Something a little different from me today! Zooloo's Book Tours put together an online tour to review a brand new game from Foul Play 'Once Upon A Crime' - a murder mystery card game!
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 victory!
This was something I was super eager to try out, I love a card game but never get to play anything genuinely new and good. A lot of card games become too confusing in their quest to be original, I was concerned this would be a repeat of that but I was completely surprised. 'Once Upon A Crime' is an original concept that is genuinely good, Tom (my fiancé) and I set a designated evening aside to really get into the best way to play this game, Good Cop, or Bad Cop?
The game can be played in two ways, we personally found that Bad Cop was a lot more fast paced and kept us engaged a bit more. With Bad Cop you need to find three pieces of evidence and frame a suspect that fits their profile. We played this version of the game over and over and our competitive streaks really began to show, we loved the variety of the game and how each card prompts a different approach to the next move.
Whilst Good Cop wasn't our preferred version of the game (it definitely requires a bit more attention and memory than Bad Cop) that isn't to say we didn't enjoy it. The setup for this version was really interesting, we loved the grid layout that you can reveal and steal cards from, it added a sense of suspicion between myself and Tom as we added in a step to shuffle the nine cards in the grid once we swapped one in!
On an aesthetic front these cards are incredibly beautiful. The artwork captures everything we need to know for the clues clearly and the use of colour was exactly what I'd expect for the fairytale characters and their furry friends. However, the one thing we noted about the game that was the most outstanding, was how clever it was. The evidence cards (there are three needed in total to reach a game conclusion, A, B, and C) vary in the information, for example "white feathers left at the scene" or "locate the emerald ring" and no matter what variation of cards you pull in either the Good Cop or Bad Cop setup you will always have a suspect that perfectly matches the three evidence cards. How clever?!
I can't really give this a star rating in the normal sense that I provide for book ratings as the concepts are vastly different, but I would give this a 4-star rating and if in the future I review more card games this'll definitely be one that set the bar! I loved it, I really did but the Good Cop style of playing was just slightly difficult to understand initially. Once we got the hang of it it was easy to whizz through the previous setbacks we had and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
We loved playing this and even after I'd gathered the information I needed for my review this has been played multiple times and has earned it's place in our games cupboard! You can buy your own copy of the game on the official Foul Play website: https://www.foulplaygame.co.uk/product-page/foul-play-once-upon-a-crime