Hospital Rush is a game by Thomas Kjølby Laursen, Kåre Storgaard and Steen Thomsen, published by Passport Game Studios and Pegasus Spiele. It is for 3-5 players. In this game, players take on the role of interns at a hospital vieying for the same vacant doctor’s position. They will be attempting to cure patients from their diseases. They will have to decide if they want to work hard or cheat their way to the top. The player that can play it smart and collect the most prestige points will be declared the winner.
To begin, the board should be placed on the table on the correct side as determined by the number of players. The patch tiles and study markers should be placed in separate piles beside the board, as well as the money tiles. The medicine tiles should be sorted by color and placed on the medicine chest on the board as determined by the number of players. Players may either choose a player board or be given one randomly. The matching visiting card should be given to the appropriate players. Each player then chooses a color and receives 2 action markers, 2 markers and the character marker of their chosen color. The character marker is placed on the player board as a reminder of what their color is. Each player then places one of their markers on the 0 space of the prestige thermometer. The remaining marker and action markers (meeple) are placed next to the player board. Players receive 1 buck which is placed to the right of their player board, visible for all players to see. The patient cards are shuffled and placed in a stack face down next to the upper left corner of the board. Four patient cards are then drawn and placed face up on each of the 4 beds on the board. The first player is chosen and they receive the starting player marker. Play now begins.
The game is played over several rounds that are each divided into 5 phases. The first phase is to place the first action markers. Beginning with the first player, each player will place 1 of their action markers onto one of the action spaces on the board and immediately perform the action that it gives. Players may alternatively choose to use one of the available action spaces on their player board as well. Some spaces are only available once a round so if another player has already placed a marker on that spot it will be unavailable until the next round. Some spaces can accomodate any number of player markers. Red spaces are unfair actions that can be taken but are very risky, especially if another player chooses to rat them out. Spaces that a player may choose are to treat a patient, fetch medicine, night shift, study, final exam and rat out. Treating a patient allows a player to place medicine and patches to be able to cure them and collect prestige points. Fetching medicine allows the player to collect medicine from the medicine chest. Night shift gives the player money. Studying allows a player to learn additional skills on their player boards. Final exam awards prestige points for additional skills that the player has learned. Rat out allows a player to punish another player for using an unfair action and also provides money. The risky actions are sabotage and bribe. Sabotage allows a player to steal money and medicine from an opponent. Bribe allows a player to buy prestige points. Players can also use their player board spaces which differ from character to character.
The second phase is to place the second action markers. Once each player has placed their first action marker, players then in turn order will place their second action marker, taking the action it provides.
The next phase is to discharge patients. In this phase, players check to see if each patient has been cured by having all the necessary tiles placed on their patient card. Players gain prestige points for having a patient marker on a cured patient.
The fourth phase is to check if the game end has been reached. In this phase, players check to see if there is a player’s prestige marker on space 10 of the prestige thermometer. If so, the game ends, otherwise, the game continues.
The final phase is to prepare the next round. This phase has a few steps to it. If a patient is in the fourth bed in the rightmost space, it is removed and any tiles and patient markers are returned to their appropriate places. The card is then discarded. Patients are then slid down and the empty bed is filled with a new patient card. Action markers are then returned to each player. A new round begins with the start player placing their first action marker onto an action space.
As noted above, the game ends once a player’s prestige token reaches 10 on the thermometer. Players then will add up their prestige points. The player with the most prestige points at this time is the winner.
This game has a lot of really humorous looking and fun pieces to it. The double sided board is really great. Things change up just a bit when playing with more or less people. All of the tiles are thick cardboard and work really well with the lighthearted theme of the game. I like that not only are the patches and medicine tiles cardboard but also the money tiles are as well. The action markers are brightly colored meeples made from wood. There are also round wooden markers that match for each color. These are really sturdy and nicely made. I like that there are character markers to note which color your playing instead of making each different character a different color like most games would. That makes it possible for you to play the character and color you like instead of being force to choose one or the other. That’s a definite bonus for me. The player boards are nice and thick and have notches on the side for placing the study markers in them. They have both an English side and a German side. The start player marker is cardboard and depicts a bloody bandaged thumb. Very thematic and appropriate considering the humorous look of the game. The patient cards and visiting cards that are used for reference are very well made as well. I love the light artwork and humorous pop culture references on the patient cards. You will definitely get a kick out of the different patients. Personally, I can find nothing out of the way to complain about with this game. It’s well crafted and very fun and silly looking. I approve.
9 out of 10
The rulebook for this game is well designed and looks nice to boot. There are both rulebooks for English and German included with the game. The book contains lots of pictures and examples throughout. Everything is explained really well and is easy to read. Each of the different action spaces are thoroughly explained in great detail. There’s even a section that clarifies any unclear sections from the player boards. There’s absolutely nothing that is difficult to understand. It’s not that thick either so it won’t take long to read through and get up and running. All of the icons and different terms used in the game are also referenced for easy identification. Of course, most of this is fairly simple to understand anyway. Still, it’s nice that this was included anyway. Overall, I’m happy with the look and feel of the rules. I didn’t see anything that I didn’t understand or that confused me. It’s really well done.
9 out of 10
This is a very fun game. It’s really great at using the worker placement mechanic and combining a bit of take that to it. The humor really comes through in every aspect of the game. I love how each one of the patients is a rip on some pop culture icon. The different characters that player can choose from are all your stereotypical hospital types like something you might see on the TV show Scrubs. The take that aspect is quite mild with really just the sabotage and rat out spaces causing any real player against player interaction. In some ways, I can even see how the game might be likened to a race game as you’re all trying to get to 10 prestige points first. It isn’t a long game either which I feel is a bonus. To me if the game lasted any longer than an hour it would start to get old and annoying. Most game sessions take about 45 minutes. If you have a player that really takes a long time to think each move through it may reach into that hour length. For me anyway, it’s better if you can just make your move and move on. In that way, the game is quite enjoyable. There are plenty of options to take and you will find yourself really wanting to take those risky spaces to move ahead quicker. You just have to be aware that other players will most likely stick it to you by ratting you out. As long as you have some extra money lying around, it’s not that big of a deal. Just be prepared is all I’m saying. In any event, I like the game and found it to be a quick and light take on worker placement.
8 out of 10
Hospital Rush is a light game of worker placement with a mild take that feel. It’s not a long game. Most game sessions last about 45 minutes, give or take. The theme is light and humorous. I really enjoy the patient cards. I found them to be quite funny. The artwork is really fun and cartoon like, which I really enjoy. The game is fairly simple to learn and play. The icons are really simple to understand and anyone familiar with these types of games should be able to understand them quite easily. Fans of games like Munchkin or worker placement games should enjoy this one. It’s definitely one of the simpler worker placement games that I’ve played. I would recommend this game and found it to be very enjoyable. Everything about this game is entertaining. Great components, easy and light gameplay with a good bit of humor mixed in. What’s not to like.
8 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out Passport Game Studios at their site.