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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

includes ...And His Little Dog Too! expansion

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 40 minutes 3-7

Designer(s): James Ernest

Publisher(s): Titanic Games

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Product Description

The Origins Award–winning board game from Cheapass Games comes to your gaming table in a new full-color, high-quality deluxe edition featuring components on par with the best European board games.

Kill Doctor Lucky pits 3 to 7 players against each other in a race to see who can kill Doctor Lucky. The trick is that all the other players want to do it first and will stop at nothing to prevent you from having the pleasure. And the old doctor has earned his nickname well: he's got more lives than Rasputin and an uncanny knack for dodging your best traps. But his luck can't last forever. Before the game is over, someone is going to kill Doctor Lucky -- wouldn't you rather it were you?

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.

This new edition now includes the "...And His Little Dog Too!" expansion -- three rules variants that feature Doctor Lucky's dog, Shamrock. He's just as lucky as his master and has an annoying habit of making you feel fond of him. It also has cardboard characters with stands instead of wooden pawns.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): James Ernest

  • Publisher(s): Titanic Games

  • Year: 2009

  • Players: 3 - 7

  • Time: 40 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 1,090 grams


  • 1 full-color game board
  • 1 deck of 96 full-color cards
  • 1 full-color rule book
  • 30 spite tokens
  • pawns and stands for 7 players, Doctor Lucky, and his dog

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.7 in 16 reviews

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by Greg J. Schloesser
Who knew killing the eccentric doctor could be fun?
November 04, 2010

Designer: James Ernest
Publisher: Titanic Games
3 – 7 Players, 1 hour
Review by: Greg J. Schloesser

NOTE: This review was first published in Knucklebones magazine

“You have hated Doctor Lucky for as long as you can remember, and you’ve secretly been awaiting this perfect chance to take the old man out.” So begins the tale of Kill Doctor Lucky, the quirky game from designer James Ernest and his own Titanic Games. The objective is brutal: kill the old codger. The problem is that he is one of the luckiest curmudgeons on the planet, and has an incredible knack for escaping mortal danger time and again.

Formerly released by Cheapass Games, Kill Doctor Lucky uses a setting familiar to anyone who has ever played the classic game of Clue. A party has assembled at Dr. Lucky’s mansion. Unlike Clue, however, there is no body … yet. Here, the setting is a step earlier, as players are all attempting to kill the good doctor. Players will move to different rooms in the mansion, hoping to corner the doctor and commit the dastardly deed. Murder attempts are conducted via card play, and usually utilize a variety of strange weapons, including duck decoys, shoehorns, and even a tight hat. Most attempts, however, are doomed to fail, as all players have the opportunity to play “failure” cards in order to thwart the attempt.

Over two-dozen rooms, hallways and staircases of the doctor’s palatial mansion are displayed on the board. 19 of these rooms are sequentially numbered, which will regulate the doctor’s normal end-of-turn movement. Players assemble in the Drawing Room and begin with a handful of cards, which are an assortment of room, movement, weapon and failure cards.

A player’s turn is quite simple, and involves moving – either himself or Dr. Lucky – and possibly making a murder attempt. A player may play any combination of movement and room cards to move, with room cards transporting the player or doctor to the listed room. In addition, a player may move one space for free, either at the beginning or end of his movement. The objective is to position oneself in a room with Doctor Lucky as the only other occupant, and outside of the line of sight of any other player. If this is accomplished, the player may attempt to do-in the old man.

Murder attempts are made by playing a weapon card. Each weapon card has a value, but this value can be increased dramatically if the weapon is used in the listed room. Thus, one of the main objectives is to maneuver the good doctor to a room wherein a weapon can be more effective. A player may attempt a murder without playing a weapon card, but the attempt, which amounts to little more than a poke in the eyes, has minimal value.

In clockwise order, each player then has the opportunity to help foil the attempt by playing one or more “failure” cards. Each failure card has a value ranging from 1 – 3, and the idea is for the players to collectively play enough of these cards to equal or exceed the value of the murder attempt. If successful, the murder attempt fails, the failure cards are removed from the game, and the player attempting the murder receives a spite token as compensation. Spite tokens can be accumulated and used to enhance the value of a future murder attempt, or the value of a failure card. There is an abundance of failure cards in the deck, but these will gradually be depleted as the game progresses. Thus, early murder attempts will often meet with failure, but eventually players will not have enough failure cards to thwart an attempt. The old doctor will be slain … eventually.

At the end of a player’s turn, Dr. Lucky moves to the next room in sequential order. If he encounters another player in that room, the turn order immediately jumps to that player, possibly skipping over other players. Players can use this rule to their advantage, as there are several locations on the board wherein a player can possibly execute several turns in succession.

If a player opts to not play any cards or make a murder attempt, he may instead draw a card into his hand. The wise player will properly pace his actions so as to keep a steady supply of cards flowing into his hand.

The game concludes when someone successfully kills Dr. Lucky. There is no denying that the game is fun at first, and the quirky text on the failure cards is quite humorous. However, the ultimate goal of killing the doctor takes a bit too long, and the “pass the buck” aspect when attempting to foil a murder attempt is fragile. In spite of its flaws, Kill Doctor Lucky is still a fun, albeit morbid, ride.

The opposite of Clue, but much more fun!
October 01, 2007

In Clue you have to find out who killed Mr. Body with what weapon in what room. In this game you have to get Doctor Lucky in privacy, find a weapon and kill him!

Seems simple enough, but it can be quite difficult. We laughed out loud and had quite a great time with this game. I foresee many more nights of killing the Good Doctor in our future.

Our first game took an hour and a half, but it was because we did not realize the strategy quick enough. This game will usually be 45 minutes.

Great game that is quite fun.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
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.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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