“When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
–Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
It is the year 1888, and the mysterious criminal known simply as Jack is moving in the shadows of London. The finest investigators of the age have gathered in Whitechapel to catch him before he can slip away into the darkness for good. But Jack is cunning. In fact, tonight he is impersonating one of the very investigators who ought to be hunting him.
Mr. Jack Revised Edition is the same fast-paced deduction board game designed by Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc that you know and love, but revised with new art and a few board changes to increase balance and enjoyment! One player takes on the role of the cunning criminal Mr. Jack, and the other player becomes a police detective determined to catch him. To win, the police detective must find out which investigator Jack is impersonating, confront him, and arrest him. But if Jack can either avoid getting caught for eight rounds or escape down a darkened alley, he wins.
Gaslight and Shadows
At the start of the game, Jack randomly selects which inspector he will impersonate by drawing and placing that inspector’s “alibi” card facedown in front of him. Then, during every round, both Jack and the detective each control two different characters, moving them and perhaps using that character’s special action. Once all the characters have been moved, Jack reveals if where there is a witness or not. If the investigator Jack is impersonating ends the round in the glow of a gaslight, in the light of Watson’s lantern or near another character, he is visible and there is a witness to the criminal's true identity. That means, conversely, that all characters remaining in the dark are innocent.
If Jack remains lurking in the dark, there is no witness. In that case, all characters under the gaslights or near each other are innocent. To remain on the loose, Jack needs to make sure that as few characters as possible are marked innocent. Fortunately, both time and darkness are on Jack’s side. At the end of the game’s first four rounds, a gaslight goes dark, making it harder for his nefarious activities to be witnessed in the future.
The best investigators of London have joined in the hunt for Jack, from Sherlock Holmes and his assistant John Watson to the secretive and solitary Miss Stealthy. Each investigator has their own unique ability that the detective can use to find and entrap Jack, or that Jack can use to elude and befuddle the detective. Inspector Lestrade, for example, can move a police cordon to block an exit from the neighborhood—but in moving that cordon, he’ll open up a different exit. The detective can use this ability to keep Jack from escaping or Jack can use it to open up an escape route.
Sherlock Holmes is one of the most powerful characters in the game. He alone can draw from the alibi deck, which contains a card for every investigator except the one that Mr. Jack is impersonating. The detective can therefore use Sherlock to narrow down the list of suspects, while Jack can use him to prevent the detective from proving characters innocent, and therefore keep his own false identity unknown.
Each character can only be used every other round, and they are shuffled at the end of every other round. Neither Jack nor the detective can be certain that a character will appear at the opportune moment. If Jack uses a character one round, the detective may use that character when it reappears, and vice versa. The detective may even at moments control the very investigator that Jack is impersonating!
The Secrets of Whitechapel
London’s most notorious criminal of all time is on the loose in a neighborhood of winding streets and black shadows. Will you be the detective who finally identifies and apprehends Jack, or will you aid and abet his escape? Whether on the side of justice or crime, you'll discover the impossible truths behind the secrets of Whitechapel in Mr. Jack.
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