Review: Jekyll vs. Hyde (Mandoo Games) – English

“Not much longer can I shut out evil. Doom has me in its grip, literally and figuratively. The grip evil has on me is slowly squeezing all the good out of my body, like gravity running sand through an hourglass. Little by little, the light will leave me and only darkness will be present in my lonely soul. Although evil has always been a part of me, I have only recently given in to it. A tempting mistake. To maintain my good name, honor and conscience, I devised a ruse. A monster I could blame for all my actions, crimes, temptations and shenanigans. However, the monster, the evil, took hold of me like an overgrown parasite, slowly sucking at and taking over its host. The monster was a way for me to escape my woes, but it ultimately it held me captive. Not much longer will I be able to shut out evil. Dr. Jekyll will die and only Mr. Hyde will live on…”

More and more often it is proven that the battle between good and evil actually exists. Most people sincerely try to live as good people and do good deeds, but lose the internal dilemma and let self-interest prevail. Dr. Jekyll thought he had the perfect solution. By using a serum, he could change into Mr. Hyde in order to give in to his inner urges and give his evil side a place to live and thrive, without harming Dr. Jekyll’s good name, honor and conscience. Mr. Hyde, however, had a will of his own and will not allow himself to be used only by Dr. Jekyll. In Jekyll vs. Hyde, a trick taking game by Mandoo Games, two players play out the inner struggles of Dr. Jekyll. Will Jekyll manage to shake himself loose from Mr. Hyde or will Jekyll fall prey to evil?

Jekyll vs. Hyde is a trick taking game for two players. With a small board, a beautiful metal figure, three tokens and a small stack of playing cards, the internal battle between good and evil is fought. One player assumes the role of Dr. Jekyll trying to keep the inner balance and the other player assumes the role of Mr. Hyde trying to knock Dr. Jekyll’s psyche off of that balance. The game lasts up to three rounds of ten tricks each. As in a regular trick taking game, players play cards and must follow suit if they can. the player that played the highest numbered card or with a trump colour wins the battle.

Jekyll vs. Hyde has several fun twists on the classic trick taking game. At the beginning of a round, players must swap 2 cards from their hand, giving players a little more information about the cards that may have been in the other hand. The trump colors of a round are determined by the order in which certain colors are played. In addition, there are cards with neutral colors and special effects that depend on the color the opponent is playing. The special effects can be used to steal tricks from another player, reset trump colors and swap cards.

At the end of a round, the number of tricks won by each player is determined. The difference is the number of the metal figure moves across the board. If the figure reaches the end of the board within three rounds, Mr. Hyde wins the game and otherwise Dr. Jekyll wins.

Jekyll vs. Hyde is a very fun variation of a two-player trick taking game and possibly even my favorite two-player trick taking game. It’s an exciting asymmetrical game where players have to plan ahead and can really get in each other’s way due to the changing trump colors. I really the aspect of changing and determining the order of trump colors and adjusting your strategy on that basis. Another really fun aspect is that the effects of the serum cards is based on the color your opponent has played or will play. Although Mr. Hyde tries to upset the balance, the game is well balanced, but should a player be too much of an expert at winning tricks, the difficulty can be slightly adjusted by playing an alternating game mode. Wicked fun!