Mystery Rummy Case No. 3: Jekyll and Hyde
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Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tells the classic story of the dual nature of man. This game of strategy, based on the famous novel, allows players to score points by making melds corresponding to the current state of the main character's split personality. The first player to score 100 or more points wins!
My wife and I first discovered Mystery Rummy with Case 2 (and that is still our favorite). This new case has the same quality and fun that the other two had and is a welcome addition to the series.
There are other reviews which explain the game quite well, but I thought I'd mention a little twist that we've used to add some enjoyment to the game. We play a series of games, rotating through the three cases. Since all the games give you points, you just add the points to your total, and play to 100 as usual. If we have played all three cases and no one is at 100, we either start the cycle over until one of us reaches 100, or (if we're tired and it's bedtime) we just see who has the most points after a game of each case. I suppose you could also play each case to 100, allowing the loser to get back into the race with the next case.
The previous review does a nice job of explaining how the game works, although my feelings about the game were a little different.
In Jeckyll & Hyde, my partner and I felt that the basic mechanics of the game seemed a tad simpler than in Mystery Rummy 2, but the actual play seemed a little more challenging. For example, you might end up with only Jeckyll cards in your hand, yet Hyde is face up and you don't have any potion cards. So do you start dumping Jeckyll cards, or hope for a potion card?
Also, we've found that the Work in Lab card can sometimes be useless with a bad set of 3 cards to draw from in the draw pile. We have found ourselves frequently having to go through the draw pile more than once, which we rarely have to do in Mystery Rummy 2.
We enjoyed this version of rummy, and if you enjoy variants of rummy, you should enjoy this one too.
The third installment in the [page scan/se=0456/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Mystery Rummy (MR) series has very similar game play to the first two games in the series (see the reviews for Case No. 1: Jack the Ripper and Case No. 2: Murders in the Rue Morgue to get a feeling for what the game play is like: collect and meld evidence, play gavel cards, etc.). The different concept in Case 3 is the Dr. Jeckyll / Mr. Hyde identity card and how it affects play.
The identity card sits out on the table throughout the game, and is initially turned so that the Dr. Jeckyll side is face up. Each evidence card in the game has a 'J', 'H', or 'J/H' on it. This determines when a set of that evidence can be meld. J's can be meld only when the Dr. Jeckyll side of the identity card is face up, H's only when the Mr. Hyde face is up, and J/H's can be meld at any time. There are only three gavel card types in Case 3:
Players score points for the cards they meld. 'J' and 'H' melds score double if they match the side of the identity card that is face up when the hand ends ('J/H' melds are never doubled). A shutout is achieved if a player has nothing but one identity of melds (either all 'J' and 'J/H', or all 'H' and 'J/H'), that identity is face up when the hand ends, and he/she is the person who ends the hand ('goes out').
The cards are very good quality with nice artwork, legible font, and great color text from or about the Robert Louis Stevenson novel.
Case 3 is a nice little rummy game, but definitely the lightest of the three MR games. None of the intricate positioning and voting strategy of Case 1, or the 'mess with your opponent' and hand-end surprises of Case 2. Its simplicity has some charm, though, in that you often have the opportunity to change tactics in the middle of a hand and still succeed. Shutouts are easier to get than in the earlier MR games, which is good from the standpoint that players are more likely to try for them, but bad in that shutouts occurring completely by luck (one player draws mostly cards of one identity type) occur much more frequently.
I enjoy the game. It is a nice little diversion when you feel like playing a game that doesn't tax your brain. I like Case 1 and Case 2 a bit more than this one, though.
The terrifyingly talented Mike Fitzgerald's perpetually fresh approach to rummy has produced another journey into darkness, uncertainty--and nastiness. You meld either Jekyll or Hyde cards, determined by the faceup side of the Dual Identity card: It begins as Jekyll, but Action Cards can be played to flip it. If you wickedly play your last card with all your melds matching the faceup side, your opponent scores nothing! The highest score wins when at least one player reaches 100.