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A board game for general practice



Dear Pulse Editor,

You probably know me without realising it. I’m an inventor of board games and I’ve been doing it for over 30 years.

I’ve designed such classics as ‘Cats in Waistcoats’ and the popular sequel ‘Cats with Pistols’. I also invented ‘Angry Barrel’ and ‘Die Fruchtan Die’, the competitive fruit-based game which will have you screaming ‘blood-banana!’ in no time.

In the 70s I designed ‘Underground Billy’, a game which involved the player helping Billy to escape his abusive life in a psychotic orphanage by guiding him through a sewer network. (It was later banned by the EU, leading to considerable loss of revenue).

I also made ‘Mind Terror: The Z-Zone’, where you have to write down exactly what you think about your family members and read it out loud – a game, I have to say, that was inspired by all those psychologists you see on the telly.

Lately, though, I’ve run out of creative energy and all I’ve come up with is ‘Connect Five’, which is one harder than Connect Four, and ‘Kaplunk’ (a bit like Kerplunk).

To end the creative famine I’ve decided to branch out and this is where you come in. I want to design a board game around the NHS, that great British institution close to all our hearts.

The idea is you set up your own practice and the last player to survive wins.

It’s not just about moving counters around a board, though. For example, if you land on ‘Duty Doc’, you have to lock yourself in a wardrobe with a packet of crisps and a photo of a loved one and be prepared to answer an increasingly difficult set of medico-legal dilemmas shouted at you through the door.

Every time you make a lap of the board the youngest player gets to spin the contract wheel. This introduces a new set of measures, all of which inevitably lead to you losing money.

There are squares like, ‘You’ve just had your first heart attack, please go back to the beginning’, ‘You are pregnant, congratulations. Your colleagues now hate you, lose a turn’ and ‘Bad luck buddy. You’ve been referred to the GMC’. If you do land on this square, the board is reversed and family members take it in turns to dress up like a judge and attack your character – wig, gavel and noose (should you need it) are included.

Working titles include ‘NHSpionage’ and, for the European market, ‘Il Mundo del Muerto Medici’.

All I need is £10,000 from Pulse so I can start making the boards and your permission to use the phrase ‘Pulse readers have voted this the best board game ever’. I look forward to your support.

– Mr Strugatsky

Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Aberdeen