Well this is a bit different, instead of a review of a crime book it's a review of a crime game and what a brilliant game it is. The game is presented as a pack of 52 cards but this is no ordinary pack of cards as there's a murderer among them. The players (between 2 and 5 of them) must act as detectives and race to collect the evidence in order to be first to identify the murderer. There are even two variations of the game (Good Cop and Bad Cop) so there is great fun to be had with this small package.
The instructions are clear and easy to understand so don't worry if you don't usually play games. The cards give an overview of the game and the rules of play, details of each card's actions, how to play and win Good Cop and how to play and win Bad Cop.
We played both versions of the game with two players and had very different experiences but I'll talk a bit about Good Cop first. In the Good Cop variant, you are searching for three evidence cards that will identify the murderer. We had great fun stealing cards from each other, swapping our cards over with cards in the crime scene and discarding cards we didn't want. It took around half an hour for one of us (not me) to find the three evidence cards and identify the murderer. There were plenty of laughs to be had along the way (especially when playing the Foul Play cards to steal cards from your opponent) and we thoroughly enjoyed playing.
Playing Bad Cop with two players only took about five minutes to play. As all the evidence cards are in play, it's a lot easier to find three evidence cards and identify a suspect. I think if there had been more players, it would have taken longer for one of the players (not me) to identify the murderer. This isn't necessarily a negative point as it would be good to play Bad Cop if you didn't have much time and just wanted a quick game.
We played five or six games and although I lost every single one of them, I absolutely loved it. I'm not usually one for playing games but Foul Play is so easy to play and so much fun that it's definitely something all of the family could enjoy. Priced at £8.95 it's excellent value as it's basically two games in one and there are hours of fun to be had.
Foul Play is the perfect stocking filler for murder mystery fans, book lovers, gamers and anyone who needs a bit of fun in their life, so that's everyone!
If you want a review of a murder mystery game who better to ask than murder mystery fans! In December 2020 Damp Pebbles Blog Tours organised a review tour across some of the best crime fiction book bloggers in the UK and here are their thoughts!
"Foul Play is great fun and is a game you could definitely play time and time again. I recommend that you order your pack today, you will not be disappointed’’
Teas, Books and Biscuits
"We were very impressed by the endless opportunities of play, as each game will be a different combination of Evidence Cards and therefore no one game will be the same.
This was a really enjoyable addictive game which I can see us playing for many more years to come’’
The Book Cosy Club
“We had a lot of fun and actually became really competitive as we got into it”
“All in all it’s great fun.
I’m looking forward to getting together with my family soon so we can all play together.”
Cookie Biscuit's Blog
“The cards that are used for the game are bright and colourful, which definitely heightened the appeal for me. The illustrations and artwork are absolutely stunning, which not only makes them aesthetically interesting, but is really important in terms of game play.
“I did enjoy playing the game and found the different instructions on the card to be very creative and an interesting way of “spicing the game up”. I would definitely play this game again and perhaps buy it as a gift for someone.”
‘’ The set up was really easy and there is even a photo on the website that shows how it should look for anyone who is unsure.
The game was fast-paced and fun and we will definitely introduce the family to it.’’
Book Before U Leap
“I have to say that I loved playing at this game, the rules are easy to understand (and online there are more detailed in case of need), funny illustrations in the cards and you can choose if you want to be a good cop or a bad cop.
“I think this should be on any mystery lover list this Christmas; it will keep the family entertained for hours and just in case there’s a murder in the family, this will keep them distracted while you call the police!
Foul Play is a very worthy card game that will be in my bag for now on, you never know when you need to discover the killer…”
“This well-conceived, family orientated, murder mystery card game could be for you! I will certainly be taking it along to entertain my family on Christmas Day. We had such fun with the ‘Good Cop’ version.
I can thoroughly recommend this game for many evenings of detecting capers and whether you’re 70 years old or 7 years old, everyone can get involved and play.”
The Fallen Librarian
‘’ The game is different every time as the evidence and suspect changes and I liked the fact there were two games in one, adding to the variety.
The game play is varied and the logic is good. I can imagine us playing it lots."
Locky Loves Books
“This would make a fabulous little stocking filler for the crime fan in your life! So happy investigating!”
My Chestnut Reading Tree
“We played the first go through as a bit of a dummy run but that was all we needed – after this, even my 10 year-old took to the game quickly and had no problems following play.
The game cards are well made and the illustrations are appealing – I loved the range of culprits and the way that the clues gradually narrow them down based on their clothes, physical appearance and other items in their pictures.
I’d recommend this as a fun family card game. It doesn’t take long to learn to play and I think it has plenty of scope for repeated playing.
It certainly was a winner with my family.”
The Quick and the Read
"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. 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”
The Shelf of Unread Books
“This is a super fun game! We were enjoying it so much. Trying to persuade each other with our evidence was super funny. I think I cried out at one point ‘just accept that I am right for once in my life!’”
Books by Bindu
“We had a lot of fun playing this as a family as are firm favourites of a good board or card game. The rules are easy to follow, whether you play goof cop or bad cop modes. This is the perfect little game to have around for anyone who fancies themselves as a bit of a sleuth”
Brown Flopsy's Book Burrow
“The game itself is one that keeps you busy and, depending on whether you are losing or not, keeps you really amused. I think this is a game that will be played a lot over Christmas and for the money it is worth it!
We now have a 12-year-old who thinks she is Sherlock Holmes and is dying to play again.”
Beyond the Book
"No game was the same for us. Each time we had a different killer which was fun and a race against the clock as I obviously had to beat mini-me.
The cards are bright and colourful and it is an inventive way to play a game and I love that we can take this away with us and play anytime we want to. Mini-me is definitely a huge fan, even if she hasn’t won yet!
We did lose most of the weekend to this game, plus many days after it. It can be played over and over and still be enjoyable.
It is a game that I recommend to everyone who wants to play detective and have a laugh doing so”
Zoo Loo's Book Diary
“A card game which combines my love of games with my love of murder mystery?! Let me at those cards.
The game is immensely enjoyable and perfect for if you want a quick game to pass some time, or a deeper game to really get your teeth into.
The game gave us a laugh, especially as we stole each other’s cards, and found the humourous side to our initial failures!
The game looks brilliant with some detailed and quirky artwork, and you can really tell the quality of the cards from how they feel.
Overall, a fun game which is incredibly addictive and soon gets competitive! The perfect game to build observation and memory skill, as well as one you can play again and again with the same enjoyment factor. Will definitely be recommending!”
A Quintillion Words
‘’It’s a fun game without all the bother of a board – it’s been well thought out and fun to play for adults and children alike.
A perfect winters night or holiday game’’
Nicki's Book Blog
“We’ve played it now each evening since our pack arrived. We loved reading the description of the suspects, although Lord D’Arque sounded a bit dodgy! and enjoyed the humorous way the website and instructions are written.
A great addition to our games stash"
Babbage and Sweetcorn
“FOUL PLAY would make a great stocking filler or secret Santa gift. I’m sure we will be playing it again over the Christmas holidays, particularly when we have a few more family members to play against – I have a feeling it could get quite competitive!”
The Curious Ginger Cat
“All in all a great little stocking filler or secret Santa gift for those looking to buy something with a twist of FOUL PLAY. Four Stars!"
Books Behind the Title
“I loved the amusing extra information given on the website about the servants suspected of killing the Lord of the Manor.
I'm sure we'll play the entertaining Foul Play several times over Christmas and as every game will be different, there are likely to be some hotly contested races to be the first to declare who did it.
The ideal stocking filler or Secret Santa gift for anybody who wishes to exercise their own little grey cells!”
Hair Past a Freckle