Gameday First Play – Letters from Whitechapel

Posted on by Jesta

Stop! Ripper time!

You stalk a serial killer around Whitechapel, creepy…

Get ready to enter the poor and dreary Whitechapel district in London 1888 – the scene of the mysterious Jack the Ripper murders – with its crowded and smelly alleys, hawkers, shouting merchants, dirty children covered in rags who run through the crowd and beg for money, and prostitutes – called “the wretched” – on every street corner.

The board game Letters from Whitechapel, which plays in 90-150 minutes, takes the players right there. One player plays Jack the Ripper, and his goal is to take five victims before being caught. The other players are police detectives who must cooperate to catch Jack the Ripper before the end of the game. The game board represents the Whitechapel area at the time of Jack the Ripper and is marked with 199 numbered circles linked together by dotted lines. During play, Jack the Ripper, the Policemen, and the Wretched are moved along the dotted lines that represent Whitechapel’s streets. Jack the Ripper moves stealthily between numbered circles, while policemen move on their patrols between crossings, and the Wretched wander alone between the numbered circles.

Jack the Ripper

So one of you is Jack the Ripper who will secretly choose one of the pre-determined spaces to kill a Prostitute.

Jack writes his location behind a screen, one of 199 numbered squares and each turn moves one space. He can also use a limited number of carriages to move 2 spaces or an alley way to cross a section of town.

Jacks goal is to get back to his hideout after killing one of the Prostitutes. His hideout is one of the white numbers decided before the game starts.

The game is played over 4 rounds, with Jack needing to kill 2 Prostitutes in round 3.

If Jack isn’t caught after 4 rounds, he wins.

Letters from Whitechapel Gameplay



The rest of you (Up to 5) play London’s finest, tracking down the killer.

Not preventing murder, just following clues. 🙂

So the Police move 2 black squares per turn and can look for clues on any adjacent white number. So you would ask Jack if he’s been there at some point or not. Eventually you’ll get some clues and start to plot his trajectory from the murder to his home.

The other thing you ca do is make an arrest. If you think you know where Jack is RIGHT NOW you can name the number and attempt an arrest. If he isn’t there, the game continues. If he is, the Police win.

The game depends on the following players not being in the game…

  • Rule Benders -Jack HAS to be honest. The Police players can’t try and trick Jack into giving away info.
  • Alpha Gamers – As with any co-op element in a game, the Police need to cooperate, not follow a single lead for the game to be fun for all.
  • Impatient Players – If Jack accidentally gives away information the game loses a lot so he has to be patient and make sure he says the right thing at all times.

It’s not a bad game, not thrilling or anything just, OK…

BTW, I was the arresting officer 😀

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