Bystrice nad Pernstejnem
Not every doctor takes welfare of patients into account. And even more physicians, who are willing to do whatever is takes to get somewhere, is among the trainees. They are not afraid to exploit the health of the patient to get to a new working position. Is it a violation of medical ethics? And who cares?
Well, do not be frightened. This is not reality, but only a board game. Hospital Rush goes a little bit agains human principles and is published by Pegasus Spiele. And so we are taking a look on this game, as it was created by team of authors Thomas Kjolby Laursen, Kare Storgaard and Steen Thomsen. The game is out also thanks to Eggertspiele company in 2014 with illustrations by Olaf Hansel.
It comes in smaller box with portrait orientation. Inside a red trim, we can see a scene from our home hospital. It is obvious, that doctors in the picture see their profession only as work and respect pacients only for their own benefits. And stabbing each other into the back, when competing for one better position. Poor patient in the picture still looks happy. We will also make a happy look, because after opening the box, we discover game board folded into thirds, showing the plan of the hospital. Each area has its activation colored box, but there is also is a place for patients at the top and scale of prestige points on the left.
Furthermore, there is one character board prepared for each player. Even these smaller plans have their own activation boxes with specialized skills, but also notches for upgrading. These upgrades are the same for all doctors. Hospital from the box has 23 patients, who each have their card with printed medicaments and also reward valued in prestige points. Seven other cards are visitor passes for trainees (players) themselves. Smaller tokens are representing money, plasters, medicines, but also the students knowledge (which makes additional actions available in future rounds). We also have to mention wooden tokens and action figures, all separated into colors of the players.
At the beginning of the game, players put plan with correct side up based on their number. At the designated position is quenched supply of drugs (in limited numbers by the participants) and four starting patients drawn from shuffled deck. Each opponent gets one board corresponding to his trainee and choose color of his pieces. Based on this, he receives two figures, tokens (one of which marks prestige on zero) and one token as color reminder. Wallets will also receive some bill tokens. All other pieces begin in piles next to the board.
In the first part of each round, players gradually place action figures on the board – they all use their first one and then in sequence from the first player, they will be placing the second. Symbols on the boxes clearly say, whether it can hold only one piece or more. Additionally, colors blue and red distinguish, whether it is a risky position, where player can be pushed by some opponent.
Playing it the right way, players can (with the possible supplement) obtain drugs, money or can access the new capabilities on their doctor card. But there are also other options, such as sabotage (theft of money or drugs from opponent), or bribery to gain prestige points for finances. Drugs, of course, collect all the participants, so they can heal their pacients.
And this treating is a separate action to be activated using figurines. Actions are limited by number of medications and patches, that players can use at once. Additionally, each patient can have only one doctor in one round, who blocks it using his color token. Red-tinged activation boxes are quite dangerous, because these are unfair and strong actions. If opponent used rat out action, then he gets the reward and owners of pieces on red fields must pay a penalty (money or prestige). There are also other actions available on cards of each character.
At the end of the round, player gets prestige points for cured patients. Reward is given only to the one, who treated him last and finished work. His colored marker indicates, that he was the one curing him completely.
Before start of the next round, players take back their action tokens. New patients are coming to hospital and are attached to queue from the left, while all the remaining cards are shifted to the right, so no gaps are left. Additionally, if the patient is wainting too long to be treated in hospital and nobody healed him, he gets released (card at the far left). At the end of the round, players should also check, if one of the rivals has not met a condition of winning: ten point of prestige. He immediately wins.
Hospital Rush is simple, but pleasant conflicting worker-placement. For a hospital theme, it offers everything, what we are used in games with this mechanism. Blocking boxes and various assaults on rivals is ultimately, why it could be interesting to some of our readers.
The game does not offer anything really new, but makes up for the lack of originality with humor and setting in the medical environment. And also an opportunity to improve characters. This gives you access to options for obtaining drugs or money in case a patient’s recovery. Players can choose among the top three, whichever is more suited to their tactics.
Thanks to filling boxes and possibly higher costs of red positions, course of action figures placement is quite interesting and exciting. Players immediately apply the appropriate action and do not wait until the end of the round. This makes it also important to do your plan in the right sequence, because raw materials can be used as soon as you acquire them.
There is enough options to send the piece. Ultimately, you always only gain money, drugs or cure the patient. All players have the same goals. It makes the game simple and accessible, but at the same time also reduces the fun with repeated play. Although patients vary, other conditions remain the same. Double-sided plan guarantees a balance in various numbers, although common side for three or four players is offering a slightly different experience (four is more tense).
The game is not as fast as you’d expect. The usual game time is around forty minutes, if you compete in three. In five, it may even stretch over an hour. Often private action fields of all characters make it longer, because they allow attacking rivals or special actions, that you must always explain to others over and over.
Hospital Rush is a simple worker-placement game, which is accessible through its theme of simplicity and especially for families. Game need you to put together at least three players, because if the box is not adequately manned, dragging for positions will not be exciting. Hospital Rush is solid, but by no means exceptional, entertainment.
Original review posted on DeskoveHry.com with more pictures:
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