Murder if on the cards!
The Lord of the Manor is dead!
The servants are our lead suspects and it’s up to you as detectives to prove which one committed the dastardly deed.
So what’s it gonna be, good cop or bad cop?
Picking from these two game versions will determine the type of investigators you’ll be whilst you try to solve the crime, but which detective will crack the case first?
When I’m not reading books or working on the PhD, I can often be found enjoying games of one variety or another. Console gaming tends to be my preferred go-to but, during lockdown, I’ve rediscovered my love of board games, card games, and tabletop games so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to try out Foul Play: The Manor House Murder, the new card game from After Dark Murder Mystery Events.
Although I enjoy the strategy and depth of intricate board games such as Pandemic and Elder Sign, it is rare that my husband and I get the time to sit down to play such lengthy campaigns and scenarios so we’re big fans of quick-play games such as Exploding Kittens, Sushi Go, and Fungi. Foul Play fits perfectly into this latter category – it’s quick to set up, easy to learn, and takes about 30 – 40 minutes to play.
There are two game modes on offer – Good Cop and Bad Cop. Good Cops need to find three pieces of evidence to uncover the killer AND they need to hold the suspect card in their hand before they can solve the case. Bad Cops simply need three pieces of evidence that can frame a suspect – if they can then make a case to implicate a suspect whose card they hold in their hand, they can solve the case! In both scenarios other players can attempt to block you from presenting your solution. They can also peek at your evidence (cards), steal or swap evidence, or re-visit the crime scene to acquire more information. And all players need to be on the lookout for those pesky red herrings!
There are 8 suspects to choose from and, owing to the design of the game, the solution will change each time you play. Between this and the different game modes, there is a ton of replay value in Foul Play and, with each round being nice and quick, it would make a fantastic game to introduce at parties or family gatherings (once we are allowed to have them again!). The game can be played with up to 5 players although, with two packs of cards, you can easily extend this to 8 for larger groups. It also works really well played as a couple. You really don’t feel as if you’re losing out by having fewer players and, if anything, it makes each round that bit quicker and more competitive – especially if you are playing as Bad Cop!
In terms of production value, the cards are nicely produced and feel fairly sturdy, with some fun character art and design on the suspect cards and nice clear images on evidence cards. Instructions for setting up and playing both game types are included in the box (although there are more detailed instructions and a picture of the setup online if you need them) and, as the box is the size of the average pack of playing cards, it isn’t a big game to have to store in the house. This makes Foul Play the perfect game for taking away on your travels – or entertaining yourself during a long journey. I can definitely see me taking it away to play with friends or on holiday.
Although Foul Play comes with a suggested age limit of 14+ owing to the murderous theme, younger children should be fine to play alongside adults – the card art isn’t gory and the game isn’t really any more sinister than Cluedo (although the mechanics are maybe a tad more complex given that it’s a card game).
As a card game take on the Murder Mystery party, Foul Play fulfils its brief perfectly. Quick to pick up and play, great for both couples and larger groups, and nicely portable, its made for a fun addition to our household’s growing game collection. At £8.95 a pack it also makes for a relatively inexpensive addition to your Christmas entertainments – or the perfect stocking filler for a game-loving friend or relative!
Foul Play is produced by After Dark Murder Mystery and is available to purchase on their website. My thanks go to After Dark for providing a copy of the game in return for an honest and unbiased review, and to Emma at Damppebbles Blog Tours for organising and inviting me on to this tour. The tour continues until 11 December 2020 so do check out the other stops for more reviews and content!
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