(P)review: Bad Medicine, or the Endless Gloating of Herb Ferman

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bad medicine 3It was the end of Gen Con 2014. We were sitting in a restaurant at the Indianapolis Airport and I had a pretty killer hangover. By we, I mean Herb, Gil and I were slouched over a table of cards and food. I was nursing myself back to health with a Bloody Mary while Gil pulled out his new game, Bad Medicine. Oh, the irony. Herb, of course, being his usual grumpy pants self, was too tired to have any part of the game. The cards were reminiscent of all of Gil’s early prototypes; great games printed on cheap paper. We didn’t really get the chance to play a round when we were called to board our plane home.

The second time I played the game was at Gil’s home, with several of our friends. This time, the game looked a lot more refined and the rules had changed a little for the better. Yes, Gil made a party game. The same guy who created Battle Merchants. And this new party game. It really works. But what did Herb think?

The last time we played the game was when it was finished and ready to show the world. Herb was there this time and he was in a perkier mood than usual. Yeah, I know, the words “Herb” and “perky” are rarely seen in the same sentence unless it’s describing some herbal remedy for an upset stomach. But surprise, surprise, he won. And for the next two days, he couldn’t stop gloating.

I think it’s pretty obvious to say that Herb likes the game, because (in his own words) “I beat Gil, I deserve a cookie”. So let’s just skip all that and go into a short summary of the gameplay and my opinions, (since they’re more valid than Herb’s).

The game is quick, simple, and easy to learn (even for non-gamers). If it weren’t all those things, it wouldn’t be a party game. But is it fun? That checkbox is ticked.

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The goal of the game is to make up a) the best sounding name, b) the funniest way of treating the ailment chosen, and c) a hilarious side-effect that shouldn’t be a big deal, because at least you’ve been cured of XYZ. The player with the best pitch wins the round. Each person is given a set of cards and are asked to think up of a name for their drug based on the top portion of three of their cards. Two other cards will be set aside as a way the drug will treat the ailment and finally, the last few cards will be kept in your hand. When it’s another player’s turn to make a pitch, you’re to give that player one of the remains cards in your hand that has the funniest side effect. That player will then choose which never is best suited and whoever gave them that card gets a point.

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At the end, it’s time to vote for who has the best pitch. Each vote grants you two points, so the more the better. Pretty easy right?

This game is great fun and I think it spans almost any type of player, from the picky miniatures gamer (ahem, Herb), to casual Munchkin gamers, to strategy gamers who are just looking for something light in between the heavy thinking games. Or you know, if you think you’re a comedian after a few mai tais.

I seriously recommend you check it out here on Kickstarter and back the hell out of it.