Review: Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games

We were sent the Once Upon A Crime and Manor House Murder card games by Foul Play Games for review. All images and opinions are our own.

When we were asked to play and review these card games, I was really excited, because I fancy myself as a bit of an Jessica Fletcher type. I do love a good whodunit. Foul Play Games have released two different game packs to play – Once Upon A Crime and Manor House Murder. So with a table of snacks at the ready, we pitted our wits and tried to solve the murders.

Review: Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games

We’d heard that the Once Upon A Crime game was easier to understand, so we started with that. It seems quite rule heavy at first, but once the game play begins, it’s surprisingly straightforward. Firstly choose which type of game you’re going to play – good cop or bad cop and then following the instructions, lay out the crime scene in cards and deal each player their cards and away you go.

Once Upon A Crime is based on fairy tale characters you know and love; but they’ve turned bad, obviously because one of them is a murderer! Each pack contains 4 instruction cards, 8 suspect cards, 15 evidence cards and 28 action cards.

Review: Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games

There are cards to trip you up, steal clues from your fellow detectives, block their moves or uncover evidence from the crime scene. Essentially you are taking turns to pick up and discard cards. To win you have to collect three evidence cards and the suspect card of who you think did the crime. Once you have those, you can declare that you have a suspect and then you present your evidence to your fellow detectives.

It’s fun, and once you’ve understood the rules, it’s fairly fast and you can quickly play a few rounds of this murder mystery game. I really enjoyed it and so did my 10 year old; though he was less keen on losing to Jessica Fletcher here. Sorry son.

Review: Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games

Once Upon A Crime costs £8.95, it’s suitable for ages 8+; it’s suitable for 2-5 players and it’s really great fun. Each pack contains two versions of the game – good cop and bad cop, so it’s twice the murderous drama! As it’s the size of a regular pack of cards, it’s a great thing to pack and take on holiday, or for in-car fun on days out this summer.

We had a bit less success with the original game, Manor House Murder. The instructions were less clear, so it took us a while to figure it out. I suspect if they we re-written in the same style as the Once Upon A Crime game it would be easier to pick up. The game play is similar though, and once we understood that, we had lots of fun tracking down the murderer.

Manor House Murder costs £8.95, it’s suitable for ages 8+; it’s suitable for 2-5 players and like the other game, it’s good clean family fun.

Review: Foul Play Murder Mystery Card Games

Find out more about these Foul Play games by visiting their website.

Family Game Review: Quirk! The Card Game

We are always on the look out for games we can take out and about with us. I always like to have something fun but tiny in my bag to bring out when we’re out for dinner or on a train journey or something. On a recent trip to Coniston in the Lake District I had one such thing up my sleeve – Quirk! The Card Game.

Quirk! is a new card game from Emmerse Studios. The pack contains 56 cards including; 13 Characters cards (39 cards), 7 Tactics cards, 3 Defence cards and 7 Skip cards. The pack also includes instructions. It’s a bit like a mad combination of Go Fish and Exploding Kittens. It’s actually remarkably easy to pick up and lots of fun. My almost 8 year old loved it, and his 40-something parents enjoyed it too!

Review: Quirk! The Card Game from Emmerse Studios

Each player gets dealt three cards to start with. The aim of the game is to collect three matching Quirk cards. The player with the most sets of cards at the end is the winner. Simple, yes?

I’ll be honest and say we did read the instructions a few times before we started playing, and we weren’t 100% sure of what we were doing when we began, but once we’d played for five minutes, it all became perfectly clear.

Review: Quirk! The Card Game from Emmerse Studios

You act out the Quirk card you want to any player of your choosing. So on your turn you might wink at one of the other players, they have to guess you’re after the wink Quirk card and if they have it, they give it to you. If they don’t, they say “Go Quirk” and you have to pick up a card from the top of the pile. There are tactic and defence cards which you can play if you need to. The instructions for using these cards are written on them. It’s all much easier than it sounds.

Quirk is suitable for up to 6 players aged 5+ and we all really enjoyed playing it. Each game takes about half an hour to play, so it’s great for a quick game when you’re out.

Review: Quirk! The Card Game from Emmerse Studios

It’s a standard sized pack of cards, so it’s very transportable and great for keeping in the car for trips out and weekends away. It can get a bit silly (my husband squawking like a parrot did attract some attention in the cafe we played it in), so if you’re self conscious, don’t play it in public.

Also available is Quirk! Legends which is along the same quirky lines, but with unicorns, dragons, superheroes and evil villains. Both games are available on the Quirk! website for £10 or on Amazon for £12.99.

We were sent Quirk! for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Board Game Review: Exploding Kittens

When I first heard of Exploding Kittens a few years ago, I was instantly quite horrified. My vivid imagination was already making its mind up about what horrors this popular card game could contain. Thankfully my vivid imagination was wrong and its since gone on to be one of the biggest and most popular card games available today.

Exploding Kittens is a highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette. The rules are pretty simple and they are pretty simple to pick up. We’ve played a few quick-fire games and they’ve been great fun.

Board Game Review: Exploding Kittens

The box comes with 56 cards and a set of instructions. There are several different kinds of cards which you can play; Exploding Kitten cards, Defuse, Nope, Attack, Skip, Favor, Shuffle, See The Future and four different kinds of Cat Cards. They’re fairly explanatory, but if you’re not sure the cards have what you can do with them written on them.

Basically, if you explode you lose. If you don’t explode you win. All of the other cards will help to lessen the chance of you exploding. It’s great fun, really strategic and sneaky.

Exploding Kittens is for players aged 7+ and for up to five players, though expansion packs are available. This game is both perfectly pitched at my 7 year old, but still fun enough for grown ups to play. I confess my husband and I have had a few sneaky games by ourselves and enjoyed it just as much.

Exploding Kittens is an ideal game to travel with or to take out to entertain the family when our for a meal or something. It’s compact and requires some strategic thought (for strategic, read devious and sneaky). Each game is pretty quick and takes 10-15 minutes on average.

Board Game Review: Exploding Kittens

The Original Edition of Exploding Kittens costs around £19.99 and I am a total convert, I can see now why several friends have raved about it. It’s available from a wide range of retailers and online too.

We were sent Exploding Kittens for review for the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club. All images and opinions are our own.
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