doctor Lucky,” it is a game intended for 3-8 players and is suggested for ages 12 years old and up. The object of the game is to be the player who kills Doctor Lucky, but he must be found alone and there are many rooms in the Lucky Mansion.

Kill Doctor Lucky 2To set things up for the basic game, each player receives a pawn and matching character card. All players meet (start) in the Drawing Room, which is centrally located in Lucky Mansion. Doctor Lucky starts in the nearby Gallery. There are a total of 24 different rooms represented on the game board. There are also 72 game cards, including move cards, failure cards and weapon cards. Depending on the number of players, a total of 5 or 6 cards are dealt to each player.

Players will alternate turns by using game cards to move their character from room to room, looking for opportunities to kill Doctor Lucky. During a player’s turn, game cards are generally replenished, but only one at a time. In order to make an attempt on taking out Doctor Lucky, a player must be in a room alone with Doctor Lucky such that no other player can see you using site lines from elsewhere in the mansion. If an attempt is made (maybe using a weapon card to increase strength), it can be successful or a failure. Strength is the key to killing Doctor Lucky and winning the game, but remember the other players want to kill Doctor Lucky as well, and they will use certain of their game cards to block any murder attempt. The player attempting to murder Doctor Lucky will compare his strength against the combined strength of game cards submitted by all opponents to determine the outcome.

Kill Doctor Lucky 3Every time a player is unsuccessful on a murder attempt, he does gain additional strength, making him a more formidable attacker next time around. But Doctor Lucky is constantly on the move. Although he does follow a pre-determined path, so that players always know where is heading, finding him alone and not in a site line can be difficult. If a player does successfully kill Doctor Lucky, the game ends and that player is declared the winner. A typical game can be completed in less than 30 minutes too.

“Killing Doctor Lucky” also offers several game variations including an alternate game board, pet tokens, and special two-player game rules. There is even a version where Doctor Lucky turns the tables and tries to kill the players, but the players are not allowed to kill him. Cheapass Games seems to have thought of everything, and “Killing Doctor Lucky” continues to be a particular favorite of the staff at Toys Bulletin. It certainly belongs on your permanent game shelf.

“Killing Doctor Lucky” retails for $40.00 and can be purchased at the Funagain Games website.

–RJ Cullen




Posted in Board Games