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Save Doctor Lucky
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Store:  Family Games
Series:  Doctor Lucky
Theme:  Humorous
Format:  Board Games

Save Doctor Lucky

boxed edition

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 60 minutes 3-7

Designer(s): James Ernest

Manufacturer(s): Cheapass Games

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Product Description

Save Doctor Lucky is the "prequel" to Kill Doctor Lucky, the most popular Cheapass Game of all time. If you don't already have that game, you should reach out and grab it right now. If you can't, don't worry. Save Doctor Lucky is a complete game in itself.

In Save Doctor Lucky, players are passengers on a sinking ship. You have one goal: to hand Doctor Lucky your life jacket while someone else is watching. Players rush from deck to deck trying to find helpful tools, and trying not to watch each other. But as the ship sinks, the board grows smaller, bringing Doctor Lucky and the passengers together into the few remaining decks.

Save Doctor Lucky was listed in GAMES Magazine's top 100 games of the year 2000, and in some ways we think it's better than the original. Look for the limited expansion, Save Doctor Lucky on Moon Base Copernicus!

Product Information

  • Designer(s): James Ernest

  • Manufacturer(s): Cheapass Games

  • Artist(s): Damon Brown

  • Year: 2000

  • Players: 3 - 7

  • Time: 60 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 194 grams

  • In order to play Save Doctor Lucky, you will have to provide Pawns for every player, plus one master Pawn.

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.2 in 4 reviews

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Saving the Dr. makes gaming worthwhile
March 19, 2001

Great sequel to Kill Doctor Lucky actually improves on the former. There are 4 decks to the ship and the deck of cards is split into four. Drawing from the lower deck (of cards) at first, once it is exhausted, that deck (of the ship) sinks and players on it must move up a deck (of the ship) and start drawing from the next deck (of cards).

With a sinking (!) amount of space, the chances of being seen to save the Doctor get better as the game goes on, but if you leave it until too late, everyone drowns!

This mechanism greatly improves on Kill Doctor Lucky, which can get a little slow.

And more players make Save Doctor Lucky even better.

We much prefer this game to the original. I only await the Lusitania expansion....

He's the King of the World....
May 31, 2000

Save Dr. Lucky is the game that all Kill Dr. Lucky fans have been waiting for. It will take you a few games before you get used to the new way of playing an old favourite. The main changes are:

  1. You need to have at least one witness to save the Dr.
  2. The room and move cards have been combined. A card will allow you to jump to a room or be used as a move 2, for example.
  3. There are no more stairways.
  4. The boat is sinking, so the board will get smaller and smaller. This alone caused quite a few chuckles....

If you have played Kill Dr. Lucky, you'll find yourself constantly looking for the Big Red Hammer and the Civil War Cannon. You'll also be trying to get away from everyone else to do him in.... The optional drinking game rules are a hoot, and one of our players would have had to down quite a lot last night. All in all, a funny, very accessible game that only gets better, and, in this case, easier, with more players.

Die, die... oops, live, live!
May 23, 2000

My mother always complains that 'all these games seem to be about killing people.' Well, here's a game I can play with mom. This time nobody's out to Kill Doctor Lucky with the monkey claw--nope, we all want to save him with a rabbit's foot!

Set on the sinking Titanic, Save Doctor Lucky uses most of the same mechanisms seen in Kill Doctor Lucky, plus a new twist. Similar to the original, players roam around the doomed ship looking for aids to help Doctor Lucky get safely from board and trying to get into position to save him. But instead of trying to get the good doctor alone in order to do him in, everyone is trying to attempt to save him in sight of another player, thus becoming the big hero. This makes the game move a little faster than the original, since being near one other player is much easier than getting away from all other players. Now the cool new twist: the ship/board is divided into four decks which eventually become submerged one by one during the game. As the decks disappear people become crowded together in the upper decks, making save attemps even easier and more numerous!

If you've played Kill Doctor Lucky and were frustrated with the length of the game or the down time between murder attempts, you'll be pleased with the new mechanism here. The theme really works well too: you can see the game progress as the lower decks are removed and just as the ship starts to go down everyone starts making wild save attempts. The rescue aids are just as funny as the weapons in the original game and the graphics on the cards are even better. I can highly recommend this little game to Cheapass fans and newcomers. You have to provide your own game pieces, and it's not chess, but it is great fun!!

Save Yourself from This!
July 31, 2001

I have enjoyed many of the Cheapass games but find that this one is really a waste of time. The problem is the movement rules. The rules allow for a player to move to a room and 'snoop' to get a card. The turn order is interupted by the appearance of Dr. Lucky in a room. If Dr. Lucky happens to be in your room, then it is your turn. So what this leads to is: 1) I move here and snoop (take a card). 2. Oh, there is Dr. Lucky again in the room with me, so it's my turn again. 3. So I will snoop into the next room and get a card. Oh, there Dr. Lucky is again, and I get another turn. 4. This time I will play a move two card in order to get into the room that Dr. Lucky will next enter. Oops, I guess it's my turn. Ad Nauseum.

Where are the other players in all this. Sitting there wishing (at least in my case) they were playing a game with true player interaction and better turn sequencing. I remember going an entire 20 minutes without it being my turn. So why, then, should I even play?

So my last (as in ever) game of this awful design ended up with me sinking the ship and being hounded for sinking the ship when I still had save cards in my hand. Yes, I had one save card, but the person next to me had half the deck in his hand, and another person had the other half. So I play my one save, which gets properly canceled, and then the person sitting next to me plays a save, which is canceled by the other player. This degenerates into a 2-person card game.

In response to the complaints that I ended the game too early, I say, "Maybe you should not have taken half the deck while the rest of us were watching."

Anyway, if I could give it less than one, I would.

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