I awoke on Christmas morning to find that Susan had purchased me the Jack the Ripper: Real Crimes game for the Nintendo DS and after playing on it found it to be highly addictive.
The game starts off in the study of Melville Macnaghten, which is a mess, and you have to find numerous items such as pieces of paper, eye glass, etc. What makes it difficult is that much of the room is made up of other items lying across furniture, and so you find yourself looking for ages. The split screen of the DS makes it easier, as the top screen has the large overview, and the bottom screen is a smaller higher defined viewing area. A list at the side helps you look for what you need, with items vanishing from the list as you find them.
What strikes me about this is that close up the room, and all the other locations, look like a mish mash of items, from afar they look amazing.
After leaving Macnaghten’s office you visit other locales, including Bucks Row, White Hart public house, Christchurch, Hanbury Street, the London Hospital, visited Dutfields Yard, Mitre Square, Miller’s Court, an undefined Gentleman’s Club, and Walter Sickert’s studios.
Ripperologists will love the in game references, such as the vesica pisces in Macnaghten’s office, the poison in George Chapman’s barbershop, the red neck tie in Sickert’s studio, and numerous gladstone bags and deerstalker hats which are scattered around the landmarks.
There are 33 levels, with 13 mini games. The mini games are usually tougher than the actual levels, but there are handy hints to help if you get stuck.
The game takes on the 5 canonical murders.
All the locations are 3D. Even though some of the locations are not entirely true to life. The rear yard of 29 Hanbury Street looks real at one side, where the door, steps and rear of the building stand, but at the other side it’s like an orchard with trees, fruit and butterflies.
There are hundreds of clues to find throughout the game with added puzzles and challenges.
The instruction booklet also features some fact files on the victims.
One of the mini games involved the matching of Tarot Cards which was a bit odd, but other than that great fun.
The game ends with five suspects, George Chapman, Walter Sickert, Prince Eddy, Druitt and Gull. You have to match evidence to each one, and build a case against your chosen subject.
Whilst the suspects are pretty flimsy, what sets it out is that when you select one, it gives you the arguments for and against, rather than saying well done, you did it.
The game ends with a rather unsettling image of a long dark alley, and the shadow of the ripper approaching with the words….Jack was never caught!