Discover How To Win As Mr. Jack or As a Detective
I’ve played a game called Mr. Jack several times over the past several years. It’s a fun 2-player-only game that pits the criminal Mr. Jack (i.e., Jack the Ripper) against seven other characters. Mr. Jack tries to escape or manage to remain undetected for eight rounds. The other characters try to locate and identify him before those eight rounds come to pass.
That premise remains the same as Mr. Jack moves to New York. What changes (besides the surroundings) is the cast of characters and their abilities.
The Cast of Characters
In each game, Mr. Jack takes on the identity of one of the eight characters. The other seven are his enemies that he must avoid.
Each character moves from 1 to 3 spaces on the hexagonal board, and most of them are required to perform their special ability either before or after that move.
- Alfred Ely Beach (brown) – Mr. Beach must construct a new Metro (subway) entrance. Characters can skip from one entrance to another to move greater distances than the normal maximum of 3 spaces.
- Cloud Rider (red) – Cloud Rider must build a new construction site. These are obstacles which only she can pass through, and she can do so for “free”, giving her a potentially wider range of movement even without using Metro spaces.
- Lewis Howard Latimer (yellow) – Mr. Latimer must install a new gaslight. Any character adjacent to one of these is visible at the end of a round, just as he is when adjacent to another character.
- Mrs. Emma Grant (green) – Mrs. Grant creates new parks by flipping a building, gaslight, or Metro tile to its reverse side thus revealing a park. Anyone in a park is considered invisible at the end of a round.
- James H. Callahan (cream) – Mr. Callahan must move one of the two police barricades that occupy two spaces each. No one can cross these lines of yellow tape.
- Monk Eastman (black) – Instead of moving himself, Monk Eastman may optionally move another character in the same visible/invisible state that he currently finds himself in.
- Francis J. Tumblety (purple) – Mr. Tumblety may swap the position of a character to which he is adjacent with that of any other character.
- Edward Smith (white) – Mr. Smith must move one of the steamships to a new location. These ships are one of the methods Mr. Jack can use to escape.
The Light or the Dark Side
At the end of each round, if Mr. Jack is invisible, he can attempt to escape during the following round. This is much easier said than done. Theoretically it is an easier task in Mr. Jack in New York than it was in the original game of Mr. Jack.
This balance improves the game and makes it more challenging if you are playing as the detective.
If you are the detective, you may wish to make use of an Informant who starts the game over on Liberty Island. You can travel across the water to the island to discover from him which of the characters is not Mr. Jack. (Actually, Mr. Jack can also do this defensively.)
The Informant is moved to a new location where he can again be interrogated in a future round.
Should You Get Mr. Jack or Mr. Jack in New York?
If you have never played either game – the original Mr. Jack or the newer Mr. Jack in New York – I would suggest you play the original a couple of times first. Then, if you think you’re ready for a tougher challenge (or like me, you know several people who already own the original and you’d like something different), pick up Mr. Jack in New York.
Or just grab both versions of the game, since they are both very good games and one of the few 2-player-only games we enjoy.