Published by: Smirk and Dagger Games
# of Players: 1 to 4
Paramedics Clear! is a fast paced game that requires components to be clear and discernible. Paramedics Clear! uses an app along with the rules to act as a timer for turns and also the pace players need to clean up after their turn. This allows for steady gameplay while being practical. The app's timer is based off a heart monitor and that annoying beeping sound that most Nurses turn off for some reason. That noise acts as an added stress to your fast paced turn and everyone will know if you didn't finish your turn in time by the flat line noise. There are no shock paddles to keep that turn going.
Paramedics Clear!'s other components are comprised of cards and cardboard tokens. The cardboard is your standard quality with clear images so that you know what you are moving around your player mat. The player mat has very clear icons that represent the various parts of the game. Each is clear and contains plenty of space for tokens and visualization. Cards come in two sizes. The regular size cards are used for the patients. Each patient has a medical emergency that ranges from paper cut and cell phone explosion to being hit by a meteor or bringing a knife to a gun fight. Each patient has specific medical needs that you will be trying to accomplish during your turn. If you fail to do so they die. Yep even the paper cut will kill a person. The supply cards which are used to obtain medical supplies are smaller sized cards. Some find them a pain to shuffle. Each is color and icon coordinated so that everyone can easily choose cards even if you have an issue seeing colors.
The rule book for Paramedics Clear! is very detailed and contains a few illustrations. Bold headings make the walls of text more bearable, but it does look a bit overwhelming. Adding a few more illustrations to break up the walls of texts would help make reading the rule book less daunting. Overall Smirk and Dagger Games provides components that fit Paramedics Clear! thematically while also making them work with the flow of the game.
Paramedics Clear! is a competitive game about Paramedics performing first aid on patients and then getting them to the hospital to get fully treated. Each player will have their own unique Ambulance that will hold your medical supply tokens and upgrade tokens. Each player will be treating up to two patients at a time. The first spot will be a patient that you choose when drawing cards, while the other card will be given to you from another player and will be secret till it is your turn. Players will start with 2 medical supply tokens of their choice in their two available cabinet spaces. Each player will also get 5 supply cards. The first player is the player who most recently sustained an injury or however you want to decide. Please don't purposely injure someone to make them go first. It's not cool and can really hurt.
Players will take turns during 3 shifts (rounds). Each round will last till the supply cards have been depleted. That player will finish their turn and then the next player will start the next shift with a freshly shuffled supply deck and 5 new supply cards. Each shift has a set time for each turn. First shift is the longest with 60 seconds per turn. Second shift only gives you 45 seconds and the third shift sets a blistering pace of 30 seconds per turn. Once the timer starts, you will fill your main gurney with a patient card if you currently do not have a patient in that space. You will also flip over the face down patient if you have one, otherwise leave that space empty. During your turn, you will be focusing mainly on treating patients. Each patient has medical needs that you will be using tokens to heal them. During your turn you must at least sustain your patients to keep them from dying. This means that you place at least one medical supply token on the patient and then tilt the card showing you sustained them during the turn. Some patients are critical and can not be sustained. When a patient has all the tokens that match the medical needs of a patient, you will call out that your transporting the patient and place them to the right of your player board. These patients will give you victory points at the end of the game. If you did not sustain a patient during your turn or get a critical patient to the hospital, they die and go to the left of your board. They will count as negative points at the end of the game. If you transport a patient from your main gurney, you must immediately refill that gurney by drawing 2 cards and choosing one. You will give the other card face down to a player who has their second gurney spot open. That patient you just added must also be sustained before your turn is over or they will die. Before the timer flat lines, you will say Clear! and stop the timer. Immediately start the timer for the next person and perform clean up. You will straighten up the 5 supply cards on the table and make sure your tokens are cleaned up.
So how do you obtain medical supplies? You start out with two of your choice at the start of the game that you can use immediately on your turn. To obtain other medical supplies, you will be playing supply cards from your hand. Each Ambulance has 6 types of medical supplies you can get during your turns. Each supply requires certain color cards or pair of cards. During your turn you may immediately exchange the cards in your hand for the supply token and place it on the patient or you can store a token in each of your supply cabinet spots. If you do not have the right cards, you can exchange 1 for 1 with the face up supply cards in the middle of the table or offer up a trade of 2 cards to a player for a card of that color if they have it. It is beneficial to both to make the trade as you get the card you need and they get an extra card in their hand. Though you may still want to see the patient die instead and not perform the trade. Also during your turn you can turn in sets of the same color to get one of 3 type of upgrades. You can upgrade to add more medical cabinets to store more tokens, get an air evacuation that allows you to transport a patient without the use of medical supply tokens (one time per upgrade cost), or increase your card hand limit to 6. Each provides benefits but also takes cards and time that may be better suited to help your patients. You can store one color type of cards during your turn to use at a later time for upgrades.
At the end of the third shift, players will total up the positive points from all patients they transported to the hospital plus any points from upgrades. You will then subtract the negative points from the patients that died on your watch. That total will be your final score and the player with the most points wins the game. In case of a tie, it goes to highest amount of saved patients, then most critical saved patients. If somehow you are still tied after those two, then it goes to lowest critical patients lost, and if it is still tied then share the title.
Paramedics Clear! is a fast paced good time. Some turns it will feel like you got so much done while others it will feel like you barely sustained your patients. My tip would be to try and use all your cards each turn. Get the supplies on patients and then use the rest of the cards for upgrades or adding supplies to the cabinet. The rule about starting the next player's turn immediately keeps the game at a fast pace and can cause chaos. You have to be prepared for your turn. One player got up to get a drink and they took too long and missed part of their turn. I enjoy the chaos of everything going on and that players can trade with each other. The mutual benefit of trading is great and sometimes that decision of making the trade can be rough. The different injuries on the cards are very humorous and can also cause to break out laughing during your turn. The game is much easier to teach than read from the rule book. The rule book makes the game seem way more complicated than it is. Components were designed nicely for the quick decisions that are needed. Paramedics Clear! is staying the So1ks collection. Paramedics Clear! is a great game to get on the table when family or friends come over and want something fun to play. This game plays well with a wide range of age and experience. The best way I can explain Paramedics Clear! is in two words: controlled chaos.
+Fast steady game pace
+Easy to teach
+Components are designed for quick thinking
+Interesting situations can happen with constant timing of turns
+Funny patient cards
- Rule book feel intimidating with lots of text and few pictures
-Annoying heat beat monitor noise
- Tiny cards can be a pain to shuffle
-I keep wanting to call it Pandemics Clear!