Rush MD from Artipia Games
A game by Dávid Turczi, Anthony Howgego and Konstantinos Kokkinis
‘You have been hired as doctors in the new, cutting-edge Medical Center. You and your colleagues must cooperate to admit, diagnose, and treat various patients who need your help. Use your strengths to treat the patients arriving at the hospital but be careful because medical errors come at a very high cost in Rush MD’
Three words to describe this game: manic, stressful and nailbiting.
Game play: This is a real time game played over four 4 minute rounds. You time using your phone or stopwatch. During the four minutes, the idea is that you admit, diagnose and treat the patients. You do this using sand timers to represent doctors and nurses on their shift. Each doctor and nurse can perform one action on each turn of the sand timer and so you have to think carefully about which actions you need to perform and who will complete them in order to diagnose and treat your patients. Medicine will need to be restocked in the pharmacy before you can use it to treat patients and those that need to be treated in the operating theatre can only be treated by doctors and nurses using tweezers to collect items. Be careful because a patient might cause an epidemic thus requiring a nurse to treat all patients in that ward with a specific medicine. Inaccuracies and mistakes will cost you dearly in reputation points. Get down to 0 and you are struck off the medical board. Patients conditions can change if they are not treated correctly in a round and those in critical condition will die if you make an error! Each game has a variety of objective cards you can choose to try and fulfil and these can be completed on easy, medium and hard, allowing for you to change the difficulty of the game instantaneously. It’s fast paced and frantic and certainly keeps you on your toes. Who knew 4 minutes could go so fast?
Aesthetics: Set in a hospital, the aesthetics of this game scream at you - from the hospital beds to place your patient cards, to the syringes needed to be filled with IV fluid and blood, to the mini games allowing you to diagnose patients! You get lost in this world while you play and the real time aspect of this makes that all the more compelling.
220 cards (36 hospitalised patients, 36 regular patients, 22 research cards, 16 objective cards, culture diagnosis cards, blood exam cards, X-ray cards, MRI cards and epidemic cards): lots of variety of cards so no two games are ever the same, the diagnosis cards are not easy and make for great fun when trying to do things at speed
6 game boards: these are modular so that you can organise your game board in a way that makes sense to you! I like this idea and for our first games we played them in a vertical fashion but you could set them up side by side. Given that not everyone has a huge amount of space, it’s nice that there are options for laying it out for optimum game play experience
8 hour glasses (4 doctors and 4 nurses): these essentially bring the real time aspect to the game. During each four minute round, you can assign doctors and nurses (sand timers) to different actions. You cannot move a sand timer until it has run out and so it’s trying to work out whose doing what and looking for which doctors and nurses are free that adds to the excitement and adrenaline rush of this game.
12 syringes, 4 tweezers: I love this element of the game - some of your patients will need IV fluid or blood administered through syringes which you have to fill painstakingly with the wooden disks to the right level to ensure that the patients get the right treatment. N.B so many times I overmedicated a patient by putting one to many wooden discs into a syringe - probably why I never went to study medicine!!!
38 cardboard tokens (IV fluid, cultures, blood exam tile, condition tokens, reputation and MRI tile): there’s a whole lot going on here, IV fluid bags are needed by some patients, the cultures tokens, blood exam tile and MRI tile are part of the mini games that act as if you are getting a diagnosis for your patient, the condition tokens are used at the end of the round if you fail to treat a patient and they allow you to upgrade the status of your patient from severe to critical, mild to severe etc. N.B. If you don’t treat a critical patient, they die!! Yes we did do this and our reputation went down by 8 points!!!
6 3D cardboard beds: love the aesthetics in this game and this is just one part of it! Essentially, it’s just a place to store your patient cards while they are in the hospital but it adds to the feel of the game and the numbers on the bed are relevant sometimes in the mini games so you have to keep your wits about you
134 wooden discs (12 orange pills, 12 white pills, 12 blue pills, 40 blood tokens, 24 IV Drug green, 24 IV drug yellow, blood exam discs and round marker, reputation marker and medical point marker) : wooden tokens denoting the different medicines, blood etc
40 wooden organs (10 hearts, 10 kidneys, 10 bones, 10 lungs): these pieces remind me of something out of operation. They are much bigger than I imagined but this makes for great fun when trying to restock the organs in the pharmacy! Although why there are live organs in the pharmacy who knows - oh and we found one patient who needed two hearts! Must have had a serious condition or one failed that’s all I can say!
1 score board: can be a bit confusing with the reputation marker and the medical point marker
1 rule book - lots of good diagrams and explanations
Overall thoughts: Initially we watched a play through of this game on @beforeyouplay YouTube channel and we instantly wanted to have it in our collection. It looked so different and not like anything we had ever seen before. The only real time game we had in our collection was Magic Maze and so this game instantly hooked our interest. I remember as a child playing hours of Theme Hospital on the computer and so having an adult version of that kind of game seemed appealing to me. We waited to buy it as it had been fluctuating in price and eventually dived in and made the purchase. I always worry when you wait a while for games that by the time you get it, the idea will have worn off but we were not disappointed. This game is incredibly frantic, stressful, frustrating. Everything feels like a blur (some might say a RUSH!), as you go through a round and then sometimes it’s bittersweet because whilst you were rushing to treat as many patients as you could, you made a tiny error in the IV fluids level and that’s it, it’s all over! The margins for error are huge, with so much information on the cards and diagnoses adding some complexity to an already fraught treatment, you will be pulling your hair out, exasperated at your partner in crime, who admitted another patient when you only had 30 seconds left, needing several diagnoses and the time is running out! AHHHHHHH!
This game is so fun and you just want to play over and over again! It may be infuriating but it is so much fun to take part in and like no other game in our collection. This one is staying!!!! We love it!