Top Critic Average
Foul Play is a charming and fresh take on the beat-em-up formula. Whether you play solo or co-op, fun will be had following the adventures of Mr. Dashforth and Scampwick.
Though the game is a pure play brawler (albeit with really stylish violence and a stunning aesthetic and music score), the theme adds genuine flavour to the proceedings. People tend to forget, but Shakespeare himself was a populist playwright, and his work was filled with the old hyperviolence, sex and a bit more hyperviolence on top of that to get audiences roudy and cheering the actors on.
Foul Play is fun and entertaining especially when playing the co-op mode but it is not the engaging type where you would want to sit down for continuous play. If it were not for the story and graphics, the game would be linear, especially that the game's genre is not suitable for everyone's preference in gaming. Not worth a standing ovation, but not bad enough for a curtain call.
Foul Play is a novel idea which takes an age old mechanic and twists into something new and unique, and its great theatre aesthetic and witty humour are both enjoyable to behold. However, repetitive combat plagued by difficulty spikes, and constant saving issues, left a slightly sour taste in the mouth.
If this was released in the 90s, it would be a superb addition to the stack of truly memorable arcade titles. Today, though? Compared to titles like Castle Crashers, it comes up a little short. The design and aesthetics are fantastic, but ultimately, they alone can't carry the title. The repetitive nature of the combat, the low level of difficulty and lack of extra features or unlockables to expand the lifespan make this one just average.
It doesn’t quite go the extra mile to a memorable, must-play experience – there are brawlers out there that I’d recommend more so that this one – but its theatrical approach is inventive enough that I definitely got a kick out of the game.
The lack of depth hurts Foul Play the most, and it's really a shame considering how brilliant the aesthetic is. I wanted to run around the stage, but playing the game made me exit stage left.