Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Mystery Rummy

A few weeks ago, Steph and I went to WorldCon, which was in Spokane. While in the dealer's room, I spotted a booth (Uncle's Games) that had the Mystery Rummy series of games in stock.

Now, I'd asked Brian at Phoenix Games a few years back if he could get them, and they were (at the time) sadly out of print. So when I saw them, I immediately grabbed the first one (Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper). I took it back to the room, and Steph and I fumbled through a hand or two.

I was immediately hooked. It was a solidly fun game that built on the classic Rummy rules. But I still wasn't sure I wanted to grab the others.  So I grabbed the fifth one (Mystery Rummy: Escape from Alcatraz), took it back to the room, and read the rules. And - again - it was a solid game with rules that were different enough from the first one that it didn't feel like a rehash of the other game.  This told me that all five games were likely distinct from one another.

So I grabbed all five, and took them back to our usual Wednesday gathering.

Where they were (and continue to be) a hit.

And where I learned that they are back in print and are now readily available through distribution.

Each of the five games has at least one special tweak to the rules.  Jack the Ripper, for example, doesn't let you meld cards until a victim has been played.  Jekyl & Hyde restricts what you can meld depending on which aspect of the good Doctor is currently active. Escape from Alcatraz has action cards that trigger the first time anyone lays down cards every turn.

It leads to five games with similar rules and very different feels.

Some of them are two-player-only, some of them are 2-4 players. Jack the Ripper, for example, is playable with 2-4, but I don't recommend it with more than two. Escape from Alcatraz is good with three or four, but it's playable with two. 

You can get them for around $20 from your FLGS. If you're at all curious, I recommend picking one up and giving it a shot.  So far, Jack the Ripper is my favorite with two players and Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld is my favorite with four (but several folks in the group prefer Escape from Alcatraz with four).

Unrelated to the above: I brought one of my old computers out of retirement, so I'm not completely computerless while my laptop is being repaired (under warranty), so maybe my posting schedule won't be terribly affected ...

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