Recommended Game: Mr. Jack

by A.J. Coltrane

Title:  Mr. Jack  – Pocket Version

Game Type:  Deduction/ Bluffing strategy game.

Number of Players:  2

Complexity of Rules:  Low

Time to Play:  15-20 minutes

The Concept:  One player plays as Mr. Jack. The other plays as the Inspectors — Holmes, Watson, and Puggsly the Dog. The “board” is a 3×3 grid of tiles. Each tile contains a suspect and an overhead view of alleyways. Mr. Jack begins play as one of the suspects, and the Inspectors circle the board and try to peer down the alleys to get a good look him and the other suspects. If Mr. Jack can stay hidden for long enough, and prevent the Inspectors from eliminating all the other suspects, then Mr. Jack wins. The Inspectors win if they manage to narrow down the suspects to only one, thereby revealing the true identity of Mr. Jack.

 

Peering down the alleyways.

 

The “twist” is that the individual tiles can be rotated or exchanged for each other, changing the sightlines into the alleys, and the Inspectors continually move around the perimeter. Both Mr. Jack and the Inspectors share a choice of possible actions each turn, so choosing what to deny the opponent might be equally as important as what you could do yourself instead.

Why I Like It:  Mr. Jack takes maybe five minutes to learn but packs a surprising amount of strategy into very few rules. It’s portable, fast to play, and engaging without making people’s brains overheat. It’s a very satisfying little game.

2 comments to Recommended Game: Mr. Jack

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