Gather the cards you need to execute the perfect murder through a combination of luck and some scheming in this great card-game version of the classic Kill Doctor Lucky.
|Get Lucky||Cheapass Games||Card Game|
In The Box
We can easily fall in love with board games that come packaged in boxes so large you might mistake them for refrigerators, but we tend to come back to simplicity. The essence of what makes games great is the almost infinite variety one can conjure up with nothing more than a stack of cards. Get Lucky is a paragon of simplicity, and no wonder it’s from Cheapass Games, a company constantly reminding us that no amount of components or complexity can take the place of a good idea. You’ll find 72 quality cards in the box, plus one plastic token that represents the Old Man himself, Doctor Lucky. Quality cards came standard thanks to generous and plentiful Kickstarter backers–your faithful DCG crew among them! A Doctor Lucky mini was snagged by a few backers to upgrade their pawn, or some may have opted for the Doctor Lucky coins.
Get Lucky demolished several fundraising goals and ended up a really nice production. You won’t find higher quality cards anywhere and the graphics from Israel Evans and James Ernest are fantastic. It’s a testament to the golden age of gaming we seem to be occupying right now that a game like this can go from concept to distribution so quickly and still end up being such a top shelf production. But enough about the physical product…how does the darn thing play?
How It Plays
Quite nicely, as it turns out. While Get Lucky is a spiritual successor to the classic Cheapass board game Kill Doctor Lucky, you don’t need to have played the first game to appreciate this new entry. Get Lucky does share the same objective, which is to be the first player to murder Doctor Lucky. It’s less gruesome than you might think, with some silly motives like Sloppy Paint Job (“Doctor Lucky showed up and frankly did a pretty poor job on the window trim…And for this he must die.”) and crazy weapons like Frozen Fish (“While working as a deckhand about the F/V Alaskan Wind you learned how devastating a well-frozen haddock can be.”). But don’t let the farce fool you, because this is absolutely a game about calculated murder.
Think about a game of Go Fish, where players attempt to take cards away from opponents and keep track of what cards others are seeking. Get Lucky has a similar feel in the sense that other players are usually holding cards you’d like in your own hand. These cards circulate by being attached to characters, adding point values that factor into murder attempts on Doctor Lucky. Characters can move around during the game as they’re discarded or drafted by players, but they keep any attached points. Doctor Lucky is always moving around the board, visiting players who can choose the perfect moment to stage an attack. Killing the doctor sounds deceptively simple: You declare your murder attempt and other players must rally to play cards that reduce your character’s point value to zero. If they fail, you win.
All the interaction between players makes the 4-6 person game really appealing. Playing with 2-3 will give you a feel for the game but we’d recommend seeking out a bigger group for the fun of having more characters in the game and more murder attempts. Just building up your hand is the first layer of strategy, but a deeper layer is thinking about the cards being discarded or played by your opponents. Get Lucky is a great addition to the Doctor Lucky oeuvre (is there such a thing?) and manages to be quick fun without sacrificing strategy and the suspense of a good whodunit.
Get Lucky feels like a game of Clue that got mashed up with Mad Magazine, full of zany characters and their equally zany weapons, motives, and opportunities. There’s more than just luck at work here, so strategic play is definitely rewarded.
Waiting too long to attempt a murder means you may use up valuable cards to prevent another player from winning. Unlike most games, Get Lucky feels faster with a bigger group since people are always trying to kill Doctor Lucky.