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OverBoard Reviews: Kill Doctor Lucky

December 4, 2013

I worked a shift at my local Board Game Cafe, Knight Moves. So I got the chance to sift through the board game library.

It had been a long time since I had played “Kill Doctor Lucky”, so I picked it out of the collection to refresh my memory. In a twist on Clue, you’re all out to kill a wealthy old man, the problem is he’s not dead, and he’s actually pretty sturdy.

In fact, early on, you feebly try and strangle the old codger with your bare hands upwards of five or six times. You’re not terribly subtle about it, but he just won’t die.

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Mechanically, it’s half hand management and half puzzle. To make a murder attempt, you must be in a room out of line of sight of all other players. You’ll do this either with clever positioning or movement cards. When you get the chance to make an attempt on Lucky’s life, you must have an attack value greater than the fail value of cards other players can play against you.

The clever bit is that a failed murder attempt is not all bad. When you fail an attempt, you get a spite token. Every spite token increases your attack value by one.

So you gain finger strength as this aging superman drags you from room to room as you impotently dangle from his neck. Some day he will succumb to the sheer weight of your hatred for him.

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And that brings me to the funniest part of this game. Mechanically, a player must be the one to kill Doctor Lucky in order to win, but thematically it reads that all characters benefit from his death. (i.e. standing in the way of family fortune, competing company, etc)

Doctor Lucky is standing in your way to something, and once he’s gone, you’ll get it. But this isn’t a cooperative game, no. It means that whatever this old man has done, you need to be there when he dies, when you choke that last pick of life from his frail form. Apparently we’re supposed to play psychopaths that need to look into Doctor Lucky’s eyes, so he knows that it was you that killed him. With a shoehorn.

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