“Doctor! Doctor! I feel like a dice!”
“You mean a die?”
“I’M GOING TO DIE!?”
It’s another day dice hospital, where dice go to die, at least in mine they do! I’m clearly not a qualified dice doctor (I’m only allowed to treat meeples) but that won’t stop me! And nor should it stop you. After all, you’ll have more of a managerial role/roll.
Dice Hospital is in many ways a tableau building game. You have a little hospital to begin with, with some basic treatment facilities, and you can expand it over the course of the game by adding new rooms that do better healing stuff like an immunology lab, or the machine that goes ping! (I told you I wasn’t a doctor right?) You can also hire specialists to join your cadre of passably competent staff, expanding the workforce you have available. Workers you’ll need to activate the rooms you have in said hospital. And why will you do all that?
To heal those dice.
A relentless stream of injured and ill dice will be rushed to your emergency room by ambulance each round. Your aim is to save as many as possible, by increasing their pip values to a hearty and healthy 6, and then out the door. If you leave them waiting for treatment too long however, they will slowly get worse until they end up in your mortuary, and costing you points! Damn sick people. What are they good for hey?
There is no shortage of decisions in Dice Hospital. In a given round you draft the ambulances bringing more sick into your hospital, hoping to get fairly healthy ones, or colours that fit best with your hospital’s abilities. Then you draft new rooms and specialists (you only get one or the other). Then it’s head down and get to work with the healing, figuring out how to best utilise your doctors and rooms to treat as many dice as possible, aiming to discharge large numbers in one go, rather than a steady trickle (makes for better headlines you see).
It’s a fun little game, although you are very much playing your own game for much of the play time, there’s not much chance to appreciate what the other players are doing even. But if that doesn’t bother you, Dice Hospital is well worth a look.
As an aside, Dice Hospital has chosen the route of a serious puzzle you are trying to solve and in some ways I do feel like this is a missed opportunity. I would have loved to see the humour of a Theme Hospital style of game built in here, or some satirical takes on healthcare in the modern world. There’s a lot you could do with this theme. Especially as there’s some laughs there already, I mean you’re making life and death decisions about dice! That’s amusing however you cut it. I wish they could have embraced that side a bit more. Expansion material maybe?
Dice Hospital is on Kickstarter until November 2nd!
This First Impression was based on a demo at the UK Games Expo. Check out the other games I tried here.