Kill Doctor Lucky 19.5th Edition (Open Beta)
MFG: Cheapass Games
#of Players: 3-8
Age Range: 12+
Overall Construction: Because this is a Beta Version of the game and not a Final Print copy, the copy I have may not be what you get, so these are the things I hope they keep.
First off this copy came to me in a plain white box with a shipping label on it. If you know Cheapass Games then you know that their Original products came in utilitarian white boxes or white envelopes with minimal, but fun artwork on them.
Next the Cards. The cards are just printed paper stock just like the original game from 1996. There is currently no artwork on the back of the cards. The one thing I really enjoy about the cards is that they have integrated the Room Cards & the Move Cards into one.
The mover & Dr. Lucky tokens are just like the kind they have traditionally recommended you use. They look like a mish-mash of random tokens stolen from other games. The orange token in my set is just two Lego-esque pieces that are stacked on one another.
Lastly, and the one thing I would slightly modify is the game board. I like that it came in 4 cardboard panels with a slightly modified version of the 1996 version of the KDL board. What I would do to modify this slightly is to use separate panels, but out of a slightly stronger material. I found it difficult to pick up the Panels from the table. Basically, instead of a traditional quad-fold board like what was used in the 1996 version, I say make panels out of the same material that just slide up against each other.
Gameplay: There are some aspects of the new game I really enjoy. They got rid of the Spite tokens from the 1996 version of the game. The combined the Room & Move cards into one. The line of sight has changed slightly. The Drawing of cards has one major twist.
Basically each player gets a token with corresponding 2 sided character card, 6 cards dealt to them after it is determined where Dr. Lucky starts, and they all start in The Foyer. Each player gets 1 free move. They can also use as many Movement/Room cards as you’d like to advance your pawn closer to Dr. Lucky. They can also be used to teleport you to the room listed on the card. Unlike other versions of KDL, you cannot stop in the hallways, so they do not count towards your movement.
During your turn you can also attempt to kill Dr. Lucky. Remember that you can’t kill Dr. Lucky if someone is in Line Of Sight. To kill the Dr., all you have to do is declare the attack and if you are going to use weapons declare that too. At this point other people can play failures. The new way of doing failures is to start at the Killer’s left and work your way around until you get the needed amount of Fail. It appears that Failure is more than just failure. Failure can be caused by anything with a shamrock on it. In this way any card that has shamrocks on it can be used for failure.
Finally you can collect a new card. In past editions, if you were in a named room and you hadn’t played any Movement or Room cards or made any murder attempts you could draw a card. In this version you have to be alone with no one in line of sight, not even Dr. Lucky, to be able to search for weapons in the room you’re in.
When everything is said and done you want to be the one to Kill Dr. Lucky.
Yes/No Recommend: If you get a chance to contribute and/or buy a copy of the 20th Anniversary Edition of this game, DO IT!. It harkens back to the Original Kill Dr. Lucky with all of its simplicity. I even enjoyed all of the changes they have made to the game. I like how they added extra stairwells, formerly un-numbered rooms have been numbered, and some useless rules have been cut out to help streamline gameplay. The alternate room usage based on the number of players is great. The fact that you have to wait until you’re completely alone to search for an item in a room prevents people from pacing a hall and building up cards.
There are 2 things that came up during play that I think would be interesting side rules. My players thought it would be fun to be able to use move cards to move other players and wanted an option to kill other players. Other than that you have an amazing game.
Where To Get It: As of Oct. 13, 2015 the 20th Anniversary Edition of this game will be up on Kickstarter.