Doctor Rat, already available in stores
But what is this game? You’re probably wondering, and with good reason: Doctor Rat is a playful curiosity that we’ve been keeping secret for several months. It’s one of those original, thought-provoking and, above all, intriguing games.
Johannes Krenner, winner of both the As d’Or Initié and the Kennerspiel for Challengers, has created an asymmetrical, cooperative game. The idea came to him during his trip to Peru, where he had to stay in bed in front of Doctor House: a cooperative game in which you have to attempt tests to guess what your illness is. The medical theme being a little too serious, Johannes preferred to draw inspiration from laboratory rats such as the animated characters Pinky and The Brain.
And it’s Simon Douchy who brings Doctor Rat and his fellow rodents to life in a more family-friendly version, without a laboratory, but set in a landfill.
A cooperative deduction game
So, what’s the pitch for this game? It’s simple and a little eccentric. Dear Doctor Rat has big plans for his fellow creatures: to teach them to eat better. He invites them to an intensive 8-meal training course. His objective is clear: all groups of rats must stay healthy by understanding their dietary constraints. The only problem is that he can’t help them with their deduction. The groups of rats have to figure out for themselves what they can and can’t eat, even if it means a bit of indigestion!
You’ll play either Doctor Rat or a rat colony, but with the same objective.
For each rat colony, the Doctor will secretly assign it a diet. During the 8 rounds of play, the colonies will have to guess what their diets are, based on different criteria.
Think carefully about your choice
Doctor Rat is a game where communication is essential between the different colonies. Each turn, you’ll have a choice of different food cards to guess your diet. Select, eat and survive…or not. Depending on the results, you’ll be able to deduce whether you can eat this or that ingredient, in what quantity or even in what color. Finding it difficult? Don’t worry, Doctor Rat can help the colonies with Special Action tokens. He can impose a food card on a colony of rats, prevent them from eating one, or give them medicine to “erase” a mistake. Be sure to use these tokens during the game, as they may not be used during the Final Examination.
The game ends when one of the following 3 situations occurs:
- As soon as a rat colony obtains its 3rd Red Cross, the game ends and everyone loses the game, including the Doctor Rat.
- One of the rat colonies obtains a Red Cross during the Final Examination, which must be a perfect score to win the game. The game ends and everyone, including the Doctor Rat, loses the game.
- Round 8 is over and no rat colony has made a mistake in the Final Examination.
Doctor Rat is a playful curiosity, just the way we like it. This asymmetrical game offers an innovative, highly replayable experience thanks to the numerous diets, plus you can modulate your difficulty level. Use and abuse communication between you to discover your diet and deduce which cards you should select. It’s this notion of cooperation that was important to the author. “I’m not afraid of a challenge, but I sometimes feel that competitive games give me less and less pleasure. Working together, for once, creates enjoyable experiences in a game round.”
Whether you’re Doctor Rat or a hungry rat, you’ll only want to win the game by surviving to the final round.