Mystery Rummy – A Discussion
David Turner
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I have absolutely fallen in love with Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper. It is a simple but challenging card game, with many hidden strategies.

In this list I would like to consolidate information and opinions.

Your opinion (for each Mystery Rummy game):
Even if you have only played 1 version, please feel free to comment.

What do you like about this game?
What do you not like about this game?
How does this games rate with others in the series.
How well does it play with 2?
How well does it play with 3?
How well does it play with 4?
Other Comments?

Feel free to add any other games to this list that you feel Mystery Rummy players would also enjoy?

Thank you!
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1. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:1180]
Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper
David Turner
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Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper (1998) GameID: 106

Designer Mike Fitzgerald
Players 2 – 4
Playing Time 45 Minutes
Bayesian Average Rating:7.09
Average Game Play Weight:1.62

This game attaches an interesting theme to a fairly standard Rummy framework. Playing Victims, Suspects, Scenes, and Evidence-melds, players try to build a case against various suspects for the famous Jack the Ripper serial murders. Whichever suit has the most cards played in it when a player goes out is the guilty party, but if all the Victim cards come out before the end of the game, the Ripper might escape, giving the player who produced that card a significant point allowance.
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2. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Murders in the Rue Morgue [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:3089]
Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Murders in the Rue Morgue
David Turner
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Mystery Rummy: Murders in the Rue Morgue (1999) GameID: 371

Designer Mike Fitzgerald
Players 2 – 4
Playing Time 30 Minutes
Bayesian Average Rating:6.70
Average Game Play Weight:1.94

The second Mystery Rummy game. In this one players investigate the murder from the Edgar Allen Poe story. The basic mechanics (evidence card melds, gavel cards, etc.) are similar to the first Mystery Rummy game, but this one adds a hidden "kitty" in which players secretly place cards throughout the hand. The first player to go out (before the draw deck is exhausted) wins the kitty in addition to their regular melds.
 
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3. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Jekyll & Hyde [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:2687]
Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Jekyll & Hyde
David Turner
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Mystery Rummy: Jekyll and Hyde (2001) GameID: 1265
Designer Mike Fitzgerald

Players 2 – 2
Playing Time 45 Minutes
Bayesian Average Rating:6.61
Average Rating:6.69

It's still rummy at heart, with multiple suits of 5 cards each, with the twist being that the suits are designated J for Jekyll, H for Hyde, or J/H for suits that count as both Jekyll and Hyde. The unique mechanism in this version of MR is that there is a two sided card (the 'identity card') on the table next to the draw deck, which has Jekyll on one side, and Hyde on the other. At the start of the game, Dr. Jekyll is showing, but this can change if a "potion" card is played (one of the three gavel cards, cards you can only play one of on your turn). You then flip the identity card over, and draw 2 cards from the draw deck. This is important, because you can only play melds whose suit matches the identity that is currently showing.

The identity card is important in scoring as well, because any melds that match the identity card when scoring count double, and during scoring if all your meld suits match the current identity card, you shut the other player out! This makes for a tense endgame, especially if you're trying to go for a shutout, because there is a card 'transformation that can change the value of your or an opponents meld from one suit to another.

Add in one more gavel card type ('work in lab') which lets you draw three cards from the draw deck and keep one, or the top of the discard pile, but only if the card you take matches the identity currently showing. The round ends when one player goes out, and scoring then occurs. Cards in your hand count as negative points.
 
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4. Board Game: Bonnie and Clyde [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:4927]
Board Game: Bonnie and Clyde
David Turner
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Mystery Rummy: Bonnie and Clyde (2005) GameID: 16320
Designer Mike Fitzgerald

Not yet published
 
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5. Board Game: Wyatt Earp [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1217]
Board Game: Wyatt Earp
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The unofficial "Mystery Rummy Volume 3.5".

Co-designed by Richard Borg with Mike Fitzgerald if I remember correctly...

There are seven suits, and each player adds more cards to contribute to the capture of various outlaws. The more powerful special cards have a symbol requiring a "shot", where you pull a card from the draw pile to see whether the effect is successful or not.
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6. Board Game: History's Mysteries Card Game [Average Rating:5.56 Overall Rank:18339]
Board Game: History's Mysteries Card Game
Chris Martin
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I think this also belongs here i haven't played it but i own it it seems to be a similar idea from the same designer. feel free to delete if you dont think it belongs.
 
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7. Board Game: A Gamut of Games [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Board Game: A Gamut of Games
David Turner
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On this item, if you have played more than one of the above, list the them in order of preference.

Thank again.
 
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8. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:2941]
Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
David Turner
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Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld (2003)
Designer Mike Fitzgerald

Players 2 – 4
Playing Time 30 Minutes
Bayesian Average Rating: 6.93
Average Game Play Weight: 1.38

The fourth in the Mystery Rummy series introduces some elements of Canasta - you get bonuses for collecting complete sets.

Sets have varying numbers of cards in them, from Mike Heitler with 4 cards, up to Al Capone with 8. The four gavel card types make cards accessable everywhere: Agent Meeting searches other players hands, Eliot Ness searches the deck, Search Warrant looks in the discard pile, and Raid even allows you to take an opponent's already melded cards, provided you have at least 3 melded. All these mechanisms help make completing entire sets for their bonuses something you can reasonably strive for, and always must be guarding against your opponent doing.
 
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9. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Escape from Alcatraz [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:4231]
Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Escape from Alcatraz
William Ekhardt
United States
Gamaliel
Kentucky
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Mystery Rummy: Escape from Alcatraz, game #5 in the "Mystery Rummy" series from Mike Fitzgerald, consists of 129 cards in two decks: the Plans Deck of 84 escape plan cards and 14 escapee cards, and the Action Deck of 31 action cards.

The goal of the game is to earn points by helping foil escape plans. Players gather information by melding matching plan cards or playing off an existing plan. When players collect eight matching plan cards and identify the plan's mastermind, they can foil the escape plan, capture the culprit, and score points.

The first player to reach 100 or more points at the end of a round wins.
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