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Letters from Whitechapel
|Price:||& FREE Shipping. Details & FREE Returns|
|You Save:||$10.00 (17%)|
|Brand||Fantasy Flight Games|
|Number of Game Players||2 to 6 players|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||11.75 x 11.75 x 3 inches|
|Item Weight||32 Ounces|
About this item
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- A one-versus-many board game of intrigue and deduction for 2 to 6 players
- Based on the true story of the hunt for the infamous murderer Jack the Ripper
- Wooden tokens and pawns, stunning artwork, and a focus on historical accuracy contribute to a rich theme
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From the manufacturer
An intense cat-and-mouse hunt for Jack the Ripper
Letters from Whitechapel is a thematically engrossing board game of deduction and bluffing in which one player takes the role of the infamous Jack the Ripper, while up to five other players are detectives working together to pursue him through Victorian London. After committing his horrible murders, Jack must outmanoeuvre the detectives in the tangled streets of the Whitechapel District. Meanwhile, the detectives must use clever deduction and their superior numbers to hunt Jack the Ripper down before he can kill again or elude them forever.
- 2 to 6 players
- 1+ hours play time
- Ages 14 and up
Hunt a killer or become one
Played over four rounds, Letters from Whitechapel is an engaging game of cat-and-mouse. Each round, the player controlling Jack selects a victim, commits a grisly murder, then attempts to escape to his secret hideout before being apprehended by any of five pursuing investigators. As for the investigators themselves, they must watch and wait, springing to action when Jack strikes, then working together to narrow down his true location and make an arrest.
To begin, the Jack player secretly chooses the location of his hideout, a numbered space on the board to which he must run after his nightly butchery. Jack writes the number of this location at the top of his move track sheet, on which he also records his movements each round. This all-important document will remain hidden behind Jack’s special screen throughout the game, masking his heinous activities from those who seek to apprehend him.
Chilling components that draw you into history
Although it presents a tense and satisfying game of deduction, Letters from Whitechapel goes beyond mere gaming. It immerses players in the seediest corners of late Victorian London, drawing them in with the chilling realism of its components.
The chilling blood-spattered board is an accurate representation of London’s Whitechapel district, and its edges are adorned with the names of Jack’s real-life victims and a key to where they met their untimely ends. Detailed sidebars throughout the rulebook present a timeline of the horrors that plagued London between December 1887 and March 1891, while representations of original albumen photographs of the investigators show each policeman.
With its keen attention to detail, Letters from Whitechapel presents an experience as close to Jack the Ripper’s London as you’ll want to get!
Letters from Whitechapel
Can Jack the Ripper escape justice and live to kill again, or will the police put a stop to historys most notorious killer? Letters from Whitechapel is a thematically engrossing board game of deduction and bluffing in which one player takes the role of the infamous Jack the Ripper, while up to five other players are detectives working together to pursue him through Victorian London. After committing his horrible murders, Jack must outmaneuver the detectives in the tangled streets of the Whitechapel District. Meanwhile, the detectives must use clever deduction and their superior numbers to hunt Jack the Ripper down before he can kill again or elude them forever. Letters from Whitechapel includes: 1 Rulebook, Game Board, and Jack Screen 6 Reference Sheets and 4 Jacks Letter Sheets 5 Head of the Investigation Tiles and 5 Special Movement Tokens 16 Wooden Tokens, 12 Wooden Pawns, and 27 Plastic Markers
From the Manufacturer
Can Jack the Ripper escape justice and live to kill again, or will the police put a stop to history’s most notorious killer? Letters from Whitechapel is a thematically engrossing board game of deduction and bluffing in which one player takes the role of the infamous Jack the Ripper, while up to five other players are detectives working together to pursue him through Victorian London. After committing his horrible murders, Jack must outmaneuver the detectives in the tangled streets of the Whitechapel District. Meanwhile, the detectives must use clever deduction and their superior numbers to hunt Jack the Ripper down before he can kill again or elude them forever. Letters from Whitechapel includes: 1 Rulebook, Game Board, and Jack Screen 6 Reference Sheets and 4 Jack’s Letter Sheets 5 Head of the Investigation Tiles and 5 Special Movement Tokens 16 Wooden Tokens, 12 Wooden Pawns, and 27 Plastic Markers
Top reviews from the United States
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Overall, it was a compelling game. We had a lot of fun. The police really got into the discussion of Jack's movements and was actually able to arrest him at the end of the first round! I hear a lot of chatter about this being unfair for Jack and unfair for the police, but overall I think its pretty balanced. It really boils down to some lucky breaks one way or the other. For example, I was one move away from winning the first round as Jack when a police officer randomly decided to stand in my way and blocked me from entering my hideout. Didn't know I was there, but that's where he went. And that's how investigations go, right? A lucky break for the cops leads to evidence that sends them down a path and they find their man.
This was our first time playing, and we actually started with the idea that this would be a practice round. Part way through they decided to just keep it. Because of that, I didn't pick the best base and ultimately that lead to my downfall. However, it did take us just under 2 hours to resolve that one round. The police really analyzed every move very diligently, and I am kind of glad that they caught me after that length of time. With experience, I am certain we would go faster.
The weakness of the game, in my opinion, is that there are not really that many interesting things to do. Jack has a few powers, but they are not overly powerful. Thoughtful usage may make or break you, but this game really focuses around a cat and mouse chase through the streets with no funny business.
This is also the strength of the game. You can use logic to trace Jack's route. The special powers are well defined and their usage is straight forward. Some hidden movement games have a lot of rather over powered skills or mechanics that may add intrigue to the game, but also complication. The simplicity of the powers has the added benefit that you can teach this game easily and quickly. Also, this really meant that each movement mattered. There is really no way to be like...oops and use a skill to save your skin. This means that everyone is engaged and decisions matter.
This is a fine game for a collection. Any serous gamer should probably own at least one hidden movement game, and this is a prime candidate. I'll probably play it once or twice a year. If you were looking for a game to play all of the time, you might want one with some more variety. But if you are like me and you will play it a few times a year, this is great. Its simplicity means you don't have to know the game forwards and backwards to enjoy it, mean it comes off the shelf and you are up and running in 10 minutes. Another benefit of this game is that it plays well with two players, and roughly equally through all of of the various player counts up to six.
To conclude, if you are looking for a hidden movement game that is easy to learn, fun, with important decisions to make, you might give this a go. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and get your team engaged in discussion.
At first blush you think it will be too easy for Jack to get away time and again, simply because he never physically appears on the board, as Mr. X does in Scotland Yard. And yet, it does actually take some adept movements for Jack to stay ahead of the police and make it away safe. And the way the game is set up, the more nights you play the greater the chance of getting caught since the police can begin piecing together where Jack's hideout is. One game is comprised of several "nights" that play out sort of like mini-games in themselves. After five nights, if Jack gets back to his hideout, he wins.
However, learning this game can take a bit longer than others, and it can run long. If you want to play it but don't want to run 1.5-2 hours, then you can decide ahead of time to play fewer nights. There are also some "expansion"-esque rule modifications included that can increase or decrease complication for either Jack or the police to adjust the difficulty level.
Overall, not quite on a par with the traditional Euro-game type mechanics, but it's great fun all around - whether you're a policeman looking for clues or you're Jack sweating your way back to your hideout.
Also, one note about the theme and dark historical tone: This revised edition includes nicer pieces but does bundle all the historical errata into the rulebook (which I wasn't fond of), so to a degree that historical aspect of the game can't be avoided. However, while this game is based on actual events surrounding Jack the Ripper, those events are not central to the gameplay and once you get the rules down it can easily be played without any reference to real life events. Basically, it's Whitechapel's artwork that separates it from other murder mystery games like Clue (which, if we're being honest, would be equally if not more gory & graphic were the art made to match the theme). If you don't have issues with saying "Professor Plum bludgeoned Mr. Body to death on the billiard table with a lead pipe" you will take even less issue with Whitechapel.
As Jack, it was crazy listening to the other players trying to figure out where I was hiding. Even more intense when one of them would propose a move that would reveal my location, making it certain I'd get caught, only to over analyze their suggestion, or be talked out of it by the rest of the group.
As Jack, this game gets an easy 5 stars. I feel like playing the officers is a little less fun, though. The socialization is a great aspect, but I feel like the potential lack of action could leave some people bored when playing the police.
The game is fairly lengthy, we clocked our 6 player match ar around 2 hours, but we were also learning the rules. My wife and I have played several games since, with one of us commanding all the officers, and have had matches only last 30-45 minutes.
As a 6 player game, I'll give this a 4, because I'm sure not everyone is going to enjoy playing the police.
As a 2 player game, a solid 5.
With more than one person playing the police, each turn becomes a long and very boring waiting contest for the person playing Jack, while the police-players argue among themselves about what is the best strategy to follow. There is always some twit who sees himself smarter than his other teammates, and bogs the game down by trying to have the final word on what the police should do.
As a two-player game, it is fantastic.