Being a doctor is not simple. You must be able to work under stress. Patients are disobedient and screaming at you until you give them a good dose of laughing gas. Less resistant surgeons can be already shivering by that time. Saving lives is a battle against time, where victory is not on your agenda every day. If you do not believe me and think it’s an easy job, try it for yourself!
Doctor Panic game gives you all the tools, you have ever dreamed of having as a doctor, right into your hands. We receive this fun from hands of experienced creative designer Roberto Fraga. His new work, published by Repos Production is a novelty for 2016. The distribution of the game is done by Esdevium Games.
Box is not exactly small, so you can even believe, that inside is hiding some operating room. On the cover, we see the chaos, that awaits us all, if we decide to enter. That’s frightening, but we will have to manage. And the more will we be surprised by a flood of components, that packaging spews on us. First, there are larger cardboard parts – plate with holes for sewing, another board with spaces for dispensing pills, big card with places for electrodes and another one with a dosage based on height, weight and other parameters. Smaller pieces offer injection filling, pills or small magnifying glass (made from cardboard).
However, we do not stop there by far, because part of the package are also tweezers, foam heart, hairnets, string and cardboard needle. But then there is a deluge of cards: patients, instruments cards, pile describing the requirements of medical tests or electrode cards.
At the beginning of the game, players must decide, whether they want to use a smart phone and install required application. In case you are not able to use the phone, you can also play using the downloadable audio track. In both situations, most of the components will be spread across the table, so they are easily accessible. Tool cards then create a square six times four. Preparation is finished off with the main – dividing players into teams of two or three players and especially selection of patients and tests, that each team needs to do (eight cards, one from each menu). Part of this is also done by the app.
At this moment, it’s time to start healing and press play in application or on audio player. Before this (its a real-time fun), players have to agree on boss for every team. This one player will give them commands. From this moment on, all teams play simultaneously and disregard the rest, taking care only about their part of tests. Surprisingly, teams do not compete against each other. Instead of trying to win over other doctors, all their tasks are compared only across timeline and they can win only together, saving the patient.
For each round, one card of eight tests is revealed by each team. Boss of team is responsible for that and also for sharing info with his colleagues. According to the nature of the task, he then must appoint one of the other players to do test or it can be a whole team effort. And here begins the fun. There is a choice of eight activities, all of which serve to investigate and heal injuries (magnifying glass moving along the route of body) or pill prescription (distribution of tokens on the timetable).
In other tests, players must demonstrate skill and often will need tweezers. Like when they are sewing, thus intertwines holes with a string in order given by the card. But players must follow their boss instructions. Similarly, it usually requires some dexterity, be it a scan (moving card under the „bridge“ of another two cards) or X-ray (players must assume the pose based on description). Then there is also tool choice, placement of electrodes or calculating injection dose.
All these operations are carried out by each team separately. Whenever one card is fulfilled, role of boss moves on, so all players will try it during gameplay more than once. Game continues by attempts to meet cards. If two teams were to meet at one workplace with similar test, it is possible to postpone card to the bottom of the deck and carry out another test instead.
During twelve-minute dedicated to the game by application, doctors will have some surprises on their way. First one is call from director of the hospital, during which players have to deal with some random task. But more fundamental event in gameplay is cardiac arrest. All teams are no longer doing their tests and join forces to build a proper voltage. At this moment, important role is transferred to prescribed screams and particularly to slapping the table, which itself simulate electric shock. And the phone detects it and gives players feedback!
Only when they manage to relaunch the heart, doctors can go back and continue pursuing treatment. Game ends after twelve minutes, when may uncomfortable inscription „defeat“ show up. But whenever in the meantime, as soon as all the teams managed to fulfill their tasks, entire group of doctors won together and can push apropriate button in the app.
Doctor Panic is a game, that could be described as operating table simulator or perhaps Operation game squared (= at least double fun). But if you do not know this classic game of skill, we will explain further, why you might or might not be happy about playing it. Gameplay is full of different activities, in which teams must cooperate closely. And it leads to amusing situations, but with the passage of time, tension also greatly increases as need to communicate together.
Just playing game in real time is usually ultimate test of communication skills for players as we were already shown by XCOM. Well, because this new product is primarily designed for undemanding and less experienced players, teams get a really hard time.
Theme and design is absolutely clear attack on the youngest audience. Children will surely not refuse opportunity to play doctors. It has all these props and exciting collaboration, that will make this game really believeable. The actual medical cases are not long, so game does not get boring. Individual matches insist on reasonable fifteen minutes, which is awesome.
By default, the game is simple. Therefore, you may try it with smaller kids, than recommended eight years. But if the players really improve and begin to heal pacients without any trouble, there is opportunity to make it harder and add more test cards. Two difficulty settings are also specified in the rules.
Although we were talking about group of three players during most of the rules, whole operation can be carried out also in two. That is minimum number needed to save the patient and even any teams are not needes. Overall impression differs only in comparison with three players. Any further increase will create just another team and this has little influence on the overall impression. Perhaps only at the end of the game, because faster team can help the slower one by performing their tests.
The game in standard setting uses mobile application, that generates patients, but also monitors time and randomly prepares some surprises for doctors in their work. But author also presumed absence of a smartphone, which allows you to use additional packs of cards. Even so, players need a web browser, or at least MP3 player. Sound track is important (as a replacement mobile phone), providing that random surprise moments.
Doctor Panic is a game, that is only for a certain audience. Game is purely about reactions and many candidates will not find it real fun. However, children and even some adults, who do not mind crazy gameplay will be the ones, who enjoy this incredibly frantic affair. Graphically, its a japanese anime style drawings, which might be good for someone and bad for other’s.
Doctor Panic is a dream come true for young children. These are the best target audience. In other groups of players, there will be more or less dissatisfied persons, because game in its essence is nothing more, than a group of mini-games focused on dexterity and reaction time. Theme, cooperation and ultimately saving people works only on some. Doctor Panic is definitely a top ranked game. At least for children.
Doctor Panic is absolutely crazy game, where it all unfolds in real time, usually under the supervision of mobile application. All participants represent doctors, who perform a variety of tests on the patient and try to help him/her. The game is from start to finish really hectic, but it's also very fast by design. Using default settings, system is easy to defeat, but rules contain higher difficulty levels. Doctor Panic emphasizes skill, that every doctor needs. Maybe that's, why this game is a hit with almost every child. Conversely, a lot of adults will despise with this chance to save lives.