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MR JACK: the EXTENSION

Description from publisher:
October, 1888 — Whitechapel, London: Jack's shadow still hangs heavy over the back-streets of the East End. Scotland Yard has assigned Inspector Abberline to take over the investigation, aided by five new detectives with extraordinary abilities. The new recruits include the formidable Professor Moriarty, who uses his intelligence and cunning to impersonate the other detectives. Is he trying to put Jack off his stride, or to outwit his rival Sherlock Holmes? Or could he even be Jack himself, disguised as Moriarty? Who is the elusive Jack? The unrelenting manhunt continues!

Mr. Jack: Extension is an expansion for the Mr. Jack deduction game that features refreshed artwork for the tenth anniversary of the game as well as an original character as strong as it is enigmatic: Professor Moriarty, whose special ability is to imitate one of the characters who is not at stake. Moriarty is quite the chameleon, impersonating the other detectives by mimicking their appearance and using their abilities!

MR. JACK from HURRICAN 

Designed by Bruno Cathala & Ludovic Maublanc with art by Pierô  UK Distribution David Westnedge 

It is a two-player game and the extension (note 'extension' not 'expansion') does not add any other players to the mix, it remains the Police versus 'Jack'.

The base game, reviewed earlier on GGO has a hex-shaped board that reflects a dim and dusky area of East London in the days of Jack the Ripper and where Gaslighting casts shadows and those shadows hide criminals and innocents alike.

The original eight Characters involved mostly have mandatory abilities that must be used: Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, John Smith, Inspector Lestrade, Sgt Goodley and Jeremy Bert, with two having abilities that are optional; Miss Stealthy and Sir William Gull. One player is dealt/selects one of the characters to be the 'cloak' that Jack wears this game. The other player (the detective) has to discover who Jack is and apprehend him (or her) before the end of the game or Jack disappears into the night; each character has an alibi but not all alibis are true/safe, Jack (naturally) doesn't have an alibi (playing Thin Lizzy "Waiting for an Alibi" in the background can be fun - or annoying).

The base game also had Street Hexes/Obstacles, a Police Cordon barrier, Manhole covers and Shut off Gaslight, tiles; these are still used when the extension is added in - the extension includes a Barricade token and a Moriarty's Abilty tile that neatly fits on the underside of a card.

Six new characters appear in the extension. Jeremy Bert, Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Lestrade and John Smith are regulars from the base game (as opposed to Baker Street Irregulars) and must be used as characters in every game. 

The four regular characters are removed from the deck and the six new characters are shuffled in with the four remaining from the original eight, meaning you have ten characters in the deck plus the four detectives who are placed to one side. The ten cards are shuffled and five dealt to each player who then selects two from the five and reveals them face up so both players can view them. Take the alibi cards for the four detectives and the four selected cards and shuffle them to form a face  down deck, do the same with the 4+4 characters - the 8 character tokens relating to these characters are placed next to the board. Alibi cards have Red backs and character cards Green backs, the same as in the base game.

The remaining tokens and cards are removed back to the box and out of the game 'unless' Professor Moriarty is in play - English extension rules page #28 special note.

A nice and neat way to continually continue to play without every game being the same. All the new pieces fit perfectly in the base game's box thus negating the need to carry the extension box around,

The placing of the characters works the same as in the base game, in fact the extension really is mainly a case of adding new characters with different abilities, with the first player placing one, the other player placing two then one again from the start player, this alternating the start player every new round.

What the extension truly adds is the flexibility of having different characters for every game and this therefore adds more abilities to affect the choices the players make. It's great to have the man most recognised as Holmes' main adversary, Professor Moriarty, in play now, though if you read the Conan Doyle stories featuring Holmes you will be surprised at just how often Moriarty is the actual major villain.
Other new characters are:
Spring-Heeled Man (aka Spring-Heeled Jack) who has a special movement ability.
John Pizer - can scare characters adjacent to him.
Inspector Abberline - reduces characters movement if adjacent to him
Joseph Lane - he has a mobile Barricade.
Madame - moves speedily around the streets but steers clear of the sewers - she is a 'lady' after all.

Despite what the publisher says (see above) Inspector Abberline does not take over the investigation. In fact he is just one of the new characters who the game blurb calls 'new detectives' when any one of them could be 'Jack'. Abberline does not take the place of Inspector Lestrade as one of the four detective cards removed at the beginning of play.

Yes, the extension is well worth having. Online you should easily pick it up for about £17.00 and the Base game around £25.00. We were already favourites of the base game and to now be able to shake things up considerably has just added to the longevity of the game and the fun in the playability.

There is a solid Q&A session, that spreads from the inside back cover onto and enveloping the entirity ot the rules back cover page.

NOTE:
Despite the cards and counters being of very good quality there are a couple of things to note when opening the game from new before playing.

You are required to peel off the stickers and put them, one on each side, to the round wooden tokens [supplied]. Obviously when peeling them off care must be taken not to tear or crease them as that makes sticking them onto the tokens more difficult than it already is - the round tokens are basically the same diameter as the round wooden blocks. For ease and tidyness there is a good sized zip-loc bag for the pieces.

More importantly is the way the stickers appear on the sheet. I had expected them to be one row of coloured stickers then one of grey for the same characters, but it doesn't. It is easy to peel one off and stick it on a token and then not concentrate and peel off the next one underneath the first and stick it onto the token's flip side. Just be very careful and watch what you are doing - wrong stickers on tokens or damaged stickers on tokens is not good for playing. 

For those of you who are interested, Professor James Moriarty was alluded to in 5 or 6 Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but only actually featured himself in one "The Adventure of the Final Problem", though he does have a heavy involvement in "The Valley of Fear"

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015