Mr. Jack is a 2 player game in which one of the players is the Detective and the other is Jack the Ripper.
This medium/light game takes about 40 minutes of play and has a set of very simple yet deep rules.
The goal of the detective is to uncover the identity of Mr. Jack and the goal of Jack is to either escape from the game board or to not be uncovered in the game’s 8 turns.
There are 8 Victorian era characters which are placed in fixed positions at the beginning of the game, and only Jack will know which one is guilty. These characters can all move a number of spaces (usually 3) and all have special abilities (like changing police barricades or calling other characters).
At the end of each game round Jack must say if his character is in the darkness or in the light, thus the detective may flip the appropriate character tokens to it’s innocent side. A character is in the light if it is adjacent to a gaslight tile or to another character. Jack can only escape if in the round before it ended his movement in darkness.
Mr. Jack drips with theme, and the rules are fairly simple to grasp, though in the first plays you’ll be referring to the rules to make out the character’s special abilities. This isn’t usually a sort of game I like because there is little room for error, each play must be thought ahead of time (which helps reduce player downtime anyway). Many times you will think that you have done the perfect play and then you realized you forgot the characters could go through the sewers on the board and your play is wrecked.
There is an element of luck with the characters you may move each turn being drawn from the character deck, but all else is strategy.
People often mislabel this game as a deduction game, but it is far more of a strategy game than a deduction game though the whole detective theme is really well executed.
In the box
In the box you’ll find besides the rulebook:
- 1 game board
- 8 wood character tokens
- 16 character stickers (to apply on the wood tokens, 1 normal and 1 innocent sticker)
- 6 lit gaslight tiles
- 2 covered manhole tiles
- 1 Darkness/light card
- 2 police barricade tokens
- 8 character cards
- 8 alibi cards
- 1 turn token
- 1 sticker for the turn token.
These components have great quality, and are among the best I’ve seen, the board helps you keep track of player order and turns.
Is this game for me?
If you like 2 player games with lots of theme that are played in a short time offering simple rules,great strategic depth and very little luck then I’ll have to say yes.
Keep in mind that this could be a bit of a brain burner though. Plan ahead to decrease downtime also or the game could easily go for 1 hour or more.
How many times will I play this game?
Mr. Jack has a great replay ability factor; it’s a very fast game that you can squeeze in between games or in a 30 minute break. Having the 2 roles helps to add play diversity.
Originally published in breakingthemagic.com