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Can You Save This Dude? Preview

Quick Look: Can You Save This Dude?

Designer: Peter Madara
Artists: Manuel Berlin
Publisher: Zuroovi Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 1
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 15 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com


In solo play, you will play as a medical scientist who is trying to save the life of a patient infected by a deadly virus. You need to control the patient's temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate because once those hit a certain level, the virus will spread through the body and the patient will die.

Use the blue drug (blue die) - Fights directly against the virus (red die). Side effect of this drug causes an increased temperature.

Use the green drug (green die) - Helps manage or lower temperature cause by the blue drug.

Use the white drugs (white dice) - These drugs can help stabilize blood pressure and heart rate. These drugs can also be combined in a way to form a mega drug which can instantly cure the patient.

Win the game by:
Eliminating the virus (pushing the red die off the bottom of the virus track using the blue die) OR create a mega drug with 6 white dice that will instantly cure the patient.

Lose the game by:
The virus spreads all over the patient's body (red die reaches the top of the track) OR temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate rises to the top and you are unable to resuscitate the patient.

Getting the Game:
The game takes place on the patient health chart. Markers are placed on the 4D section of the temperature track, blood pressure, and heart rate. Roll the red, blue and one white die. The red is placed on the virus track according to the level you have decided to play. L1 is the easiest with L3 being the hardest. The blue die is then placed above the red one. The white die will be placed in the middle of the mega drug board and is called the anchor. Depending on how easy or hard you want the game to be, you will choose how many white dice you start with. Easy - 9 dice and hard - 7 dice.

Playing the Game:

The game is played in a series of 8 steps until one of the win or lose conditions triggers.

Step 1 - Perform target treatments - This will allow you to change the blue die face to any value, re-roll the red die, or administer the mega drug (even if it's not complete). When using these treatments, there still are side effects  like trashing a white die making things harder, or moving temperature, blood pressure, or heart rate up.

Step 2 - You will then roll the green die and all your white dice.

Step 3 - Perform a white drug action - whatever numbers were rolled are your options for what action you can take during this step. You can place your dice on top of the number on the white drug action chart so you know your options. You can then take one of the options of the number of one of the dice that you're rolled. The more dice you have the more options you have.

You will follow the effect listed on the white action chart.

If the number you choose meets the placement criteria to be placed on the mega drug chart then you can place it on there.

Criteria for placement on Mega Drug Chart - You will start on the top space that has an "x" on it; as you place dice on the chart, you will place it clockwise. To place a die it has to be numerically sequential to the previous die. This can be numerically sequential going up or down.  Your number starts with your anchor die. If your anchor die is 4, then the next die to be placed on the "x" needs to be a 3 or a 5.  If a 6 is placed anywhere, you will have to place a 5 as the numbers don't wrap around from 6 to 1.

Step 4 - Green Drug - Compare the green drug (die) with the blue drug (die).
If green is less than blue - increase temperature by 1.
If green is equal to or greater than blue - nothing happens

Step 5 - Apply the virus effect. Look at the chart and apply the effect the matches the number shown on the red die. If the organ weakness number to the right matches the number of the die, then the virus effect is doubled.

Step 6 -Resuscitate Patient (if needed) - If any markers for temperature, blood pressure, or heart rate moves off the chart, you will need to perform this step. To do this you can apply the mega drug by checking how many dice are used in the formulation so far and performing the action listed when using that many dice. OR trash white dice permanently removing it from the game. If 1 marker is above the track you will need to trash 2 dice, if 2 markers are off the track then you will trash 3 dice. After trashing the white dice you will reset the marker to R2 to continue playing.  If you can't do any of these actions and can't resuscitate the patient, then you will lose the game.

Step 7 - Compare the red die to the blue die.

If blue > red  - move the blue die down one level bumping the red die down a level on the virus track as well and then evolve the red dice to increase its value by 1.

If blue = red - then you will not move any of the dice, and you will evolve the red die (6 will be evolved into a 1).

If red > blue - advance the red die and bump the blue die up the virus track without evolving the value on the red die.

Step 8 - Collect all the dice excluding the blue, red and white dice located on the mega drug chart. If the die was ever trashed it will be gone from the game, so don't add those back either.

Artwork and Components:
As this is a prototype, the artwork and components are subject to change. The copy I received is a very early prototype with the board and tracks all done on printer paper. The dice are all normal d6s, and the markers are flat plastic chips. I would hope and want the dice to be unique to better represent the drugs and virus.

The Good:
The fact that you can set your difficulty level helps as you can learn the game on the easier mode, and with time make it more and more difficult. As you play you will understand when certain moves and actions are strategically beneficial. There also isn't a "right way" to play the game, as everyone can play is a little differently and still do well. There is always a way to stay in the game when one of the vital signs increase off the track. I like how this resets your mega drug "research" but still keep the patient alive and resets things so you can keep on going.  I enjoy how the white drug actions and trying to choose certain actions to be able to place the white drug die on the mega drug chart can be variable and change as you play. Also, if you really need to take an action from a white die, you can just do the action without adding it to the mega drug chart and still continue forward.

The Bad:
Every time when we played we had to keep referencing step 4 and 7 in the rule book. Most of the steps are shortened on the provided boards, I wish these steps highlighted a quick reference as to what happens when the value of the different drugs are compared. This would help with not having to open the rulebook each and every time these steps come about. As you can also see, this game is in early prototype mode. The rulebook needs some polishing to explain how to play without using so many words. The game isn't too complex, and the rulebook should represent the ease of play by shortening the lengthy paragraphs.

Final Thoughts:
If you looking for a short little brain teaser game, then this might be something you could sit down and play while you are waiting for other gamers at game night or simply at home to change the pace of the brain waves for a little bit. I can see this game being played by med students or nurses as they take breaks from studying. It gives you a bit of a puzzle and stimulation but its light enough that it could be relaxing. If you are wanting to play something complex and deep, this is not the game for you. I think that with the right components, the game could have the perfect feel with the theme to make this a great game and puzzle for anyone who likes rolling dice, enjoys a light medical theme, or that wants to find a short 1 player game.

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Brody Sheard - Reviewer

Brody Sheard played board games with his large family growing up. He continues with his love of games by teaching his family, local gaming guild, and friends about new and exciting games. Brody believes that board gaming keeps your mind healthy while also having fun interacting with others.

See Brody's reviews HERE.

Can You Save This Dude? Preview Can You Save This Dude? Preview Reviewed by Brody on July 25, 2019 Rating: 5

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