Publisher: US Games Systems
Designer: Mike Fitzgerald
Year: 2009 (Third Edition)
Genre: Rummy with a mystery twist
Players: Two to four players
Playing time: 30 Minutes
Rummy with a Twist (of a knife)…
So your family likes to get together and play card games, eh? Consider Rummy, first one to 500 points wins right? Sure, it is fun, but truthfully it gets a little boring after a while. The same thing over and over. Are you looking to step up your game, to move out of the realm of “same old…same old” and try something new? Then come on over to the dark side and give “Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper” a try.
My wife enjoys card games, and I was looking for something we could play together that might be fun for both of us. So I found this game which looked like it added some theme to the age old game of Rummy, and decided to give it a try. The game features all of your favorite rules of Rummy, with card melds, points, and the like. To go with this, the cards are all themed in a Jack the Ripper “London by Gaslight” theme. There are victim cards, scene cards, evidence cards, and suspect cards. To begin, someone must play a victim card before any evidence melds can be played. Once a victim has been revealed, the players can begin placing their melds of evidence cards which indicate which one of the 6 suspects might be the Ripper. The more evidence cards in play, the more likely the given suspect is the infamous Ripper.
Play proceeds until one of the players is able to discard their final card in their hand, at which point all of the evidence cards for the various suspects is added up. The suspect with the most points is declared the Ripper and their corresponding card points are doubled. Then the cards are shuffled and a new hand begins.
There are other cards in the deck as well to add more flavor and options to the players, including the dreaded “Ripper Escapes” card which can only be played if all of the 5 victims are in play. The player who successfully plays this card immediately wins the hand and is awarded 35 points.
The cards are of good quality and the theme is present throughout with wonderful artwork and flavor text on all of the cards giving background information on the real Jack the Ripper. My only complaint is that several of the colors are quite similar and we got those mixed up when we once attempted to play by candlelight when the power went out. Other than that, it is a fun game that is easy to learn after only a few hands and is relatively inexpensive. Even the box is cool! It’s in the form of a book with a black ribbon to help you take the cards out of their insert.
I wholeheartedly recommend this game. It is most enjoyable with 2 players, but is fun with 3 or 4 as well.
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