Letters from Whitechapel Board Game Review

Jack the Ripper, a name that struck fear in the hearts of London in 1888. The – still – unidentified serial killer took the lives of 5 women (known) and in the most gruesome manner. Now it’s time for you and your friends to take on the role of not only Jack himself, but also the London police, trying desperately to corner the villain and bringing him to justice!

Letters from Whitechapel board game review by Gameapalooza AustraliaLetters from Whitechapel… prepare for the chase!

“Letters from Whitechapel” plays 2-6 players, one in the role of Jack, the others as the police. Problem is Jack is still on the rampage, meaning he’s still got victims to dispatch, he wants to tally the magical number 5 before the game ends and the detectives want to bring him to justice ASAP.

Letters from Whitechapel – Setup & Gameplay
Setup is simple enough, place that beautifully thematic board of the Whitechapel district on the table, Work out who is Jack. Place all the police pawns on the board, Jack sets up the Ripper Screen (well that’s what we like to call it), thus hiding his whereabouts. You’ll need a pencil for this, so make sure you have one handy. Jack chooses a hideout and places his pawn. Jack chooses his hideout and marks it behind the screen… shhh.. don’t let anyone see, this is where Jack will sneak off to each night. Place the other markers, shuffle the investigation tiles and boom, you’re ready to begin!

Letters from Whitechapel board game review Gameapalooza AustraliaLetters from Whitechapel the chase is on as Jack outwits the coppers!

Gameplay is essentially a mix of deduction and bluffing. Over the course of four nights Jack will take to the city to try and make his kills, with each night broken up into two phases and the whole game broken into parts.

Part One: Hell
Jack sets about some murderin! Using tokens, Jack tries to set a scene for the police that will baffle and defy them, all while he gets his gruesome slasher self on. Whilst Jack is trying to keep the police guessing, the police too are trying to keep Jack busy, throwing him off in the hope of nabbing the psycho. If Jack manages to murder some poor woman on a darkened street, he keeps note of his dastardly deed and let’s the police know it’s now a crime scene. Grim. Needless to say once Jack has sliced and diced it’s time to leg it, because the bobbies are well on their way.

Part Two: The Hunt
Run Jack Run! Now Jack needs to evade capture, jotting down where he’s going behind the secret screen. The police move and search. Essentially the police look for clues as to Jacks whereabouts, if they find him, Jack loses, if he makes it back to his hideout, the game continues.

Without going into every single rule in detail that is how “Letters from Whitechapel” plays out and it does so deliciously. Everything just comes together to make the game not only a lot of fun, but also palpably tense. If you’re playing as Jack you need to be fleet of foot and you need to plan what you’re doing in front of the prying eyes of other players. If you’re playing as the police, that too is tense. The entire thing is a thematically rich experience.

Even as a two-player experience “Letters from Whitechapel” works rather well, so even if it is just you and your partner who generally play, don’t count this one out based on the fact it’s a big box game. Things change slightly, but you still get that same overarching feeling.

Letters from Whitechapel board game review Gameapalooza AustraliaLetters from Whitechapel board game – A beautiful thematic masterpiece

Gameapalooza House Rules
None, why bother, it’s gorgeous just the way it is.

Players 2-6
Age: 13+
Setup Time: A few minutes
Playtime: 120 mins

Game Build Quality
The quality of Letters to Whitechapel is superb. The board is busy, but not so busy so as to distract from play, it’s wonderfully thematic, from the city streets in sepia, down to the blood spatter. The meeples / pawns are well made and again thematic with Jack sporting a top hat and the police the bobbie style hat shape. Overall it’s a well made game, you’re getting good value for money.

Overall
Overall “Letters from Whitechapel” is a beautifully crafted game with some really thematic gameplay. Sure there may be a few moments of analysis paralysis with certain players, but overall everyone playing if probably going to enjoy the experience. Even as a two-player game “Letters from Whitechapel” works well (some may even argue it actually works better). A well deserving addition to your game shelf.

[author] [authorimage timthumb=’off’]/content/images/2016/02/gameapalooza-micro-review-icon-sm.gif[/authorimage] [authorinfo]Micro Review – Letters from Whitechapel is a grim, thematically rich game of bluffing and deduction. Whether you’re a fan of the Jack the Ripper legend or not, there is some great gameplay to be had here. A ripping addition to any gamers library.
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info] [/author]

You can purchase “Letters from Whitechapel” from our sponsor, Aussie game store Gameology.