Ripperologist JON REES takes a look at two new Jack the Ripper apps released recently for the iPhone and iPad based on the Whitechapel Murders of 1888.
Ripperpedia – The Jack the Ripper Who’s Who
In 1888, the world’s first internationally known serial killer – the murderer who became known to the world as ‘Jack the Ripper‘ – took the lives of a number of down-at-heel women in Whitechapel in the East End of London, an area known at the time for its dire poverty and criminal element.
Ripperpedia allows the user to cut through much of the mythological fog surrounding the case and access the facts as an app on your iPad or iPhone.
This nifty little app is from the minds of Adam Wood and John Bennett and is great. It’s a mini illustrated Ripper encyclopaedia, with links to related topics on each entry and a handy map of related sites in the East End. There’s a fairly comprehensive range of entries so far covering suspects, victims, evidence and locations with free updates promised in the future.
The interface is very user friendly and features an easy to master design, suitable for both a beginner to the case and an experienced Ripperologist who wants facts on hand. It looks great too!
When I downloaded it I did experience a minor bug, but with some help from Adam Wood it was quickly resolved. The app is designed to be run holding the phone landscape, so if you activate it with the phone portrait it won’t display right. You must hold the phone with the home button to the right to resolve this (if you hold it with the button to the left it still doesn’t display properly). Other than that, it really is brilliant – so you should head straight to the app store and buy it now!
In regards to problems starting the app, I have been informed the developer has fixed the code and the updated version 1.1 is already under submission to the app store.
Track the Ripper
Track the Ripper is an interactive mobile movie that allows you to visit the streets of London’s Whitechapel in 1888. Glean as many clues as you can and match your findings against a police database of suspects to identify the Ripper. Can you repay the faith shown in you by Inspector Abberline and stop the most notorious serial killer of all time before he kills Mary Kelly? Track the Ripper can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home, but for the bravest of souls, it is recommended that you follow in Jack’s footsteps and walk the streets of London. Made in Association with the Fink Agency, Jody Medland and Bullseye Lantern Ltd.
Unlike the previous app we looked at, Track the Ripper is a game (though it does contain a lot of accurate factual info, including accurate recreations of the murder scenes by the same team that worked on The Definitive Story documentary) so there is some departure from facts for dramatic purposes. It did not bother me one bit!
This is a fully immersive game, taking you back to Whitechapel 1888 and letting you compare the then to now. It is also designed to let you play while taking part in a Ripper tour (though I’m not sure how advisable this would be late at night – a bit like wearing a giant tshirt saying “mug me!”) and contains directions from each murder site as the game progresses. The clues are given by actors in recreations of the crime scenes, and despite the subject matter it is not very lurid or tasteless.
Each time you play the game your choices of what to investigate can influence who the Ripper is and your task (given to you by Abberline no less) is to arrest a suspect based on the profile you put together in time to save Mary Kelly.
It is addictive though! I started playing late last night and was determined not to go to bed until I won a game!
Two very different but very good apps on Jack the Ripper I would recommend to anyone with an interest in the case.