• Gemma

Foul Play: Once Upon A Crime by After Dark

Foul Play have released their newest version of the Murder Mystery Card Game series and I for one am so excited to take part in the blog tour. Last Year I took part in their first blog tour for their card game titled The Manor House Murder. My family and I love a good board or card game and spent many hours competing against one another to crack the mystery. So when I heard that they had brought out a new edition I knew I was going to love it as much as the first.


Carabosse the Bad Fairy is dead, and her Big Book of Villainy has been stolen...

In a shocking revelation, the magic mirror has revealed that all the suspects are goodies, but who had a motive to go bad? You’ll need to swap, steal and search for the evidence in order to scupper the other detectives and sleuth your way to your happily ever after!

There's more than one way to catch a killer though. So what's it gonna be? Good Cop or Bad Cop? These two game versions come with their own set of rules and tactics to crack the case and finger your suspect, but will you use fair play or FOUL PLAY?

The Game is Afoot! Playing as detective, you’ll need to find the three evidence cards that point to a specific suspect in order to catch a killer in this crazy criminal caper. Will you uncover them in the crime scene? Could the other detectives be willing to collaborate and share their findings? Or will you resort to more tricky tactics, and plunder the proof you need to solve this crime?


The game includes a pack of 52 playing cards with 4 instruction cards. This makes it an ideal travel game or perfect for storage, allowing for 2-5 players. Each pack contains blue, purple, red and green cards; there are a set of 15 evidence cards, 8 suspect cards and a mixture of action cards.

Before beginning the game the 15 evidence cards (5 blue, 5 red, 5 green) are placed face down, 1 of each colour are selected (no peeping) and are shuffled into the rest of the suspect and action cards. The remaining evidence cards are placed back into the box and are out of play.

Once the cards have been shuffled 9 are placed face down in a 3x3 grid in the middle of the table, this is the Crime Scene. The players are then dealt 5 cards each from the remaining pack (for the GOOD COP version and 7 cards if playing the BAD COP version). The rest of the cards are placed in a pile next to the crime scene, this is the Evidence Locker. Discard the top card from the evidence locker and place it on the opposite side of the crime scene, this is the Discard Pile.

You are now ready to play the game. Each player takes it in turns to select one action card from their hand and place it on the table face up. They then follow the actions on the card, then place the card in the Discard Pile and pick up a card from the Evidence Locker. The object of the game is to be the first player to have seen all 3 Evidence cards and to then reveal the murderer.


Having played Foul Play before we were all familiar with the set up and jumped right in with the GOOD COP version.

I adored the characters in Once Upon A Crime as did my daughter who obviously is familiar with fairy tales and loved the introductory storyline, welcoming you to the game. She was very intrigued by the illustrations for each of the characters, some looking more sinister than others, and really enjoyed finding the characters amongst the other action and evidence cards.

The game was a lot of fun to play and even my eight year old picked it up very quickly, discarding cards and swapping cards. The game definitely requires a 'poker face' if you are trying to outwit your opponents and some forward thinking if you are to be victorious. 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.

The game takes around 30 minutes to an hour to play. The BAD COP version makes for a much harder game as you have to have all three evidence cards in your hand as well as the Suspect Card with the murderer on. This version can also take a while longer to play, especially since you are trying steal cards, hide evidence cards and block one another. I'm not going to lie the frustration levels are high during the BAD COP version, especially if you have a family such as mine that are highly competitive, play very strategically and are 'no-hold barred' when it comes to winning.

In conclusion this was a really enjoyable and addictive game. If like us you have a super competitive family or group of friends then this is a perfect way to compete and frustrate each other with your devious game play. I highly recommend this and it is the perfect sized game to pop in your bag or suitcase, to play at home or away. It also makes for the perfect stocking filler or Secret Santa gift leading up to Christmas.

Many thanks to Zooloo's Book Tours for inviting me to take part and to After Dark for my gifted pack of cards.



The Murder Mystery Card Game

Once Upon A Crime

A game for 2 – 5 players | Age 8 +

£8.95 + p&p



What’s a Murder Mystery Events Company to do?

With a pandemic sweeping the nation and no sign of being able to perform their confounding criminal cabarets or incredible interactive investigations any time soon, they needed to come up with a plan, another way to provide mystery to the masses (and provide income to keep themselves afloat)!

Well, lockdown does strange things to people, especially actors who can't go out and perform. So one fateful evening, Ben & Lee Cooper-Muir decided to come up with a whole new way to murder people. Keeping their cards close to their chests they plotted and schemed until Foul Play : The Murder Mystery Card Game was born. So, what to do next? This is where After Dark enters the picture. After all, Ben and Lee were two of the operators of the infamous murder mystery company. Maybe they could collaborate to bring the game to the masses. When Lockdown restrictions were eased a top-secret meeting was held with the other criminal masterminds behind After Dark, Helen Burrows, Sophie Webster & Tom Fisher and a pact was made. The game would be launched and licensed under the After Dark banner. In true After Dark style, the team burst into action and then began the beta testing, design updates, promotional planning, character changes, proofing, proofing and more proofing until finally all the kinks were ironed out, mysteries solved, and FOUL PLAY : Manor House Murder came to life!

The team didn’t stop there though! Due to the popularity of the first game, a second version ‘Once Upon A Crime’ was put on the table, designed, and then launched on Kickstarter. Fully funded in under 48 hours the team at After Dark had another success on their hands and players had another murder in theirs!

Once Upon A Crime hits the stores on 1st July 2021 and Manor House Murder is available to buy too.

We hope you enjoy playing it, and although we all hope to be back performing soon, WATCH THIS SPACE! Now we know we can create and produce games we've got a lot more fun things planned for the future!

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