Because we play games together often we are always looking for two player games. This game came highly recommended through this website, and when we had a chance to get it we jumped on it. So is it a good game for us?
In Mr. Jack one player is Mr. Jack and the other is the detective. There are eight characters on the board, and one of them is Mr. Jack. At the beginning, the Mr. Jack character secretly picks a card that tells them which character Mr. Jack is impersonating. Each of the characters have special abilities such as moving police barricades, moving lights, or switching locations with another character. Four of the characters will be available on odd number turns the detective player will move one of the characters, and then the Mr. Jack player moves two. Finally, the detective player moves the fourth character. After four characters have moved then the Mr. Jack player must declare if Mr. Jack is seen or unseen. Mr. Jack is unseen if the character is not next to a lit lamp or another character they are seen otherwise they are unseen. The detective player uses this information to eliminate suspects. If Mr. Jack is unseen then next turn they may escape. The game ends when Mr. Jack escapes by moving off the board, The detective captures Mr. Jack by moving a piece on top of the Mr. Jack character, or eight turns expire and Mr. Jack wins by default.
The Game We Played
I played the detective and my wife played Mr. Jack. On the end of the first turn, Mr. Jack was seen but so were all of the other characters but two. By the end of the second turn, Mr. Jack was still seen and I was able to eliminate all but three suspects from suspension. However, Sherlock Holmes special ability allowed me to draw a character card and eliminate the yellow character as a suspect. This meant that I knew Mr. Jack was either the brown character or the purple character. As we turned the characters up for the turn both of them were options to move. Brown and Purple were close to each other and close to an exit. My wife asked if Mr. Jack could escape this turn. I reminded her that Mr. Jack had to be unseen the previous turn. Since the brown character (Watson) was the only one who could have escaped on this turn I assumed this must have been Mr. Jack. Since I got to move first, I moved the brown character in a position that allowed multiple characters to land on the same space. With my last move, I moved the green character onto the brown one and accused him of being Mr. Jack. I was wrong, Mr. Jack was purple. It turns out she had originally planned to use the purple ability to switch posistions with brown and move out. However, she had forgotten that after using the special ability, purple can not move. Because I accused the wrong person I lost, and she won.
My Rating: 2.5 (Don't really care for it)
My Thoughts: I like games that require trying to get into an opponent's head and figure out how they are thinking. However, this game falls flat for me. Every time the game has the same set up and it makes every game feel very much like each other. In our experience, the game also has a lot of down time as players try to figure out the best move. I can not quite put finger on why but the game is kind of unsatisfying to play.
Her Rating: 1.5 (Do not like)
Her Thoughts: It is clever, but I dislike having to plan several steps ahead and the pressure of messing that up.
Combined Rating: 4
We can both see why people might really enjoy Mr. Jack. However, it is not really a good game for us, and it is not a game that we enjoy very much. This is a game we will be parting ways with and put up for trade.