Road To Recovery

by Martin Murrillo

Martin enjoys playing competitive volleyball and reading science fiction in his spare time. One of his goals is to live in Laguna Beach

and work in a corporate training environment.

Instructional Objective The instructional intent of Road to Recovery is to familiarize potential patients to the various departments and responsibilities encountered in a typical hospital visit. Players will also be exposed to clinical scenarios and personal responsibilities associated with the recovery process.

Time Required The average playing time for the "Road to Recovery" is 60 minutes. The game is designed for four to six players and should be played on a flat, stable surface.

Learners The player population will consist of adults (age 17 and up) who will be admitted to a hospital for a surgical procedure in the near future. These players have little or no past medical experience other than what is in the general media or on Marcus Welby, MD.


Equipment Road to Recovery(TM) contains one playing board, one die, 36 cards, six player tokens and 30 department cards.

Object of the Game Players must collect 4 department cards(3 of which must be Admitting, Dietary and Operating Room) by having landed in each of the department spaces. The play then proceeds to the Business Office for check out.

Start of Play Each player selects a token. Players roll the die, with the player rolling the highest number moving first. If two or more players tie, they roll again. The player with the first turn rolls the die again and, starting from the Start Space, moves the token the indicated number of spaces. The move will end on a department space or a situation space. When a token lands on a department space, the player collects that specific department card. If the player lands on a situational space, they follow the directions on that space.

With each die roll, a move can be made in either direction around the playing path. Backtracking--a combination of forward and backward moves on one die roll-- is not permitted. A player must always move the number of spaces shown on the die.

Continuation of Play Play continues with players moving the tokens along the playing path. A player landing in one of the "Roll again" spaces continues the turn by rolling the die again.

When a token lands on a space occupied by another players token, the player landing may "steal" any one of that players department cards.

When a token lands on a "Pick a Card" space, they must pull the top card from the Card pile and follow the directions on that card. After play, the card is returned to the bottom of the pile.

Winning the Game After a player has collected the required department cards, the player's token must make its way to the Business Office to win the game. The token must land in the Business office space by exact roll of the die.

Design Process This process was fun and frustrating for me. I had the original concept in my head about how the game was to be played. As I put thoughts to paper, I found that there were times when I didn't know what to do next and which variables to restrict. I found myself drawing various sketches, and reworking them until I found a solution that I was happy with. I developed the playing rules and playing materials simultaneously. I actually played the game to test its playablility. I was not happy with the board design, and decided to forgo any artistic attempt to create a hospital layout for the actual rules and subject matter. After sharing the idea with several co-workers and friends, I was amazed at the positive response and numbers of individuals willing to play this game.