Bruno Cathala &
Ludovic Maublanc


No. of Players:



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Mr. Jack is back. In the new game from the publisher HURRICAN, Tumbletey, one of the suspects in the London murder mystery, has left England and has been seen in New York by various witnesses. Here crimes with a similar modus had been committed and so the hunt for the real murder has begun again. After the expansion of the original game in the year 2008, Mr. Jack in New York now is a full stand-alone variant of the game. As every year HURRICAN had a very attractive booth at the SPIEL 09 and a lot of people were playing the new variant at tall tables. I had no chance to test the game during the convention, but the board and the material looked very similar as the original game. However, I saw some new elements and furthermore a full new set of characters has been included. Knowing that the balancing of the first game was nearly perfect, even smaller changes can influence the gameflow enormously and so I strongly looked forward towards my first real test of the game.

The theme almost remains the same. If you donīt know the original game, you should read the corresponding review first. In Mr. Jack in New York one player takes the role of Jack again, the other of the unnamed Detective. The board is now a district in New York and Jack has three possible escape routes, two of them by boats. Again gaslights at various of the hexagonal spaces illuminate the area adjacent to the gaslights, so that people are visible on these spaces. People are also visible if they are standing right next to another character token.


The first new element we can detect in Mr. Jack in New York are Metro stations on some of the spaces. Characters may move from one station to another for just one point of movement, enabling them to move much faster from one place to another (comparing with the manholes of the original game). Then there is the Liberty island where you can travel by boats. Here you can find someone totally new: the Informant. This is not a typical character of the game since he cannot be moved following the normal rules. Only if another character visits the Informant on the same space, he is activated and reveals some information about the real identity of Jack the Ripper. The player who has moved a character to the Informant (note that the Jack player may do this, too) takes an Alibi card and places it in front him after looking on the other side. Because Jack has drawn his card at the beginning of the game, there are seven Alibi cards left in the game. The player now has an information who is not Jack, because the card he had drawn canīt be the real identity of Jack, of course. Afterwards the Informant is moved to any other unoccupied space and he remains silent until the beginning of the next round.

The Informant is a powerful new element for the Detective and so the Jack player has to be careful and occasionally should use the informant, too, if the Detective player engages the Informant too often. Otherwise it gets more and more easy to guess the real identity of Jack, and this would put the Jack player into an increased risk of getting captured. On the other hand, the Informant balances the more open game board which favors the Jack player, and so the Informant is a very attractive new element in the game that offers interesting new strategies.

Now letīs have a closer look upon the new characters in the game:

  • Alfred Ely Beach has the special power to construct new metro entrances on the board. Because the Metro stations are a strong element for moving fast across the board, Alfred is a very useful character for both players especially at the beginning of the game.
  • The construction worker Cloud River is a very strong character, because she is able to cross buildings and buildings sites at no cost movement points. (Note that there is probably a mistake in the German rules, because there only building sites may be crossed.) I won the game several times, because my opponent did not keep this option in mind. Additionally her special ability is to start a new building construction site on an empty street space. So at the right starting space she can really move very far and especially the Detective has to be careful about this.
  • A character who is more helpful for the Detective player is Lewis Howard Latimer. His special ability is to install new Gaslights on empty street spaces, illuminating the board more and more.
  • Mrs. Emma Grant on the other side can create a park by turning a Gaslight, Building site or Metro station on the board on its other side. A park is always dark and no character can see someone within a park, even if he stands next to the park space. Together with the previous character Mrs. Emma Grant can change the board enormously. If the Jack player feels save, because a lot of other characters had the same status (visible or not) as his character, a much more dangerous position might arise after the Detective had done two moves with these two characters.
  • Police barriers can be moved by the help of James H. Callahan. This is quite helpful to prevent Jack reaching the escape routes of the board.
  • Edward Smith is the character who can move a steamer to another empty port space on the board. Steamers are escape routes for Jack. As there are four different ports and only two steamers, this will vary the possible flight ways of the Jack player during the course of the game.
  • The last two characters are very strong for the Jack player. In a way, he needs this support since otherwise the Detective player would be in a big advantage when using the Informant frequently. The first of these characters is Monk Eastman. He may move another character instead of himself for 1 to 3 spaces. The only restriction is that the other character has the same status (visible or not) as Monk himself. Very strong, the Detective always should have an eye on him...
  • Finally there is Francis J. Tumblety, probably the real Jack in reality. In the game, this character may swap the position of an adjacent character with any other character. Very strong indeed, too.

Compared to the original game, you will find the board much more changing. Thus, the authors state that Mr. Jack in New York is designed for more experienced players. In the rules it is recommended that you start with the original game and with the expansion before starting the hunt in New York. Although the game truly is more open and offers a bigger variety of possible moves and tactical possibilities, I would not say that this recommendation is a must. You can easily understand the rules and after some moves you are quickly in the game. Of course it will need some time to win against an experienced player. But this is the same as in the original game. If I had to choose I would take the new game, because it offers more variety for long-time joy.

However, being strictly focused on strategy both games cannot be recommended players who like to play lightly and chat during a game. Only if you are concentrated the whole playing time, you will have a chance to win. If you already liked the original game, you will also love Mr. Jack in New York for the new approach and its setting. On the other hand, if you did not like it, you wonīt be fond of new game, too. As a matter of fact, both views can be found within my family, since I quite liked the game whilst it was absolutely not the taste of my wife (due to its rather tactical playing level). I am quite sorry about that, since I had been looking for a good two-player game that can be played in 30 minutes and is liked by the both of us. So, if possible you should have a playtesting round with your favourite partner before you make the purchase, because the game should normally be played by two players of the same experience level.

The artwork and the rest of the design is quite nice again. The quality of the board and cards suggest that the game will last for more than several hundred matches. The rules are in seven different languages and are very straightforward. Surprisingly, even the gameplay is comparatively quick. Although sometimes a game will last one hour or maybe even more, you will not feel it, because similar to chess you are always involved, thinking about your next move or what your opponent could do. Another analogy to chess, the static setup, is no harm, because every game develops quite differently. I am always a little bit surprised at the beginning of a game about how fast a round ends and how fast Jack has too announce his status. And because the Informant offers a new strategic element (especially for the Detective player) the game is not always focused on the three escape routes. So in summary it is my opinion that HURRICAN has done a very good job!

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2010 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany