Are you destined for a spotlight in the The American Journal of Surgery? Do you dream of assisting McDreamy and not just covering his good looks? If you answered yes, then it’s time to scrub in, and hone your skills in Doctor! Doctor! Its a game of skill, steady hands, and grace under pressure. Complete your procedures quickly and gain the glory of a world class surgeon.
The small box holds a simple game to learn, but hours of challenge for anyone who fancies themselves the next Chief of Surgery. The setup is quick and easy. Shuffle the procedure cards, then stack and swirl them on the operating table. Place the patient on top and pick your first procedure. Just like a real surgeon you study your procedure and the particular anatomy of the patient prior to going at them with the forceps. You can take as much time to study and decide the best approach as you need, because as soon as the procedure starts you only get 30 seconds to complete your extraction. Complete it on time without dropping the blood pressure cubes or knocking the patient off the table and you gain the stars for the excision. First to 12 stars wins!
Each procedure card is different; you start the game with the ability to choose from 3, they have different combinations and numbers of bones, hearts, and brains to remove, as well as blood pressure cubes. Order doesn’t matter, but the blood pressure cubes you stack on the patients do. Keep your hands steady, because loss of pressure means a botched surgery. Complete the procedure in time and gain your stars. Failed procedures can happen with any number of offenses including using anything but the forceps to move the cards, removing too many parts, or knocking the stack over. The cards pulled on a successful procedure are then added to the list of possible surgeries, and the next surgeon begins prepping their patient.
This game was surprisingly challenging and engaging. Everyone at the table became invested in each person’s turn. We were so engrossed for the 30 seconds that there were a few times we weren’t exactly sure if someone finished within the time limit. I highly suggest assigning a person to watch the timer. My family played a half game, first to 6 stars, we wanted to make sure we could keep the interest of our 7 year old. Now my 7 year old struggles with fine motor skills, and he didn’t want to play. Being the mom who wants to develop his skills while keeping it fun pushed him into the game, and after being the first to successfully complete a procedure he was enjoying himself and improving his skills. Mom win! The challenge on this game is high, I fully admit to being frustrated. I, an adult, former cellist, who can type 70 words per minute, was knocking down cubes left and right. You can even up the challenge rating by using a smaller, less stable set of plastic cubes over the beginner wooden ones. We haven’t gotten to that skill level yet.
The quality of the game pieces and build of the game are pretty standard. I love the bright colors and pop art ala Roy Lichtenstein feel to the game. The different colored edges to each type of card makes it easy to identify what you’re going after during your procedure. The cards are flat and smooth with just the right grip, which helps them to slide as you maneuver them out of the pile. I’m glad the cards aren’t too smooth and glossy as that would make the game much more difficult. I did find that the organ shaped cutout of the cards does make it difficult to shuffle them; I suggest making piles and shuffling chunks rather than a standard riffle shuffle. The quality of the other game pieces is questionable. I found that not all of the wooden cubes were cubed, one was on a slant, and I always used it as the top cube. The plastic of the tables and forceps are adequate, but take care not to squeeze too hard or step on them as they will break. Lastly, the sand timer came with a base chipped, and was not 30 seconds. Yes, I checked, and it clocked in at 28 seconds. I’d suggest pulling out the timer on your phone, and checking your set. For our home game, we just give players the 2 seconds grace to complete their procedure.
Doctor! Doctor! despite having some quality control issues was a quick and challenging game. It’s definitely a game that can be pulled out to fill 15-30 minute time gaps. Here is a grown up version of Operation minus the batteries and annoying buzzing. I’d love to turn this into a night, and see if skills improve after a few drinks. Next game night, maybe?
It’s time to scrub in, and hone your skills in Doctor! Doctor! Its a game of skill, steady hands, and grace under pressure. Complete your procedures quickly and gain the glory of a world class surgeon. Doctor! Doctor! despite having some quality control issues was a quick and challenging game. Enjoy a grown up version of Operation minus the batteries and annoying buzzing.