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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Dice Hospital theme
  • Fast paced game
  • Suitable for all type of gamers

Might Not Like

  • Player sheet graphics
  • Player sheet amount (more please)
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Dice Hospital: ER Review

Dice Hospital ER

Dice Hospital is a great dice and worker placement game published in 2018. Since its release, the game has received a lot of positive reviews. It also grew steadily with the introduction of some smaller and larger expansions, and the release of deluxe components. The last addition to this successful series is not actually a dice placement game but a Roll and Write game. Dice Hospital: ER – Emergency Roll has been released recently by Alley Cat Games alongside their last product (Dice Theme Park). The game exploits some of the concepts from the original Dice Hospital and the familiar graphics but puts the players against a completely different type of challenges.

In Dice Hospital: ER – Emergency Roll up to 6 players compete to treat as many patients as possible. Each turn, ambulances will deliver new patients to the hospital and players will need to find the best way to fill their wards by admitting normal and critical patients. Nurses and Specialists will provide some bonuses and strategical advantages together with additional victory points.

I must admit I was a bit sceptical of this new R&W game when I first heard of it but the final product proved much better in reality than it felt on paper. I am quite glad I was proved wrong and I would be happy to explain why Dice Hospital: ER – Emergency Roll is a really fine game.

Unboxing And Components

Dice Hospital: ER - Emergency Roll comes in a small package. Inside a nicely made box you will find: the rulebook (obviously); 44 cards including Ambulance, Specialists and Chief Physician cards; a block with 50 game sheets and 6 pencils. Even if this game is based on dice, this time you will only find three of them, one of each colour (green, red and yellow). The quality of the components is up to the mark. The design is neat and colourful and pretty self explanatory. Fans of the series will also recognize some graphics from Dice Hospital and Community care.

I feel the game sheets could have been thought through a bit more, though. First, considering the type of game having only 50 sheets feels a bit on the short end. I could easily see myself running out of them in just a few games and I had to start planning printing some copies on my own very soon. I would have appreciated having more of them or the choice to exploit erasable pens and plastic sheets.

Moreover, the hexagonal map of the hospital on the sheet could confuse a bit initially. The map is in fact composed by groups of hexagons in the same colours as the dice plus some grey ones and two with a X-ray icon. Unfortunately, the bold lines that separate these groups have been drawn in black making the map a bit crowded and not always easy to read.

On a positive, I quite like the counters and scoring section at the bottom of the pad.

Gameplay

Dice Hospital: ER is played in rounds. At the beginning of a round, the first player rolls all tree dice and flips over an ambulance card. Each card shows always three ambulances with different bonus icons on them. Each dice is allocated underneath the ambulance with their respective colour on the card just flipped to prepare for the patient intake phase.

The first player chooses one of the ambulance and receives both the dice and the bonus depicted on it. All other players can then choose any of the remaining ambulances and more than one player is allowed to choose the same ambulance.

Once the intake is completed, players will add the patient/dice to their hospitals. The hospital map includes 7 wards, each made up by 3 to 7 hexagons. To add a patient, players will need to write the number on the dice in any slot following three main rules: 1) patients could only be added to hexagons of the same colour of their dice or grey, 2) patients should be progressively added to a ward starting from the entrance and 3) a patient could only be added if its value is higher than the one previously added to the same ward.

Together with a patient, the ambulance will grant players with powerful bonuses. Some of them will help in placing the patient in the ward, other will allow to admit an additional patient and some others will grant additional points.

At the end of the round, the first player token passes to another player (clockwise). The game will then continue until all ambulance cards have been turned. Interestingly, while the hospital could accommodate 32 patients, you will have only 24 cards making the choice of which bonus to receive quite critical to maximize your scores.

When the Ambulance deck has been completely exhausted, the game ends and the final scoring takes place. The player with the most points wins, as usual.

Final Thoughts

As the title clearly imply, Dice Hospital: ER - Emergency Roll is set in the busy accident and emergency section of a hospital. The theme is very well represented in the game with fast-paced turns and the hectic nature of dice rolling. Overall, players could get a pleasant A&E ward vibe from this game and it is always great when a game fits its theme so well.

The game is also relatively simple to learn and plays well from two to six players. It may seems pretty straightforward at a first glance but it will need some good strategical thinking to achieve a high score. I played Emergency Roll both as a warm-up before a good game night and with the kids and the rest of the family and in all cases we all had some good fun.

Considering the average price of the game and how well it plays, I strongly recommend to purchase it if you haven't done it yet. The only real negative side of this game, aka the small amount of game sheets provided, could be easily addressed by buying another copy or exploiting a printer and in both cases the good value of this game helps a lot.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Dice Hospital theme
  • Fast paced game
  • Suitable for all type of gamers

Might not like

  • Player sheet graphics
  • Player sheet amount (more please)

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