This is a game that can be enjoyed time and again – and by casual players. It’s fun, though at times may become exasperating, especially for player who’s the sleuth, perhaps. The board and the character cards are very nicely designed and of good quality: a pleasure to handle.

One of the two players takes on the role of the infamous Jack the Ripper, as he makes his way around London’s grim and grimy East-End (before the money and the moguls moved in, of course). But crafty Jack’s masquerading as someone else. He’s pretending to be one of the eight other characters who are out and about at night-time, walking the dimly lit streets.

Understandably, his goal is either to flee from the district as soon as possible, or to avoid being accused, right up to the very end of the chase.

The other player is an investigator who tries to work out just who it is that Jack’s pretending to be: and to correctly accuse them. The Jack-player knows who it is, of course, but the searcher doesn’t.

The player who’s doing the detecting can make only one accusation during the game (which takes up to a maximum of eight turns) so needs to be very attentive to the information that Jack’s forced to reveal. Indeed, intuition, logic, and cold-blooded calculating will be needed both by Jack and by the sleuth: the latter needing to employ a little patience.

During each turn, the players move four of the eight characters, and apply the actions that each character is able to undertake. Importantly, also, they try to place characters either out of sight or in view. Anyone who’s near a gas-light can be seen, as can anybody standing next to someone else.

At the end of each turn, Jack must declare whether the character he’s ‘hiding behind’ is visible or not: that is, alone, and in the shadows, away from a street light. If he says ‘I’m invisible’, those who can be seen must be innocent: the person who’s trying to track down the terrible culprit can rule them out.

As the turns progress, the investigator tries to eliminate suspects, based solely on the feedback each time – visible or not visible. Jack, meanwhile, tries to avoid detection, or if possible to escape whilst invisible, by running down one of Whitechapel’s side streets.

Of course, no “seek him here, seek him there” game would be complete with the king of creep-catchers, Sherlock Holmes.

Sadly, Sherlock’s not got anything extra special going for him this time – he’s just one of the eight possibles who Jack the Ripper might be masquerading as.

As an example of characters’ qualities, Jeremy Bert can move from one to three street-spaces, and must move one manhole cover to another manhole-top (shown on his card). Manholes lead down to darker places below: to sewer tunnels, along which characters can move a long way across the district.

At any one time, two manholes can be blocked off by workers’ boards on top.

So that’s it (in brief). Each turn, the two players move the characters around, trying to place them in spots where they can be of greatest advantage either to the goal of the investigator, or of Jack.

This’ll mean making decision after decision, like …
► choosing whether to move characters near to gas-lamps: or whether to move gas-lamps, even
► moving characters to sidle up close to somebody else: or keeping them apart, in splendid isolation
► taking the opportunity to move manhole covers, or road blocks: but where to ?

Here’s another really good game for two, again with a twist of evil. Jekyll vs. Hyde is a card game which makes as much demand on the two players, but can bring them just as much satisfaction.

What? And another? Yes, this time with cartloads of crim’s, but none of them acting in quite so evil a fashion as either Jack or the horrid Mr Hyde – it’s Caper. Like Jack and Jekyll, it’s a good game – a fun game.

This can be printed off double sided then turned into a little leaflet.
It’s got all the necessary play details and characters, so each player can be helped by having one to hand at all times.

Good fun !

  • takes very little time to set up
  • the character cards appear randomly: every game’s different
  • players take turns in first choice of cards: a clever little technique’s used
  • it might take a game or two to get used to ‘how can I do it’