Kerry Hammond is here to tell us about another game in her collection of mystery-themed games.
As I collect my mystery games, I mentally put them on lists. Some might strike me as more fun with four or more players. Others are best played on a big table with lots of room for all the pieces. This latest game, Mystery Rummy Case No. 1: Jack the Ripper has three great attributes: it’s great for travel, it plays like regular Rummy, so has a very low learning curve once you get the hang of it, and it’s really best played by two people. With that said, it took me a bit to get the hang of it, and I had to watch several youtube videos to help me with strategy (yes, there are youtube videos for that!)
About the Game
Another fun fact about the game is that the information on the cards is based on the facts collected in the Jack the Ripper police investigation. This includes facts about the Ripper’s victims on the victim cards, and an artist even sketched the pictures based on historic information. The suspect cards are made up of six people who may have been the killer. One is named Jill the Ripper, and this just signifies a female killer. Again, based on evidence the police collected.
Nothing starts until a body is found. Once a victim card is played, the game really begins. Players then lay down their groupings of three, also called melds. This is the Rummy part, because in Rummy players also lay down groupings of three. Also like Rummy, players with the fourth card in any grouping can play it off of the other player’s meld.
Additional cards in the game are the Wild Cards, Gavel Cards, Alibi Cards, and Letters. Each category either complements or rules out other cards in play. When cards are complimented, players earn more points. When they’re ruled out, players’ points are cancelled out.
The object of the game is, as in Rummy, to score the most points. Players preset a maximum score and the first person to reach it wins.
This is by no means meant to be an all-encompassing tutorial of how to play the game. There is a detailed booklet that explains the cards and the scoring, but I can’t encourage you enough to check out the youtube videos to supplement that information. It’s a very involved game, and because of that, it is really a lot of fun to play as you get the hang of how to strategize.