I picked up Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper not only on the promise of an easy 1k, but also after noting that it was developed by The Adventure Company, creators of the outstanding PC game Syberia that was released several years ago. The game itself is a rather typical puzzle-based one, a port from the PC, although the story itself is quite compelling, and the game is worth playing for that reason alone.
I should note up front, however, that the game may be a bit gory and brutal for some players.
The name of the game is a bit of a misnomer. The name "Jack the Ripper" doesn't even appear until quite a bit into the adventure, and while you might expect to find Holmes pit against Jack in some sort of test of wits, the reality is that it is primarily a detective game on the part of Holmes. Through the course of the adventure, the renowned Holmes must solve puzzles, deduce conclusions from clues, and yes, act as the occasional errand boy in order to obtain information from who wants this-or-that done. (Thankfully, the menial tasks are primarily confined to the early parts of the game.) Also, the puzzles themselves decide the difficulty of the experience; there is no way to die, although you might find yourself stuck on a puzzle.
Some of these puzzles can be quite challenging without the use of a walkthrough. While I would suggest avoiding them (as they really are the meat of the game), those wanting to move through the story on its own may be frustrated at certain points. Such is is the nature of puzzle games as a rule.
Thankfully, even though the game is a port, the controls on the whole work well. The game highlights places that you will need to examine if you are close enough, and so by simply investigating scenes you should find all of the relevant clues. You have the choice of playing in third-person view, but I found first person much easier to navigate in terms of selecting particular items (with the exception of one certain puzzle involving a watering can, where I found third-person to be rather unavoidable).
The graphics, on the other hand, are rather horrid. Toward the end of the game, I encountered a glitch that caused certain camera angles to jump and shake uncontrollably. Luckily those were infrequent. On the other hand, the game is not about the graphics, but the puzzles, and the graphics are tolerable.
All of the achievements are easily available through a single runthrough. With the exception of four of them, all of them are story-related. (You would be well-counseled to look through the achievement list if you are hunting, as you won't be able to achieve these once you've moved to another scene, and have to restart the game.)
In the end, the story is well worth the playthrough, although perhaps only once. Unless you really like Sherlock Holmes, the game is really worth only a rental (but well worth that rental).
4 stars... the graphics and voice acting are sub-par, but the story, puzzles and easy achievements more than compensate.