The game sees one player taking the role of Jack the Ripper and trying to bump off five women (as you do). The other players play the part of the police officers trying to capture jack before he completes his grisly quest
The game is from Fantasy Flight so production values are top notch. The game sees a map of oldie London with 100+ numbered locations, one of which jack secretly picks as his hide out and must escape back to after each murder. Adjacent to these are a larger number of black squares on which the police move. So at any time a police man is pretty much adjacent to one or more numbered locations in which jack could be lurking.
Lurking (as you probably know) is a lot of fun. Jack doesn’t appear on the board, his location is marked on a sheet behind his cardboard blind and its up to the coppers to search nearby locations to find where he is now or (and this is important) find locations he’s previously moved through. Clever rozzers will deduce from jack’s pattern of movements where he’s headed to and try and block him (he has a limited amount of turns to make it home) or go out on a limb and pick a spot and arrest him there. If he’s caught it’s a win for the police team if he commits all five murders it’s a win for jack and much blame passing for the cops.
Jack is aided by some extra abilities like being able to hire a handsom cab a few times and being able to nip through back allies once or twice. The ability to do these diminishes as the game progresses so murders become more difficult to carry out as the police put two and two together as to what and where you’re up to.
The mechanics are solid. This is a good game with a lot of fun to be had in leading the police a merry dance or catching Jack early. Now the bad points.
I’ve played this game a number of times. The problem is, more so than Dracula, it’s really a two player game. Now you can have five police on the team but really it’s one collective brain hunting jack and I found it’s quite possible for one or two players to take the lead in the investigation and the others to drift out a bit, especially mid to late game. Don’t let that put you off, you need to concentrate on this game or you won’t get the full experience. Being Jack is stupendous, the whole cat and mouse experience is sublime. This is a very simple game to teach and get new non gamers involved with.
I’m going to have it at Knavecon again and it’s always proved popular. I love deduction games like this. I highly recommend it unless you already own fury of Dracula in which case you’re good. Anyhow try it and see what you think