on 11 April 2012
My brother bought me this for Christmas because we had all really enjoyed playing Kill Doctor Lucky. He thought it was an expansion, but this is an entirely separate game, just along the same lines. This game basically turns the original game on its head, and you have to save Doctor Lucky from going down on the Titanic. The idea is that you hate Doctor Lucky and will probably kill him some day, but it would apparently be pointless to kill him on a sinking ship, and therefore your time would be better invested in trying to save him while being seen by one of the other players, thus going down in history as his saviour, even if you end up going down with the ship. Confused? Get used to it, if you have Kill Doctor Lucky and are planning on buying this game.
Ultimately, the premise of the game doesn't make a lot of sense, so even experienced players of the original game are constantly asking to be reminded of what they are trying to do! It also doesn't feature the same cast of characters who are trying to kill Doctor Lucky in the original game, so this makes even less sense. The other problem is that there are no spite tokens in this version. In the original game, these make it easier to kill Doctor Lucky as time goes on, because your murder value increases with each murder attempt, making it more likely that you will succeed in killing him next time. In Save Doctor Lucky, the only help you get is that the ship is sinking. The board is split into four quarters, and as the ship sinks, pieces of the board are gradually removed, meaning the players are in a smaller playing area and it is easier to be seen. It is no easier to save Doctor Lucky though, as attempts to save him have no cumulative value and gain you nothing, so there is no real incentive to try and save him early in the game, other than for something to do. Really, you are just waiting for people's cards to run out, and the next person to make an attempt after they do wins. This is tedious, and by no means as fun as the original game. Nor do you feel that the person who won deserves to win due to their superior cunning - they just lucked out. The split board concept is good, and I do wonder if it would be improved by using the spite tokens from the original game. I don't care enough to find out though. You shouldn't have to make up your own rules to make the game fun to play. Personally, I'll be sticking to Kill Doctor Lucky.