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Subject: One of the best 2-players in my collection rss

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I love 2-player games. I really enjoy going head-to-head with another gamer in a battle of wits and intelligence. I enjoy the one on one interaction that occurs during those games, especially the tug-o-war of trying to outwit and outmanuever an opponent. I would rather play 2-player games than play with a group anytime. The group dynamic is fun, but there's something very serious about playing one on one.

Since most of my gaming is done with my fiancee, we own a lot of 2-player games. But to get played a lot, a 2-player game needs to be special. It needs to be a game with a lot of substance and replayability, a game that really requires some analytical thinking, a game that has subtle nuances that only get uncovered with more plays. The game needs to be deep yet simple, elegant yet complex. This is a lot to ask of a boardgame and most don't make the cut. So for someone as demanding as I am of a 2-player game, does Mr. Jack have what it takes to earn its spot in my gaming rotation?


Rules

The premise of Mr. Jack is that the Inspector is trying to figure out which of the 8 suspects is Jack the Ripper in disguise. The Inspector only has 8 turns at maximum to catch Jack. As such, one player will take on the role of the Inspector while the other takes on the role of Jack.

To begin, set up the board with the gold border facing the Inspector and the gray facing Jack. Arrange the suspect tokens, lamp posts, manhole covers, and police barricades according to this picture:



There is also a turn marker which should be placed on the Turn track to the Inspector's right. There are only 8 turns in the game so its imperative that players move the turn marker every turn.

There are 8 Suspect cards which should be thoroughly shuffled. Jack will draw one of these cards and it will tell him which of the 8 suspects he is. It is now his goal to make sure that the Inspector does not figure this out. The rest of the 7 Suspect cards should be placed in the box.

There are also 8 Character cards. These cards each have one of the suspects. They characters are identified by name and color. For example:



John Smith's card is yellow and so is his Suspect token on the board:



The 8 Character cards are shuffled and placed next to the board. The top 4 are flipped face up. Each game turn consists of 4 actions. Whichever player starts the round will take one action. The other player will then take 2 and the start player will take the last one. The turn order is determined by the Turn track. So to start the game, the Inpector will go first.

As an action, the player takes one Character card. They will then move the character and/or use its special ability. These will be covered in more detail in the Gameplay section.

After all four actions have been taken, the Jack player will announce whether Jack is witnessed or not. For Jack to be witnessed, he must be next to another suspect, next to a light, or in the way of Watson's light. In the first four turns, one particular light is removed each round, thus adding more darkness to the board and making it tougher on the Inspector.

If Jack says that Mr. Jack is witnessed, any suspect tokens that are not witnessed may be flipped to their innocent side and vice versa. Through this process of elimination, the Inspector will narrow his choices down and ultimately figure out who Jack is. When the Inspector know, he must move any of the other suspects on top of Jack and make an accusation. If he's wrong, Jack wins but if he's right, the Inspector wins.

Additionally, if the Inspector can't figure out who Jack is by the end of the 8th turn, Jack wins by avoiding detection. Also, Jack may escape following a turn in which he was not witnessed by moving off the board through one of the corners. There are 2 police barricades to stop him so Jack must play around those.


Components

With such a simple ruleset, the publisher could have skimped on the components and probably been okay with the result. After all this is not a Fantasy Flight game. But the publisher really came through and delivered some terric components.

The board is laid out really nicely. The use of hexes to create meandering paths and obtuse angles works really well to invoke the feel of Victorian England. The artwork is simple and the colors are dull and subdued which really works at bringing the dreary feeling of Foggy London to the game. The total presentation of the board really feels like a small city which is exactly what its trying to represent.

The Character cards and the Suspect cards are brilliant. The cardboard is nice and thick and they are coated with a wonderful matte finish. While the rulebook calls these cards, they are much more than that. They can't be shuffled in the traditional manner, but these are some of the most durable "cards" I've ever seen. They are adorned with terrific artwork which is slightly cartoonish and fun. The artist took great care to craft individual personalities for each character through their graphic presentation and it really shows. When combined with their special abilities, each character is as unique as the people you know in real life. Its an amazing work of design which should be recognized by the gaming community.

The Suspect tokens themselves are terrific. They are made of a thick wooden disc that is colored to match the Suspect and Character cards. One side of disc features a headshot of the suspect in full color while the other side features a black and white picture to denote that the suspect is innocent.



I have to say that I love the Mr. Jack card. The artwork that shows him in the dark is just creepy. While its not integral to gameplay, its a nice visual treat.



The lamps and manhole covers are also quite nice. They're made of a cardboard thats not quite as thick as the "cards", but its thick enough to be durable. I don't have any doubts about it being thick enough to last. The police barricades are also thick, but I'm a bit disappointed by the way they look. They're overly simple in a game where the components are quite impressive. Its a small gripe, but I really think they should have done a bit more on the barricades.


Gameplay

The basics of gameplay are simple. Choose one of the available Character cards and use that character. If you're Jack, try to remain undetected. If you're the Inspector, figure out who Jack is. Sounds easy right?

Mr. Jack is one of those wonderful game which has fairly easy rules and incredibly deep brain-burning strategy. While there are only 4 options per turn, the choice of how and when to use these options is mind-boggling. You literally have to think out every possiblity and then you have to consider your position as Jack or the Inspector. This is why I say that you get 2 games for the price of 1 because playing as Jack and playing as the Inspector are 2 totally different experiences.

When you play as the Inspector, you are trying to divide and conquer. Only by separating the suspects will you be able to figure out who is innocent. Jack will be trying to keep them all witnessed or not witnessed and its your job to break those groups up. Sometimes you may only be able to isolate 1 or 2 suspects, but that is better than nothing, so you need to be able to take what you can get and learn from it. As the Inspector, your game gets harder the longer it goes because lamps get removed from the board in the first 4 turns. Hopefully by the time that lights disappear you will have some suspects eliminated.

Playing as Jack is completely different. As Jack, you're trying to keep the suspects together. Its much easier to keep them together than it is to keep them all apart. There's just not enough room on the board to keep everyone isolated so your best chance is to keep everyone together. You need to do this from the get-go because any info the Inspector gains can be used against you. Depending on which character Jack is will also vary your style. When you have someone like Ms. Stealthy or Mr. Gull, escape becomes a viable strategy because you will be able to move towards an exit easier. In those situations it almost becomes like a race to see if you can get out before the Inspector finds you.

The roles of Jack and the Inspector are really engrossing. As the Inspector you need to pay careful attention to what every suspect is doing. Sometimes its not what a character does, but what they don't do that gives them away. As Jack, its your job to make everyone look as innocent as possible which can be much harder than it first appears. If the Inspector has a general idea of who you are than even the slightest misstep may give you away. Its really quite difficult not to tip your hand when playing as Jack and an Inspector with good senses may be able to sniff you out easily. This really is a case of art immitating life and its done incredibly well.

The Characters themselves add so much to the gameplay. Their special abilites are designed amazingly well and work equally for Jack and the Inspector. Its really all in the combinations of which Characters come up each turn and how/when they are used. There are 8 in the game and each is quite unique, featuring a power as individual as they are. The designers did a wonderful job matching the special abilities to the characters peronas.



John Smith moves the standard 1-3 spaces, but John also allows you to move one light around when he's used. This can be really useful to change which suspects can be witnessed. Late in the game when there aren't as many lights, this power is one of the strongest.



Sherlock Holmes moves the standard 1-3 spaces. Holmes allows you to draw a Suspect card from the deck of 7 that remain. This either helps Jack to hide his identity or gives the Inspector more information as to Jack's identity. I find that Holmes is not as useful as he appears. Many times as the Inspector you will just draw a card for someone you know is innocent.



Mr. Gull can either move 1-3 spaces or he can switch spots with any one suspect on the board, innocent or not. I think that this is one of the suspects that is really more helpful to Jack because it can help move a token really close to an exit. Granted it can also be used by the Inspector to move a token away from an exit, but I feel like its more offensive and that caters to Jack more.



Jeremy Bert moves 1-3 spaces and can move one of the manhole covers around the board. Since manholes present a great way for Jack to move quickly, this power works in favor of the Inspector generally by blocking some of Jack's options. This can also be used by Jack to create an escape path, but it seems like its generally a better choice for the Inspector.



Ms. Stealthy can move from 1-4 spaces and her special ability allows her to move through spaces which can ordinarily not be moved through such as lamps and buildings. If Jack is playing as Ms. Stealthy, Jack has a tremendous advantage thanks to Stealthy's starting location. If he can stay unwitnessed in the first turn, he has a great opportunity to escape on Turn 2 and end the game early.



John H. Watson moves 1-3 spaces like most the other characters, but Watson has a flashlight that shines in any one direction. His light is not stopped by suspects, only by impassable hexes. Watson is a great tool for both sides because he can be used to witness suspects that would ordinarily not be visible. This can work both ways which is key to the balance of the game.



Sergent Goodley moves 1-3 spaces but also has an interesting ability. Goodley can blow his whistle and move any characters a total of 3 spaces towards him. This could be one character moving 3 spaces, 3 characters moving 1 space, or 1 character moving 2 while another moves 1. Goodley's ability helps both sides. He can help the Inspector by moving characters away from being witness or he can help Jack by moving characters together. There's a lot of flexibility with how his ability works



Inspector Lestrade moves 1-3 spaces as well. Additionally, he can move one Police barricade to any open exit. I feel that like Smith, this tactic is best employed by the Inspector, especially when he feels like Jack may be Gull or Stealthy. The option also works for Jack so that he can create a way to break free.

The options that each of these characters creates varies widely based on which side you are playing and how much is known about who is still a suspect. Thats one of the things that makes this game great is that the same character has hundreds of uses which will constantly be varying. This creates an almost unlimited replay potential which is one of the reasons this game is so good.

I personally enjoy being Jack much more even though he loses more often. I find its easier to play and more straightforward than the Inspector. Jack's tasks are easier to accomplish. The one complaint I have about this game is that its easy for the Inspector to win. I say that because on the last turn of the game, the Inspector has nothing to lose and can make an accusation freely. By that time, the Inspector should have a good amount of information so its rarely a blind guess, but more of an educated one. Still when there's nothing to lose, its worth the chance for the Inspector. I suppose Jack should try to make sure that can't happen, but nothing in this game is as easy as it sounds.


Compare it to...

Clue. Okay, so there's no cards and it works really quite differently, but there's certainly a strong deduction element. There are also suspects but unlike Clue where you control only one, Mr. Jack gives you opportunities to take control of all of them at one time or another. There are also traces of Fury of Dracula because Jack is being hunted and chased around the board. Again, while similar in feeling, its different because Dracula is trying to elude the hunters and maintain distance while it usually behooves Jack to stay in tight with other suspects. It works differently but if you combine the feeling of those 2 games, you come out with a cocktail that tastes like Mr. Jack. I've never played Scotland Yard, but I hear that comparison pretty frequently as well.


Overall

Mr. Jack is a truly wonderful game. I don't think you can ask for a lot more in a 2-player game without getting much heavier like 1960 or a wargame. The rules are pretty simple but the gameplay decisions are amongst the toughest I've ever endured. I love the fact that every single game will play out different and that there's very little luck involved in determining the winner. The replayability factor is insanely high thanks to the design of this game which means I will probably always be intrigued enough to play.

Mr. Jack needs to be in every gamers library. This game is simply too good to not have a home on every gamer's shelf. Its got everything you could as for in a 2-player game. Very rarely is such intense gameplay packed in a 20-minute game, but Mr. Jack delivers the goods. There's 3-hours worth of decisions packed into a short time frame that just begs and begs to be played over and over. This game is brilliant on so many levels that its actually hard to talk about how good it really is.

As stated above, my one complaint is about the Inspector's ability to win easily. I think there's a definate advantage, but I like the uphill battle of playing Jack. Still that shot-in-the-dark-to-win scenario takes away something and keeps me from rating this a 10. So Mr. Jack will get a very solid 9 and deservingly so. I don't honestly think I've every played a better game that was designed strictly for 2-players than this.





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Dan Dedeaux
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Nice review. I had the same sentiments after playing it about 5 times this past month. In only 1 case did Jack get away, and that was when my opponent decided to take a 50/50 guess (on turn 6) at who Jack was when I moved one of the "hidden" pieces straight for an exit when the real Jack was still in the middle of the map, apparent chatting away (nervously, mind you) with Mr. Holmes and Jeremy Bert, realizing his end was at hand! If my opponent would have waited 1 more round, I think he would of had me.

Still, we really enjoyed it. Definitely a fun game.
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Stephen Shaw
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Yes -- very cool concept for a game, but the problem mentioned above is a killer for me. If it had been better balanced somehow, it would be great.

Now mind you, if you dont mind the Inspector-player winning about (in my experience) 3/4-4/5 times, then its a fantastic game. But the profound inequality destroys it for me. "Who would you like to play . . . the winner or the loser?"
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Bianca O
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Brilliant review babe. Excellent game Will play this whenever with you! Only if you promise to wear the scarf!!! HA HA love you CHEEKY BUGGER!!!
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I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
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I find that if I go in as Jack expecting to lose, then I'm not disappointed. I like fighting for the uphill battle. And besides, the game is quick enough that you can just switch and play again.

I wonder how the expansions affect the balance?
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I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
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Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
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borchardbianca wrote:
Brilliant review babe. Excellent game Will play this whenever with you! Only if you promise to wear the scarf!!! HA HA love you CHEEKY BUGGER!!!


Oh yeah, I have to upload that pic. It's hysterical.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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stormseeker75 wrote:

Sergent Goodley moves 1-3 spaces but also has an interesting ability. Goodley can blow his whistle and move any 3 characters 1 space towards him. One of the key aspects of Goodley's ability is that it can be used to move a piece and make an accusation.


Goodly can move 3 characters 1 space each, 1 character 2 spaces and 1 character 1 space, or a single character 3 spaces.

A piece being moved by Goodley's ability cannot make an accusation.

See FAQ:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/194998


Excellent review!
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I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
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Really? Thanks for pointing that out to me. I thought I read that correctly, but thank you for correcting me. I will edit the review to reflect this.
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Q
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1,000 times agree. This is a fantastic game! We've decided to add a house rule forbidding total guesses on the last turn, simply because we found it to be kind of cheesy, and Jack needs all the help he can get!
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rupert rompecabezas
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sshawmd wrote:
Yes -- very cool concept for a game, but the problem mentioned above is a killer for me. If it had been better balanced somehow, it would be great.

Now mind you, if you dont mind the Inspector-player winning about (in my experience) 3/4-4/5 times, then its a fantastic game. But the profound inequality destroys it for me. "Who would you like to play . . . the winner or the loser?"


While not perfectly balanced, after 4800 games of the online version, Jack wins 41% and the Inspector 59%. Plus, it's quite rewarding to win with Jack.

See this great post analyzing the online stats for more info: http://mrjack.biludi.de/forum_01.php?sid=MNHKSKLNKFINRKJMEGP....
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I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
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Gozon wrote:
1,000 times agree. This is a fantastic game! We've decided to add a house rule forbidding total guesses on the last turn, simply because we found it to be kind of cheesy, and Jack needs all the help he can get!


Well, I think its hard to say whether something is a total guess or not. Most of the time players will have a good idea of who Jack is. I think maybe that rule should be edited to say no wild guesses if there are 4 or more suspects still not cleared.
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Taj Mahal, anyone? (I didn't drive all the way down here to play Keltis. I mean, really.)
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Sphere wrote:
stormseeker75 wrote:

Sergent Goodley moves 1-3 spaces but also has an interesting ability. Goodley can blow his whistle and move any 3 characters 1 space towards him. One of the key aspects of Goodley's ability is that it can be used to move a piece and make an accusation.


Goodly can move 3 characters 1 space each, 1 character 2 spaces and 2 characters 1 space each, or a single character 3 spaces.

A piece being moved by Goodley's ability cannot make an accusation.

See FAQ:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/194998


Excellent review!


Surely, you mean 1 character 2 spaces and 1 character 1 space?
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Josh
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Excellent review, mate. Just a note on the old balance issue: I have personally found that, as I have gained more experience with the game, I have been winning as Jack much more frequently. To throw some specific numbers at ya, I have played 13 games of Mr. Jack online (and many more face-to-face but I did not keep track of the wins and losses) against 4 different opponents, and I have won 3 out of 5 games as the Inspector and 6 out of 8 games as Jack (much to my surprise!).

Even so, when I play face-to-face, the game plays quickly enough that I will typically play two games and swap rolls with my opponent the second game, with the winner being the person who made it farthest as Mr. Jack before being caught (of course, sometimes he is never caught).

I have had the expansion sitting on my shelf since December and have been itching to give it a go!
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gregory duff
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Great review Steve....and OH YES, the Extesion delivers the goods even moreso....there is no set way to place the characters initially...each player takes turns placing characters wherever they want to....even on the last hex to an exit......I own the expansion and I play online to test the Expansion also....I have won 121 wins as Jack and have lost 109 times....the new set-up rules drastically enhances the game even more!!!!!!!....you gotta get it....you gotta try it.....and you'll get hooked!!!!!
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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cornelanner wrote:

Surely, you mean 1 character 2 spaces and 1 character 1 space?


Oops - good catch. I'll make a correction to my correction!
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Emivaldo Sousa
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Just played four games tonight. Jack won all four (2 me, 2 my wife). When we were learning the game, the investigator won most of our games. We haven't came to a veredict yet, but we were leaning to think that the game is unballanced towards the Jack character.

If the debate goes on, the game will prove its greatness.

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I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
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Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
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chezzilla wrote:
Great review Steve....and OH YES, the Extesion delivers the goods even moreso....there is no set way to place the characters initially...each player takes turns placing characters wherever they want to....even on the last hex to an exit......I own the expansion and I play online to test the Expansion also....I have won 121 wins as Jack and have lost 109 times....the new set-up rules drastically enhances the game even more!!!!!!!....you gotta get it....you gotta try it.....and you'll get hooked!!!!!


Nice, thanks for pointing this out. I'm going to get a chance to play it this weekend, so hopefully I'll have the same experience as you.

And thanks for the kind words.
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ketchupgun
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Weird...I own this game and have really only played it 5-6 times...but I like it, my wife, not so much ... but I'm telling her to try it some more.

I somehow thought of this game as Clue meets Scotland Yard meets Citadels. (It's a crime deduction game with cards; with board movement, one player being in secret; and differing character abilities shape the game each turn).

Strangely, because it takes ten minutes to teach, i was playing with my cousin, and she was Jack...and she destroyed me, twice in a row.

We will be playing this more though...I really like it

chezzilla wrote:
Great review Steve....and OH YES, the Extesion delivers the goods even moreso....there is no set way to place the characters initially...each player takes turns placing characters wherever they want to....even on the last hex to an exit......I own the expansion and I play online to test the Expansion also....I have won 121 wins as Jack and have lost 109 times....the new set-up rules drastically enhances the game even more!!!!!!!....you gotta get it....you gotta try it.....and you'll get hooked!!!!!


I don't have the extensions, but couldn't you go about placing the characters one by one with just the base game?

I assume, once jack has pulled his identity, you begin to place characters one by one...instead of using the starting positions?
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Josh
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ketchupgun wrote:
Weird...I own this game and have really only played it 5-6 times...but I like it, my wife, not so much ... but I'm telling her to try it some more.

I somehow thought of this game as Clue meets Scotland Yard meets Citadels. (It's a crime deduction game with cards; with board movement, one player being in secret; and differing character abilities shape the game each turn).

Strangely, because it takes ten minutes to teach, i was playing with my cousin, and she was Jack...and she destroyed me, twice in a row.

We will be playing this more though...I really like it

chezzilla wrote:
Great review Steve....and OH YES, the Extesion delivers the goods even moreso....there is no set way to place the characters initially...each player takes turns placing characters wherever they want to....even on the last hex to an exit......I own the expansion and I play online to test the Expansion also....I have won 121 wins as Jack and have lost 109 times....the new set-up rules drastically enhances the game even more!!!!!!!....you gotta get it....you gotta try it.....and you'll get hooked!!!!!


I don't have the extensions, but couldn't you go about placing the characters one by one with just the base game?

I assume, once jack has pulled his identity, you begin to place characters one by one...instead of using the starting positions?


Welcome to the site! I like your description of the game, and I can sympathize with your spouse situation - my wife will play it with me but she is not nearly as much into the thinky strategy games as I am.

I don't see any reason why you couldn't do your own set-up with the original characters. However I, personally, wouldn't try it until after I had gotten through several games with the recommended starting positions since they were meant to give the best degree of balance to the game.

Happy gaming!
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Russ Williams
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About those famous statistics showing that the Detective wins more often by roughly 60/40:

Beginners seem to always have a hard time playing the Jack side, but then they learn tactics and become better at it. I suspect a lot of players at the online play site are beginners who play a game or two, and then don't come back, and that this skews the win ratio to make it look like Jack's side is at a disadvantage. For experienced players, the game seems much more even.

Therefore it would be useful to see an analysis taking into account the experience of the players. I suspect that the ratio of Jack vs Detective wins would be closer to 50/50 if you only look at games played by players who have played a fair number of games.
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J N
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Thanks for the nice review. One comment on the balance. This turned out to be a fantastic game to play with my young daughter (eight years old). By my playing Jack, I have been able to really enjoy our games. As we have each learned more about how to approach the game our games have really gotten more and more interesting and fun. The fact that it takes just a bit more effort to learn how to play Jack has given my daughter enough incentive to keep learning more tricks as the inspector, and continually provide me with a challenge.

I am really pleased to have added this game to our collection it is outstanding.
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ketchupgun
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I just asked my wife (who admittedly is going to give this game another fighting chance) why she doesn't like it. she says it's "too easy."

Hmm.its a two player game...her only competition is... me...hmmm.



I gotta get better at this game before she retires as The Champ.
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Ik ben een kleine boefje
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Austin
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2006/2011 (Amsterdam - Maastricht - Apeldoorn - Den Haag -Delft) Vijf jaar dat ik ga nooit vergeten.
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Excellent review of an excellent game.

Mr Jack is the ONLY game that my non-player wife really wants to play. She can cope with other games as Carcassonne, Cataan or Ticket to Ride, but in these cases, despite she admites that are excellent games, she just "copes". And this is not "gezellig" as we say in dutch (something like "cosy"), when you play you like your partner to enjoy and have fun. Mr Jack did it for us, only for this reason it deserves a place in my top ten. I will go for sure with the expansion next week.

Two thumbs up, both for te review and the game itself.
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stormseeker75 wrote:
I really enjoy going head-to-head with another gamer in a battle of wits and intelligence. I enjoy the one on one interaction that occurs during those games, especially the tug-o-war of trying to outwit and outmanuever an opponent.

Since most of my gaming is done with my fiancee...


LOL
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I played the Pepperoni Game! Came close but no cigar...
Canada
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Ontario
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I am a Talking Aviator? I say, whatever shall they think of next? Anyone up for a game, then? Tally Ho!!
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“I LOVE this game”
“Do you love it so much you’d marry it?” she asks.
“Yes, I think I’d marry it…”

My wife and I bought this game over the holidays and have played it a lot since then. While we both enjoy the fact that our extended family loves games and that on our too infrequent family get-togethers we can get 5 or 6 people to play Carcassonne with us (we even bought extra meeples), we are always on the lookout for 2 person games that we can play together during the week.

I think she likes Mr. Jack almost as much as I do, although we agree that sometimes it just requires too much thinking after a tough day at work and we’ll play something lighter. More credit to the game that it can pack that much punch!

A couple rule interpretations that we use adds to the fun for both of us...
In your excellent review, you stated:
stormseeker75 wrote:
on the last turn of the game, the Inspector has nothing to lose and can make an accusation freely. By that time, the Inspector should have a good amount of information so its rarely a blind guess, but more of an educated one. Still when there's nothing to lose, its worth the chance for the Inspector.


I read a useful tip that suggests that beginner players avoid accusations based on “hunches” or “suspicious movements.” We use that rule and play that the inspector needs to have fully deduced which character is Mr. Jack before confronting that character; a false accusation ends the game in Jack’s favour. Because it often takes 6 or 7 turns to have 100% confidence in the accusation, we have got to the end of the 8th turn on a number of games where the inspector cannot catch the Jack character, although he knows who it is. Jack wins when he can get away clearly or just bamboozle the inspector enough to create a divsersion...

We like this game so much that we wasted no time to pick up the expansion, which we have played about 5 times so far. The extra characters are great, learning all their powers has been fun. Somehow it reminds me of the Fantastic Four or the X-Men – everyone has their specialty… Our “house rule” so far has been not to play with the random placement rule, however. We place the 4 central characters in their 4 central locations and the other 4 characters in the other 4 starting spots indicated in the basic game. (We even go so far as to put any of the original 4 characters that we may be using on their classic starting spots). While we will undoubtedly play the full rules at some point, this removes some of the extra strategy (and related headaches) of figuring out where to start everyone. We figure that the designers picked those spots to allow for a balanced start, in any event.

Next up is to play with The Carriage. We don’t have this piece, but should be able to simulate it with an unused character disk with a penny on top, just to see how it plays. We’ll find a real one if we like it. We have discussed playing using the original 8 characters for the first few times, as the expansion wasn’t available when it first came out, and then evolve it from there. We’ll let you know how it works out...
Did I mention that I LOVE this game?


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