In Psych Ward, players play the role of therapists taking on patients with an array of mental disorders that must be diagnosed and treated. The game board represents a large Psych Ward, at which all players work as therapists, treating both inpatients and outpatients. Players must do two primary things with respect to the patients they take on: 1) diagnose the disorders afflicting them and 2) cure them by treating their disorders. Each round, players take turns using the five Action tokens they are allotted to visit different areas of the Psych Ward, and these areas, in turn, allow them to do different things (e.g. players visit the Admissions Room to interview and acquire new patients and they visit various labs in order to cure the patients they are treating). The Action tokens required to visit different areas of the Psych Ward varies, and some areas may only be visited by one player per round. Beginning with the first player and continuing one-by-one, in clockwise order, players choose an available area that they would like to visit and expend the Action tokens required to do so. Once all players have used all of their Action tokens (or have chosen not to use anymore), the current round ends and the next round begins. The winner of the game is the first player to earn 10 Credibility points, or the player that has the most Credibility Points after the completion of 24 rounds. Credibility points are primarily earned by successfully curing patients, although there are other ways to receive them. Patients have a certain number of Credibility points associated with curing them, which is determined by how difficult it is to diagnose and treat their disorder (i.e. more difficult patients earn a player more Credibility points). However, before therapists can cure patients they must first be able to diagnose their disorders, which require various degrees of expertise across six diagnostic areas (e.g. clinical observation). Additionally, therapists can conduct research in an effort to produce publications (which are worth Credibility points), to gain Perks (which give them specific advantages during gameplay), and to permanently modify the game via Modifier cards.
Psych Ward: Prototype Photos