Doctor, Doctor, gimme the news…

It was 2019 sometime and I had been perusing the ‘gram. I had seen a game, Doctor! Doctor!, on a page I have been following for a while. I often screenshot games I want to check out later and usually forget about said game as it gets buried deeper and deeper in my phone’s picture gallery. Every so often, as I scroll through memories, memes, and whatever nonsensical, context-less thing I needed to capture at the time, I have an “Oh, yeah” moment as these games pop back up. Such was the case shortly before PAX Unplugged 2019 and I made a small list of games I was hoping to find while there. I honestly cannot remember what was on that list, but Doctor! Doctor! was and, about a day into the convention, I realized I should probably see if its publisher, Indie Boards and Cards, was also attending. They were! And there I was marching toward their booth

The booth was within eyesight. I started to say, “I hope they have the game I want” but hardly made it through the sentence before spotting the game displayed directly toward me, as if they had notice of my impending arrival. My next attempted sentence, “I wonder how much…,” found me reaching for my wallet mid stride. I have literally never had such a quick transaction at any FLGS or game booth. I am fairly certain no words were said. Money was exchanged and I was gone as quickly as I had appeared. I sat at a table with my friends, read the rules, played the game…and it was really, really, dumb amounts of fun.




Doctor! Doctor!
is a dexterity based game, a spiritual successor to Operation, and is a mixture of your own skill, chosen difficulty and a race against the clock. The game is far from brain surgery but fine motor skills are definitely required, and probably a bit of luck. The game largely revolves around a stack of double-sided procedure cards of four different shapes, each shape depicting either heart, lungs, brain or bone. On one side of each card is the procedure itself. Listed for each procedure are the particular cards that must be removed from the patient, victory points earned for completing the procedure, and a number of blood pressure cubes, which I will come back to. Three of these procedure cards are drawn, procedure side up, to create the procedure row. The box’s insert is placed upside down to become the operating table.

To prep the patient, the remaining procedure cards are stacked face down on top of the insert and spun around every which way to create a haphazard tower. The patient body card is placed on top of the whole pile. Players are then ready to scrub up. The first doctor may now pick any procedure from the three cards drafted at game start. That player then takes the corresponding number of wooden blood pressure cubes, mention earlier, and stacks them on top of the patient. At the doctor’s ready, a 60 second sand timer is flipped and that player must remove the correct cards from the patient using only tweezers before time is up, without knocking the cubes over. The player may only touch the patient with the tweezers during the operation. If these criteria are not met, if the player pulls more cards than necessary or if the patient body falls, the player fails and the patient….beep…beep…beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep……

If time of death is read, the chosen procedure and any cards pulled go into procedure row, and the next doctor may operate. If procedure row ever has eight or more cards, the whole deck is reshuffled, three new procedures are drawn and the patient is reset. A player who succeeds in an operation keeps the chosen procedure and claims its victory points and all pulled cards enter the procedure row. The first player to achieve 12 or more victory points is the winner. Too easy, you say? You and your fellow doctors have the hand dexterity of a true neurosurgeon? Looking to truly bump the difficulty and put your skills to the test? The game also comes with much smaller, lighter, rounder, plastic cubes. Now try and keep that patient from flatlining!

Doctor! Doctor! is, truthfully, a lot of fun. It is light, enjoyable, and a fairly quick play. These qualities make it a good choice for a filler game, especially with its short set up time. Also, the game is entertaining enough for non-gamers and perfect for family gatherings. Given its compact size, any doctor can now make house calls. The artwork is classic pop art and that style makes the game really vivid. Its tweezers even come hermetically sealed, which is a nice touch. The game appears benign yet intriguing. Performing an operation with your group hollering at the current doctor will certainly catch the attention of fellow gamers in any large setting.

Doctor! Doctor! is published by Indie Boards & Cards, and can be purchased here. This article was written by "CaptainShiner" a member of the Played Together team, check them out on Instagram!

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