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

Kill Doctor Lucky

Director's Cut

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 60 minutes 2-8

Designer(s): James Ernest, Rick Fish

Manufacturer(s): Cheapass Games

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Product Description

The Director's Cut is here! Kill Doctor Lucky: Director's Cut is a new twist on the old favorite, including funnier Failure Cards, an extra game board, and an expanded rulebook featuring director's commentary from James Ernest. Don't worry, we haven't changed a thing about the original game. We've just added a bunch of new features to make you seriously consider buying it all over again.

Why do all mystery games start just after all the fun is over?

Welcome to the J. Robert Lucky mansion, a sprawling country estate just ten miles north of nowhere. It's a fine country home, chock full of unusual weapons, good hiding places, and craven killers. Killers like you.

The object? Kill Doctor Lucky. Find a weapon, track the old man down, and do him in. The obstacles? For one thing, all of your friends would rather do it first. For another, Doctor Lucky is aptly named. You would think that after being stabbed, hung, poisoned, and poked in the eye, the Old Doctor would just lie down and accept his fate. But he's got more lives than Rasputin, and an uncanny knack for dodging your best traps.

Stick to it. Persevere. The Doctor's luck won't last forever. Before the night is over, someone is going to kill Doctor Lucky. And it might as well be you.

Game Synopsis: Everyone starts in the Drawing room, and everyone wants to kill Doctor Lucky. Players move around the mansion looking for weapons and trying to catch the old man alone. Trying to kill the Doctor is pretty easy, but every other player can play Failure cards to stop you. Doctor Lucky's luck runs out eventually, though, and you just hope you can catch him when it does.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): James Ernest, Rick Fish

  • Manufacturer(s): Cheapass Games

  • Year: 2002

  • Players: 2 - 8

  • Time: 60 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 200 grams

  • All-Time Sales Rank: #245

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


  • Game Board (8 sections)
  • 96 cards
  • Rule Book

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.7 in 14 reviews

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Excellent with one change
August 26, 2001

Kill Dr. Lucky is a quick but fun game to be played with just about any group of people you know.

Everyone wants to kill Dr. Lucky. That's the easy part.

The only correction the game needs is the following rule: If at any time Dr. Lucky would give an extra turn (he lands in the room with a person in it), the player only gets the turn when NO ONE else is in that room. This keeps the game from being one person's romp around the board, getting all the cards in the deck, as has happened before this rule went into effect in my playgroup.

Funass game
July 30, 2001

I was going back and forth between a four and five star review. I enjoy the game very much, and I feel that the moderate amount of movement card strategy enhances the simple mechanics. The game is, however, highly luck based and prone to extended (at least for this type of game) playing times when players try to be too strategic. My choice of a five star rating comes down to the fact that I have played this game with a wide range of people (from serious gamers to non-gamers), and all have enjoyed it tremendously. Definitely worth picking up.

Fantastic Game
June 18, 2001

If you're just now looking into Cheapass Games to add to your collection, Kill Dr. Lucky is the place to start. Easily one of the most popular games I play, there are enough variants to come up with to keep this game going all night, if that's your desire.

I only wish they would have printed the cards on higher stock, like the cards in Save Dr. Lucky. I suppose if you so desired, you could have them laminated. And the new boxes are GREAT. I highly recommend.

Family game of hunting down a dim-witted old man
May 09, 2001

For fans of Clue, this game is a must. You don't go around looking for evidence to figure out who killed the old man. No, you go around, scrounging up weapons, and try to bump him off at every chance you get.

You and the other players wander around stately Lucky Manor, gathering weapons and generally slunking about while the blissfully ignorant Dr. Lucky (who is tragically lacking in pattern recognition skills) putters about, gleefully unaware of his impending demise.

If you wind up in a room with the good Doctor, and no one else can see you, you can try to kill him. But, cosarn it, they don't call him Lucky for his snappy fashion sense. Thanks to your opponents, your murder attempts will likely fail, but eventually, his luck does run out.

The beauty of this game is in its simplicity. Nothing is too complicated about it, and it has one of my all time favorite elements mixed in: Extra turns. When the Doctor stumbles into a room with you, it becomes your turn. A lot of the time, this will result in people taking several turns in a row, but this is temporary.

I can't say it's a good mystery game, since it's not a mystery at all. But it is a good Noir Crime game, and how many games can you say that about?

A darned good game for a casual group.
November 04, 2002

I picked this up on a whim from the folks here at This was a great game for gamer geeks to include the rest of the family in. We added the wives and we had a blast.

Everything about the game impressed me. The price, the well explained rules, the packaging, the concept, etc. I think the strategy will get better as more players are added. We only had 4.

Of course, everyone likes to tell you what they would add. My input would be an extra set of cards to 'Close a door' You can play this card to close any door in the room in order to perform the deed, as long as no one is in the 'adjoining' room. This way, when people look 'through' several rooms, they won't necessarily be able to 'see' the act committed.

All in all... A GREAT game. Anyone that says they were disappointed should just spend their money on a pack of cigarettes. It's about the same cost.

by Marc
Small price + innovative concept = Kill Doctor Lucky.
June 19, 2002

This game is really the only game from Cheapass Games next to Witch Trial that ever interested me enough to buy a Cheapass game. The game came in 6 sections that I ended up gluing onto a wooden board that I cut to the specifications of the board size. (which was listed in the instructions)This is not an 'in depth' strategy type game, more so a fun abstract strategy game that I've introduced to both serious and non-serious gamers. Both groups seemed to like this one for a 'light gaming' style game. I personally think it is such an interesting twist on the game 'Clue' by Parker Brothers in that the game ends when the crime is committed, not when it's solved. The object not being to solve the crime, but to commit it. I would not recommend this one for children, rather for more mature audiences who can handle its 'bit out there' theme. For a fun 'light gaming' evening I'd say Kill Doctor Lucky is the ticket.

Comical Killing
September 03, 2000

This funny 'pre-murder mystery' has you running through the mansion of a man who is lucky enough to have many people trying to kill him. The tricky part is getting the guy away from his other 'guests' so that you can get rid of him--with whatever is at hand: a knife, a piece of rope, a Civil War Cannon, or even a TIGHT HAT (???). The luck of the cards often outweighs the strategy. It's simple, comical, and is a good quick game.

Flawed but always fun...
December 19, 1999

Kill Doctor Lucky is almost always a fun game, because of the built-in mechanics of lying. Players have to work together to keep other players from winning, but it's in each player's best interest to try and make their partners do more of the work. So people end up lying about how many preventative cards they have, and people accuse other people of lying, and it's a lot of fun.

There are some problems with the game mechanics, though. It's a little too easy for unlucky players to be shut out of the game entirely. The game is structured so that it's possible for turns to be skipped, and while a canny player can use these rules to give themself many turns in a row, some people can be shut out of the game almost entirely. So, it's a very fun game, but no classic.

How can I get him before everyone else?
April 14, 1999

All the intrigue and strategy of Clue, but add some comedic mayhem, and you have Kill Doctor Lucky. This is not the typical 'It was Mr. Mustard, with the Knife, in the Conservatory' game. More like 'Im gonna off the old geezer in the Lancaster Room with this Duck Decoy!'

The goal of eliminating Doctor Lucky is easy in theory, but difficult in practice. First, youve got to corner the guy so no one sees you (cant have any witnesses), and hes just so darn lucky! This is due to the fact that everyone else is trying to protect him so they can kill him. Each player in turn moves around the house, room by room, picking up Clues (drawing cards) and gets into position for the wandering Doctor Lucky. The cards may include Move (for additional movement), a Room (to teleport to a specified room), a Weapon (for a greater chance of killing Doc), or a Failure (which you play on other players to stop them). However, Doctor Luckys luck eventually runs out, because the Failure cards are not recycled into the draw pile.

The components are the typical functional Cheapass fare in black and white, with players providing some required ordinary pieces. However, if you still enjoy the old classic family games, but want some added flavor, Kill Doctor Lucky should do it nicely. Also, for variety, you can get an entirely different game board to play on with the Craigdarroch expansion.

Creative, but not Great
February 24, 2005

Kill Dr. Lucky is a decent game; certainly not a mainstay of game night, but not bad to play every once in a while.

Everyone is in a mansion trying to kill Dr. Lucky. The thing is, you have to be in the same room as Dr. Lucky, and you have to be out of sight from the other players to attempt to kill him. And Dr. Lucky moves around quickly. After every players' turn, Lucky moves to his next appointed move. So he can get upstairs in a hurry. There are cards (room cards) to help you get from one end of the building to the other (or move Lucky to your end) on one turn, but if you don't draw those, you have to plan out your moves carefully.

In addition to the room cards, there are weapons cards and failure cards. When you get in the same room as Lucky, and out of site of others, you can try killing him with your weapon, which has a certain point value on it (say, 4). If you have no weapon card, you can just try poking his eyes out (value: 1). Then, starting with the player on your left, the rest of the group has to come up with as many failure points as your weapon card to save Lucky's life and keep the game going. Failure cards range from 1-3. So, four players could each play a failure card worth 1 to stop the weapon card of 4 to stop you.

The tricky thing is, players can't discuss what failure cards, if any, they have. Also, they don't have to play failure cards if they don't want to. So typically the first couple of players will pass and put the onus on the last few players to use all their failure cards. Obviously, the more you drain the rest of the group of their cards, the better chance you have of winning.

I find that the game often ends before everyone uses up all their failure cards. The reason is this: let's say there are 5 players playing. One person is attempting the kill with a weapon worth 3 points. The first two players on the left pass, the third player decides to chip in 1 point, figuring the last player has 2 points to stop him. But if the last player doesn't have 2 failure points, the game is over. So really, the game could end quite quickly.

One problem we have had is that we have a stubborn player in our group. For identity's sake, we'll call him Jake. If Jake is last in line to stop the failure, he will tell the other players that if they don't pitch in failure cards, then he won't stop the murder (thus ending the game). To combat Jake's attitude, we adopted two rules: 1) we enforced the no- talking rule; and 2) we decided that if that last player can stop the murder, he must stop it.

That type of thing is the only major drawback to this game, really. The major advantage is that the game plays very quickly. Because I had to explain in words how the game works, I did not do the speed of the game justice. Players get turns quickly and often, which is good since players' turns can often get skipped (if Dr. Lucky lands in a room with a player, it is automatically that player's turn).

I think the box says the game takes 45 minutes to play. This is probably accurate if everyone is pitching in with their failure cards, but our games tend to go much shorter when players gamble and leave it up to the last ones in line to stop murders. (Really, this is kind of a dumb strategy because what are those cards for, but to stop other players?! You can't use them to win the game, only to stop others from winning, so there's no reason to hord all your failure cards). But if the game goes quite long, it can get tedious. Kind of a typical Cheapass game.

It didn't quite work for me.
August 21, 2003

I am not sure, but I think the problem I have with this game is one part of the game mechanism. If seems to work well in a large group, where the presence of witnesses blocks many attacks, and it seems to work OK in a small group. However, with 5 players or so, there is a problem - the winner tends to be the one whose turn it is right after the failure cards run out.

The best way around that is to count the number of failure cards already played, which allows players to use some strategy, instead of letting the game be determined by luck, but I feel this is a flaw in the mechanism.

Still, given how inexpensive the game is, it is not a bad buy...not bad at all.

by Loki
A tedious disappointment
August 05, 2002

I had heard that this is one of the best Cheapass Games out there. I found it to be a fabulous idea with tedious gameplay. It seems like there are just far too many Failure cards, and that half the game will be taken up just walking around trying to get rid of them all. Perhaps I'd enjoy it more if there were less (something I should try).

I find Witch Trial, Devil Bunny Needs a Ham, The Great Brain Robbery, and Fight City far more than this one.

How to win
February 13, 2002

Early in the game, pick up as many cards as possible. Refuse to play any to save Dr. Lucky. Late in the game you will have enough cards to prevent anyone else from killing him, while the other players hands will be too depleted to stop you. If several people figure out this strategy, the game will, at least, end much sooner when, by chance, the final player who could stop the killing has none of the right cards.

Less fun than washing dishes
February 02, 2002

Of the games I've picked up in the last year, Kill Dr. Lucky was the biggest disappointment. Given the very positive reviews here on Funagain, the Origin awards the game picked up, and the fact that I love Witch Trial (another James Ernest design), I thought it would be a good, light game. What we got instead was about 90 minutes of grueling boredom. One player went without a turn for so long that she got up and started washing dishes rather than watch the rest of us play. Even apart from the lengthy periods of time you can go without a turn due to the movement mechanisms, the game really requires serious effort from the players (in the form of playing as quickly as possible, since nothing much happens on any given turn) to maintain any reasonable interest level. To me it seems fundamentally broken. The designers even include suggestions to make it play faster at the end of the rules, which suggests the type of response they must have received from at least some play-testers and purchasers.

Still, we are considering playing the game again, with one rule modification: using the movement and room cards to move not only your own pawn or Dr. Lucky, but any other player as well. It seems like there might not be enough movement and room cards for this to work effectively, but we think it would lead to a much more interactive game with less down time between turns.

The wit of the cards (though still inferior to Witch Trial) is really the only thing keeping this from getting a one-star review, and the only thing leading us to consider playing it again.

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