- The Extension -


Bruno Cathala &
Ludovic Maublanc


No. of Players:




A game which I liked quite a lot at the SPIEL 06 was the dark Mystery game Mr. Jack by HURRICAN GAMES. As it seems, my likingfor the game was not unique and a good deal of people seem to have fallen for this nice crime solving game which also just has won the International Gamers Awards 2007, so that HURRICAN GAMES now decided to incorporate five new characters in the game to offer the players some variation.

The basic rules of play are only changed slightly to to use the variant characters included in the expansion. Thus, the number of characters which may be included in a round of play still remains to be eight, but now only the four characters of Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Lestrade, Jeremy Bert and John Smith had become fixed characters because of their rather important abilities. The players then are dealt other nine characters (the Jack player receiving five cards), and each player choses two characters which he wants to add to the game.

Showing the chosen characterst to each other player, the players now go for setting up the gameboard. Mixing the cards of the characters chosen for the rounds, the players take turns to draw character cards and place their playing pieces on the gameboard. Thus, no fixed positioning of the playing pieces has been pre-defined, but instead the gameboard is set up for new each time the players start a new game. Thus, quite a lot of strategic options become available right from beginning, with the players trying to position the characters they draw at strategic spaces. However, in order to prevent the Jack-player to gain too much of an advantage, Jack may not flee in his first round.

The rules for the new characters are as easy as the one for the characters of the basic game:

  • The butcher John Pitzer is rather intimidating and a perfect suspect. If he ends his move next to other character(s), they will flee and must move up to three spaces away from John.
  • Joseph Lane is a revolutionary, trying to stir the people to revolt against governemnt. He may place a barricade on a border between two spaces, making this border impassable for all characters.
  • Madame is a beautiful damsel of the night, moving fast but rejecting the dark and dirty sewers.
  • Inspector Aberline is busying other characters with his questions, reducing the movement allowance of characters on neighbouring spaces to just one space.
  • Most funny is the Spring-heeled Man, being a legendary character from Victorian times who is allowed to jump over buildings or another character.

Being sold at the SPIEL 07 convention for 15 Euros, I heard that people were complaining a bit that this expansion only includes the five additional characters. However, leaving the question of the pricing aside, I found the inclusion of these new optional characters rather enjoyable. Their special abilities offer new strategic options which will prove quite challenging even for seasoned Mr. Jack players, and furthermore the new characters also fit quite perfectly into the game in terms of playing atmosphere. One thing I still need to make my mind up is whether I really like the fact that now the characters can be placed freely on the gameboard. There are a lot of choices to be made, and considering the fact that four characters remain fixed in each game I wonder whether in not would have been more efficient to leave these characters at their original starting places and to shuffle and deal the other characters to the other starting spaces designated in the basic game. This procedure should save time and I don't think it will throw the additional characters out of balance.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2007 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany