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Whitehall Mystery» Forums » General

Subject: Is Whitehall Mystery the right game for me? rss

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Chris Pendleton
United States
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Hi all,

I posted a similar question in the Letters from Whitechapel forum. Was hoping you all could give me some feedback as well.

I'm very torn between LfW and WM. I've never played either one, and would like to avoid buying both (for a while at least).

I really like a heavy theme and an epic feel to a game. LfW seems to at least "feel" more epic (from what I've read) than WM. I could be totally wrong, though. Feedback on this appreciated. My impression is that LfW is a slow-burn to tension, while WM is more frantic tension from the start.

I would probably be playing with around 2-3 mostly, but I would like the option for a larger group play (holidays and friends/family visiting). My thought though is that both games aren't necessarily Play 1, Player 2, etc. but more team vs the murder, so it really doesn't matter the strict amount of investigator players. Correct?

I've read some comments that say people can play this in less than 2 hours, Is this correct?

If it's ok, I'll write what I seem to like about WM and what I'm nervous of ... hopefully you can give me some feedback.

Pro's
Quicker than LfW
Easier for non-gamers to grasp
FFG will probably come out with expansions for this game instead of LfW
Smoother gameplay/streamlined
Easier for find
Compact storage

Con's
Smaller board (ex: I had to buy all the expansions to A Touch of Evil to get a giant, epic, sprawling board)
Less variant options
Maximum of 4 players (although shouldn't matter due to teams)
Less epic (is this true?)


Thanks for any feedback!!!!
 
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I think a number of your questions and concerns (if not all) are addressed by Shut Up and Sit Down's written review:

https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/review-whitehall-mystery/

Should be helpful!
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Dana Olson
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I've played both a few times each, and always at max player count.

I can tell you this: Whitehall Mystery is the one that is joining my collection.

I didn't play Letters from Whitechapel as Jack, but it didn't feel tense or exciting at all - not even as we approached the endgame. It felt hopeless, right from the start. Even when we closed in on Jack and, in one game, arrested him successfully, it wasn't all that exciting - after two hours, it was just nice to finally be done. I wanted to like it. I wanted to love it. The theme and everything is right up my alley. But it just fell flat for me. I think that I would have really enjoyed it as a 2-player game, but never got the chance. One of the times I played, we didn't get our own investigator, we played as a group, and it was by far the worst experience I've had in a co-op game, except for maybe Zombicide at max player count. The problem is, some players feel they know where Jack went, and other players disagree, and they go off in one direction, and you just don't function as a unit. And with that style of play, it takes a lot longer, too. We played for 2+ hours and had only finished the 2nd night! It doesn't feel epic at all, it feels like a slog and depressing.

Whitehall Mystery, on the other hand... You're right that it's tense from the start. I played as Jack and won, but it was just barely, barely possible. The other players were right on my ass from the get-go, and they wouldn't let up. I managed to shake them briefly, but the map is just tighter and even though there are still a lot of spaces, and there are fewer investigators, it feels like there's not as many bad moves as in Whitechapel. I haven't compared the maps directly, so I'm not sure why it feels that way, but it does. As an investigator, I didn't get the same sense of hopelessness as I did in Whitechapel. We felt we were hot on the trail the entire time.

I dunno, I might be in the minority. I think Whitehall's a bit simpler, but not in a bad way. It keeps the bits I liked about Whitechapel, and plays very similarly, but it just feels like a much tighter, improved version. It can be played under an hour, so you can play it 2-3 times if you wanted in the same time it takes to finish a game of Letters from Whitechapel. I'd much rather play more games, to be honest. Give a few others a chance to be Jack.

After my first try as Jack, I had such a high amount of stress (and hunger, as we played through dinner) that I was shaky. I hated the feeling, and told the group that I didn't want to buy the game. But after eating and reflecting on the experiences we had, I decided that I did in fact want to buy it. I've asked my FLGS to order me a copy, and I can't wait to get it and play again!
 
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Chris
United States
Tigard
Oregon
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I own both and honestly, I'm not sure how often I'll get LfW to the table anymore. I would agree mostly with your Pros and Cons with a couple of exceptions. Whitehall's smaller board is a Pro for me. I realize there are a similar amount of spaces as LfW, but to me it creates that claustrophobic feeling as Jack, but also as the investigators you never really feel too far away. I think "less epic?" is very subjective depending on what makes a game enjoyable.

I also agree with Dana's comparison of the games, although I do find LfW enjoyable both as detectives and as Jack. The way I compare the two is to say LfW feels like a team of detectives who are comparing notes to solve a large case. (Think Silence of the Lambs) WM feels like the conclusion of that investigation and now we're trying to track down a wanted man. (Think The Fugitive)

My issue is that my gaming group likes shorter games and maybe get in 2-3 games in an evening. LfW is a commitment to an all evening event and for the most part WM scratches the same itch in about half or a third of the time.
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