The ever dashing monopoly man Baron Dashforth, and his ninja chimney sweep sidekick, wish to regale us with their adventures into the paranormal! Battle against cults, daemons, and a potentially unruly audience, as you discover clues ever leading to an unforeseeable convergence… and you get front row seats to the show! When first I saw Foul Play I immediately thought “Castle Crashers!”, and knew I had to play this game! The style of gameplay brings back fond memories from my childhood, playing such great rock em’ sock ‘em games as Double Dragon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Streets of Rage. There is a simple pleasure to be had in such games, and I for one couldn’t be happier to see a few similar titles come out once more.
Foul Play is the product of a simple formula. I don’t mean this in a negative way. As I mentioned a moment ago, I genuinely enjoyed it’s simplicity. While there are a few small unlockable perks, such as charms and new combat moves to learn, a majority of the game quickly breaks down into button mashing. The only time you will need to be watchful, ever so slightly, is when an opponent’s attack signal appears. Your ability to block and riposte will definitely make or break you. An interesting concept that is incorporated into Foul Play is how your life bar works. Obviously you’re not really fighting. Baron Dashforth is a performer! That being said, dying is rather out of the question, however your ability to continue entertaining your audience depends upon how awestruck you leave them. Keep them happy, and you may continue on unhampered. Leave the audience unimpressed, and they will boo you off stage!
Now, its important to remember that Baron Dashforth is a true gentleman, thus it only stands to reason that Foul Play is a game appropriate for the young and old alike. Devolver Digital looks like they had a lot of fun creating an atmosphere that truly represented what a play could be in a cartoon world. The costumes were intentionally shoddy, barely covering up the fact that there is a mere human just beneath the surface, and the backdrop looked as though it was made out of nothing more than painted ply-wood. It was however done in a manner that, while looking shoddy, also had a colorful and inviting look for the player. I found it quite amusing seeing the random appearances of the maintenance man, as he tries to do his job without interfering with your performance. Such a hard working old chap!
All in all I was quite happy with Foul Play. Was it one of my favorite beat ‘em up games? Well… no. Did I enjoy Foul Play? Yes… yes I did! I don’t, however, see myself doing an encore performance any time soon. While the game was fun, it did become slightly redundant by the end. I am however confident in saying that the average gamer will enjoy Foul Play. Don’t expect an epic experience, but you can most certainly expect some good clean fun!