Take it from me, there’s nothing more exciting than graduating from university and starting your career in Medicine - real life patients, busy waiting rooms, wards with outbreaks, prescribing treatments and assisting in theatre - it’s every junior doctor’s dream! But who would have thought this could also be the concept of a fun, fast-paced, family game?! So grab your stethoscope, tie up your hair and make sure you’re bare below the elbow, because the patients of Rush MD need you!
Your Hospital, Your Way
Rush MD is a fully co-operative game groups of 2-4 players. It even has a solo option! It’s your teams job to safely and successfully admit, investigate and treat the patients coming to your hospital. The game board for Rush MD is made up of six, smaller boards, each representing a different area of the hospital. I really loved this style of game board as this allowed us to spread out the hospital areas across our table while we were playing. Due to the fast-paced nature of this game (as all the elements of the game are timed), this meant we could get up on our feet and race between areas in our hospital and treat the patients quicker, allowing us to treat more patients and score more points! This really fed into the game’s collaborative and party game style of play.
There’s No Eye In Team
Rush MD is completely co-operative - that’s right, you all have to work together! Game objectives are drawn randomly from the objectives deck and it’s your teams goal to complete as many of them as possible across the 4 rounds of gameplay, whilst trying to successfully treat your patients to earn more reputation for your hospital. Be careful however - as both under and over treating your patients will lead to a reduction in your hospital’s credibility, losing you points and potentially making your patients sicker! The co-operative aspect of Rush MD is fantastic - the team work, timed rounds and need for fully collaborative play in order to achieve your objectives has given this board game a really fun, party game feel and my family and I love nothing more than a competitive game that gets the hearts racing and adrenaline flowing!
A Shot Of Dexterity
Rush MD takes influences from the world of medicine, and adapts them into the rules of this game. Certain components, such as the organs required for surgery or the blood needed for transfusions, cannot be handled normally - you must use the tweezers (for sterility of course)! As a doctor, I am a real nerd for these small nods to real life medicine and it definitely made me feel more immersed in the world this game creates. My family (who are non-medics) also loved this element, as it created a barrier to simply lifting something quickly, completing a treatment, discharging the patient and moving on to the next one. The downside to this, is that using tweezers on oddly shaped components and small, cylindrical bits of “blood” is fiddly… VERY fiddly… Now as you can probably tell by my tone, this definitely adds to the in game hysteria, especially when time is ticking away and your racing to try and build as many points as possible, whilst another member of your team is *ahem* patiently waiting for the delivery of the organs so they too can complete their tasks. All I’m saying is, dexterity isn’t everyone’s strong suit, and whilst we enjoyed the chaos this feature added, some people may not.
Pressure On The Job
As I eluded to above, this isn’t a nice, chilled out, relaxing family game. It’s chaotic, hilarious, pressured and sometimes stressful (in a fun way I promise!). The crazy may not be to everyone’s liking, but we all very much enjoyed it! Your doctor is represented by a coloured egg timer, which you must place whilst you are completing your tasks in the game. This means that until your timer runs out, your doctor cannot move from that area. The same goes for the rest of the doctors in you team and also the 4 nurses who assist you in the hospital. Meanwhile the rounds themselves are timed (4 rounds, each lasting 4 minutes). Unfortunately, the game does not provide a timer to monitor the rounds, which was slightly annoying then having to time this ourselves on our phones. This is the only reason I couldn’t give this game full marks for component quality!
Doctor, What’s Your Plan?
At the end of each round, the Hospital will call a “board meeting” to plan for the next day. This is the time which your team has to “chat strat”, divide and conquer, work out what jobs need prioritised in order to achieve your game objectives and discuss who is going to be in charge of which jobs. I really liked this element of the game. We love playing a strategic game and this untimed period between rounds allowed our family to work out what our next moves needed to be in order to achieve the best reputation we could for our hospital. I also find that this part gives a welcome break from the mayhem of the rounds, allowing for a cold drink, a shake off and a pep talk before entering back into the throws of your busy, make believe hospital shift!
Rush MD is the perfect, unassuming, party style board game. Its clear and cartoony art style is appealing and easy on the eye, and its components are simply fantastic quality. It’s a great game for a group, but is also a solid favourite for me and my partner when we want to get a bit crazy, talk loud and blow off some steam at home (because clearly working in an actual hospital isn’t enough for me, I have to play pretend hospital at home too!). Rush MD is a fast paced, relentless and fully co-operative game that can sometimes make you feel pressured (especially when it gets fiddly), but is a great addition to anyone’s board game collection! Personally, we love Rush MD and we can’t wait to try the new expansion - Rush MD ICU!