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REVIEW: Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games

There has been some foul play going on, but can your family solve the mystery of who the murderer is by testing your detective skills in the after dark family card games? In this review we explain in full how to play and share top tips to help you Win the Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games.

Oh…. We do love a good detective style game and even better one we can try beat the kids at!

After Dark is a UK Murder Mystery Event company that due to the whole covid thing found themselves eventless, so they came up will a killer idea to diversify from their live events and enter the world of tabletop gaming.

They first launched The Manor House Murder Mystery Foul Play Card Game and now on the 1st July 2021 will be launching their second Foul Play Card Game in the series Once Upon a Crime Murder and we were super excited to have been gifted these games in return for us sharing our honest thoughts with our readers.


One Deck of Cards with Two Ways to Play

Excited enough to get this Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games land in our mailbox…. Fast forward to the kids setting up to play and we learn there is two ways you can play with the same pack of cards, imagine jaw drop excited hand clapping happening at the same time within an instant!

Yep that’s right cleverly this game can be played in two ways, the first way is as if you were a “Good Cop” in this play version all you have to do is catch a killer. The second way is as if you were a “Bad Cop” in this play version you don’t really care who actually is the killer because all you have to do is frame a suspect for the crime.


Playing Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games

First off, it is worth noting all the foul play card games play the same and set up the same so if your playing good cop version in The Manor House Murder Mystery it will be the exact same as playing good cop version in the Once Upon a Crime Murder. The only difference between the games are they have different suspects and some different action cards.


Let’s See the Cards You Get…….

Evidence Cards

In both versions of the games you get three types of evidence cards:- Evidence A, Evidence B and Evidence C. These cards will have either a Blue, Green or Purple back to them.

Foul Play Evidence Cards


Action Cards

In both versions of the games you get these five types of Action Cards and you use them in the same way

  • Red Herring – Useless card and you just want to get rid of when you can.
  • Fair Play – Use this to share your evidence with another detective of your choice by swapping one of your cards for one of theirs, but you can only pick your choice from seeing the back of the cards.
  • Foul Play – Use this to steal your evidence from another detective of your choice by taking one card from them again you can only pick your choice from seeing the back of the cards.
  • Crime Scene – Use this card to swap a card from your hand with one from the crime scene. Place the card you want to swap in front of you, take the card you want from the crime scene and then move the card you surrendered in front of you into the gap within the crime scene.
  • Block – Use this card to block any move a detective tries to make that you don’t like. After a detective plays their card and names it any detective with this block card can block their move. Once used the block card and the player card are put into the discard pile and both players pick up a new card each from the evidence locker pile.

    If you are using this block card to stop another detective from attempting to solve the crime then it is works differently in the good cop version to in the bad cop version. When used in the good cop version then the detective being blocked has to pick their card up and put it back into their hand and the detective playing the block card places it in the discard pile and picks a new card up from the evidence locker. When playing in the bad cop version the detective playing the suspect card losing it to the detective playing the block card, they put it into their hand of cards, the block card gets placed in the discard pile and the blocker also gets to pick up a new card from the evidence locker.

Foul Play Action Cards


Different Cards in Each Game

Depending on what game you have you will have different suspects and action cards.

In The Manor House Murder Mystery Game, you will get.

8 Suspects Cards – After Lord D'Arque was found dead, enquiries led to all the Lord's loved ones being ruled out, and the search for killer puts all the servants of the manor in the frame.

Interrogate Action Card – Use this card to take all the cards from a detective of your choosing, look through them all, take notes and then hand them back to them.  

Full Co-Operation Action Card – Use this card to make all detectives work together, as everyone has to lay all their cards in front of them so you can all see each other’s cards, then you pick them up again and carry on playing.

Foul Play Manor Suspects


In Once Upon a Crime Murder Mystery Game, you will get.

8 Suspects Cards – After Carabosse the Bad Fairy is found dead and her Big Book of Villainy has been stolen, it is the magic mirror though that delivers the real shock as it reveals that all the suspects are goodies.

Gone Cold Action Card – Use this card to make any detective of your choosing discard their whole hand of cards and replace them with new ones from the evidence locker.

Crime Scene Investigator Action Card – Use this card to turn over two cards in the crime scene for everyone to see, they remain like this and as play continues.

Foul Play Fairytale Suspects


Setting Up the Crime Scene

The only thing that is different when you come to set up the game is when you are playing the Good Cop version you only want 3 evidence cards in play. So, you must go through the pack of cards find the 5 blue evidence cards (aka evidence A cards) 5 green evidence cards (aka evidence B cards), and 5 purple evidence cards (aka evidence C cards). You will then randomly and without anyone seeing pick one of each and place them into all the other cards and shuffle. The rest of the evidence cards you put to one side and do not use. When playing the Bad Cop version all cards are in play so just shuffle.

Now you create your crime scene, layout nine cards face down in three rows of three that is your crime scene. Deal each player 5 cards if playing the Good Cop version or each 7 if playing the Bad Cop version. Then place the rest of the cards to the side of the crime scene this will be known as your Evidence Locker and leave space to the other side of the crime scene for what will be your discard pile.

To make it more dramatic and to also help you all visually see what this should look like, we spent hours cutting out lots of red bits of paper to create this…… (please love it as much as we do lol!)

Foul Play Crime Scene


How to Win

How you win is down to which version of the game you are playing, if you are playing the Good Cop version then there are only three evidence cards in play and you will have to have seen all three of them to be able to work out who the killer is. You don’t need to have the evidence cards in your hand, but you do need to have the suspect card in your hand that you think is the killer.

When its your turn you must say in your most dramatic detective voice (we like this bit!) “I have uncovered the truth” you have to tell all the detectives the evidence cards you have seen and play your suspect card to who you think it is, if everyone agrees that the evidence matches then you have won.

If you are playing the Bad Cop version then all the cards are in play and you have to collect an Evidence A card, and an Evidence B card and an Evidence C card and all these three evidence cards then have to match the suspect card you too must have in your hand.

Then when it’s your turn you must say again in your most dramatic detective voice “I have captured the killer” you then must lay out all your evidence and explain how it matches your suspect and if all three do and everyone agrees then you have won


Our Top Tips for Playing Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games

  • Read the Meet the Suspects on Foul Play website, in fact could be handy to print out and place on table or given to each person, especially for the younger kids so you can all cross reference your questions and answers with the suspects until they get the hang of things.
  • Know your weakness and accept it. If you have a memory like a sieve then don’t play without a pen and bit of paper, you will never win because you will never remember the cards you just played or like we did come game two we were getting mixed up with what we saw in game one!


Genius Third Way to Play Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games

Wait….. What….. so we just finished getting our heads around how to play these games in either Good Cop or Bad Cop play versions and we discover there is actually a third way to play with the same pack of cards, talk about getting your money’s worth!

Yep, that’s right again the creators of this Murder Mystery Card Game have come up with a genius way that by using the same cards you can play it online over live video call with your friends and family from all over the world.

Foul Play Face Crime is a version of play that changes how you use the cards. So, each card carries different actions to what is written on them and how you would use them in the standard ‘in-person’ version way of playing Foul Play.

You can find the full list of these new actions on the Foul Play Face Crime Rules Page But in short, everyone who is playing will need a pack of Foul Play Cards and everyone picks a suspect as their killer without telling anyone, it doesn’t matter if more than one of you pick the same suspect and then everyone picks five cards and places the rest down to be used as their Evidence Locker. Play moves round each player with the objective being to eliminate all other detectives and be the last one standing by either guessing who the other detective’s suspect is that they chose or by making them loose their five cards.

The full rules are free to download from their Foul Play Face Crime Rules Page and again top tips as above are well worth each player doing in this online version of play as well.


WIN Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games for Your Family

We are lucky enough to have been given one Manor House Murder game and one Once Upon a Crime game to give away to our followers, if you want to Enter our Competition and try your luck then you can Enter for Free Here Now


Where to Buy Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games

Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games are suitable for children over 8 years old and are available online from the Foul Play Website retailing at £8.95 per pack.


Would we Recommend Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games to Your Family?

Both the Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games were a Huge Hit with all of us who played it adults and children alike.

It is so easy to understand how to play, yet challenging to be able to win, which is exactly what you want in a good family game as there is nothing worse than investing money in games that everyone gets bored of after a few plays, so you won’t be disappointed there with these card games.

Each game we found took us anywhere from 20 minutes to 40 odd minutes to play from start to finish, which for us was ideal for a family games night as we could easily get a few games in saving that one person having all the winners glory until next games night.

Each pack is design for two to five players to play, however you can combine the action cards of 2 decks and merge these two game versions so up to eight people can play together, full details on how to do this can be found on the Foul Play website

These games are a gem of a find, so easy to take on your holidays, sleepovers or parties too. They have been so cleverly created to be able to play it in different game versions but complete genius to take it that step further and adapt it again for online play, this just makes it awesome for playing with grandparents or extended family that are not able to make it to your home.

Without hesitation we would totally recommend if your family are into crime, detective, puzzle solving type games then this should be a game you should check out.



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