Oh So Lucky, Doctor! Review

Screenshot from Oh So Lucky, Doctor!
The surgery mini-game sometimes has you applying stitches
  • Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
  • Developer: Paul Stephen-Davis
  • Publisher: Paul Stephen-Davis
  • Release Date: 13 Mar 2020
  • Time played: 2.6 hours (INCOMPLETE)

What is it

Paul Stephen-Davis, the developer behind this game, is probably better known for games he developed for his studio Retro Army starting with the 2014 comedic shooter Super Trench Attack!. Retro Army developed several retro-styled games after this, including 2015's sequel to Super Trench Attack!, STA 2: Super Trench Attack, 2016's fighting game Verdict: Guilty, 2017's Breakout clone Death's Hangover, 2017's running game Dungeon Marathon and 2019's retro FPS The Spy Who Shot Me.

While all of the games did not manage to get a Metascore, they generally fared pretty well on Steam, especially the very first Super Trench Attack where 92% of the 998 user reviews were rated positive.

After The Spy Who Shot Me, it seems that Retro Army ceased to operate as a studio, as a visit to its website reveals that the company is "dormant" and the company ceased trading on the 27th December last year.

Stephen-Davis seems to be a developer that likes to create retro-styled games in a variety of genres, so it's no surprise that his entry for 2020 is a hospital surgery/life simulation game called Oh So Lucky, Doctor!. In this game, you play a surgery intern who can earn money by performing surgery mini-games. There are eight stories to experience focused on different characters and the goal is to get the "good" ending in each of these stories which involves building up your relationship with the story character: this is achieved by talking to the character and purchasing them gifts before the week is over (since you only have a limited time). When you complete the story (regardless of whether you get a good or bad ending) you earn tokens that you can invest in making things easier for you in a future playthrough (e.g. being able to borrow more money from the bank or deposit more money at a time).

How I got it

I managed to score a review key for this game so thank you very much to Paul Stephen-Davis for the opportunity to play one of his games (despite already owning Super Trench Attack! which sits on my Pile of Shame - I really have to play it sometime)!

Screenshot from Oh So Lucky, Doctor!
Oh So Lucky, Doctor! has a variety of mini-games, like the infamous skill tester!

What I like:


Animated 3D avatars

Animated 3D avatars are a bit of a novelty in visual novels (at least the few I've played) and it definitely helps bring the characters to life.

Several hours of entertainment

It takes just over an hour to complete each story and you'll likely end up replaying them in order to get all the "good" endings so I suspect there's probably 10-20 hours of gameplay here. What you've got to ask yourself though, is do you prefer quantity or quality?

Mini-games

There are a good variety of mini-games including the surgery mini-games, the infamous Skill tester as well as… a pokie machine??? IN A HOSPITAL?! What is this, Vegas? The mini-games aren't revolutionary by no means but they're probably the most entertaining parts of the game.

Screenshot from Oh So Lucky, Doctor!
Um, yes ma'am

What I dislike:


Two-Dimensional Characters

The stories that you experience in the game are based off your typical tropes you'd find in soap operas such as dealing with overprotective parents or overcoming shyness. This could've been redeemed by interesting characters but unfortunately the characters are rather two-dimensional (e.g. overly shy nurses, bumbling idiot administrators, nosy reporters, ambitious but cold female doctors, etc.) meaning the stories aren't really worth your time.

BEWBS

I've got no issue with boobs in video games but man, half the female characters in this game have pornstar physiques and are in dire need of breast reduction surgery. It kind of makes you wonder which demographic Stephen-Davis was targeting since nurses parading around with large bouncing breasts would probably attract horny straight males, but then the game probably doesn't go far enough to titillate (since it's definitely not a hentai title); if you don't believe me, there's already a post on the game's Steam forum asking when the "uncensored" patch is coming out. On the other hand, those looking for a game with a deep and meaningful story, or at least one that's humourous, will also be disappointed. So who is this game meant to target?

MIDI music

Yes, the game has old-fashioned MIDI tracks for background music and sometimes, they sound quite terrible. The only redeeming feature of having MIDI music in a game about hospitals is that I get pangs of nostalgia for Theme Hospital when listening to it!

Grind

I hate grind and a lot of Japanese games seem to employ this tactic to get you to re-play games over and over again (i.e. New Game+ mode). Oh So Lucky, Doctor! seems to be one of these kind of games and while some people love this kind of feature I loathe it. Also, despite there being a variety of mini-games, this is not enough to alleviate the drudgery that awaits you every in-game day which involves talking to NPCs, working and buying gifts. You'll repeat these actions every day until you're out of time.

Typos

Not a biggie but the game does contain the occasional typo and why on Earth do the buttons say "Click" instead of "OK"?

No Steam Achievements and Trading Cards

There are currently no Steam Achievements and Trading Cards for this game but since the game is new, this may change over time.

Score – 6/10 (Okay)

If you're the sort of person that values a game for how many hours of entertainment it offers and appreciates a variety of mini-games then Oh So Lucky, Doctor! mainly succeeds in this regard. However, don't go in expecting any deep, meaningful stories and if you hate games with grind or New Game+ modes, this is definitely one to avoid.

Is the game worth $2.95 AUD?: Yes. Despite the game being rather grindy, that's rather cheap for over 8 hours of entertainment. It's especially great value if you're into visual novels with lots of mini-games. If 3 bucks is somehow too much though, there is a free web browser version of the game doing the rounds on the Internet.

If you like this game, you might like…

[ LINK: Twitter - Paul Stephen-Davis ]

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