Play as the daemon-hunter Baron Dashforth in a side-scrolling co-op brawler set entirely on the grand spectacle of a theatre stage that rewards performance over pummeling. Perform shattering takedowns and reversals!
User reviews: Very Positive (331 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 18, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"Showed at PAX Prime 2013 - A beat 'em up set in a theater during the Victorian era is a rare sight indeed."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“The best beat 'em up since Castle Crashers.”
Northernlion

“...one of the most charming action games of the year...”
9/10 – Gaming Nexus

“One hell of a performance.”
8.1/10 – IGN

About This Game

Play as the daemon-hunter Baron Dashforth in a side-scrolling co-op brawler set entirely on the grand spectacle of a theatre stage that rewards performance over pummeling. Perform shattering takedowns and reversals! Electrify the audience with devastating linked attacks as you have a friend join as sidekick Scampwick and use every stage-trick you know to bring the house down! Play out the most spectacular moments of the Baron’s life; improbable beasts, astonishing villainy and, at the heart of it all, the mysterious Foul Play!

Supporting Cast


  • 22 Incredible Acts: From the deserts of Cairo to the depths of Atlantis
  • Over 50 hideous enemies drawn from the Baron's recollections
  • Learn 12 Electrifying stage-tricks to bring the house down
  • Have a friend join as sidekick Scampwick in Local & Online Co-op modes
  • Beautifully animated scene changes re-create the Baron's adventure
  • Never before seen 'Daemon Diary' charts the discovery of Daemonology

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP with SP3, Windows Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: 3GHz Intel or AMD CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 6200 / ATI Radeon X600 w/ 256 MB
    • Additional Notes: Wired Xbox 360 Gamepad Recommended
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.6
    • Processor: Duel Core Intel Core i5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
    • Additional Notes: Wired Xbox 360 Gamepad Recommended
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
    • Processor: 3GHz Intel or AMD CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 6200 / ATI Radeon X600 w/ 256 MB
    • Additional Notes: Wired Xbox 360 Gamepad Recommended
Helpful customer reviews
14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
TL;DR: Fun co-op, great presentation, but shallow gameplay and a short campaign not worth multiple playthroughs.

The presentation of the game is without a doubt its best feature: the backgrounds are shifted by stage hands, extras in costume pretend to be werewolves, and every object earned or lore page unlocked has flavorful text included. The set pieces are wonderful, and you'll find yourself chuckling at the background gags or soaking in the atmospheric cutouts of spooky castles and ancient pyramids.

It's a pretty standard beat-em-up with a token leveling system in place that grants you more moves, though you might not find the advanced skills as useful as your basic starting countestrikes. This game's mastery is based around countering your enemy's moves when they telegraph them, and its very satisfying to contunually float when you are able to chain multiple air grabs off of different enemies.

Unfortunately strategies for the levels and bosses are pretty basic, and when you've seen the same lines of text many times in order to get a level's achievements, the story's charm starts wearing thin. Co-op mode is definitely the way to go, as single player becomes repetitive quickly. The game is great for a playthrough with a buddy, but is probably too shallow to make getting all of the achievements much fun.
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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 12
What you have stumbled upon, Gentlemen, is a most nefarious plot of chivalry and woe, fit only for a stage whose grandeur and acoustics are rivaled only by the spectacle that will unfold within it. Speaking of spectacles, your monocle'd mainstay, Baron Dashforth, will awe you with athleticism, respire you with reveries, jaunt you with jocoseness...well you must understand by now, chap. The ballast of the Act teeters precariously, as unfathomable daemons, a clumsy custodian, and ghastly ghouls will relentlessly chase the utter annihilation of the prodigious protaginist. Procure yourself this gentleman's guide. If not for yourself, my languorous lad, then for the feeble scamp in the front row!

9.2/10
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20 of 32 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2014
Ever want to see a buff british guy and a ninja chimney sweeper fight daemons? No? F*** you, buy this game anyway.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 9
My my, glad I got this - a very funny platformer.

If you have previously played Castle Crasher, this game is similar but more action-oriented.

So what, we control a character that's supposed to perform a... foul play. While we're performing our play on the stages, we move forward, beating enemies and pleasing our audiences with good performance.

The campaign is divided into five acts, each acts have five levels, each levels is approx ten-fifteen minutes long, a bit longer if you're into boss battles. The objective is simple, you just need to beat each enemy waves with style - be it by performing chain combos to fill and maintain the meter gauge (audiences' mood). Don't let it get too low or the curtain will close and game over. A bit lacking aspect, though, is that the campaign is incredibly linear - you have no option to do anything else and can only follow the direction the game wishes you to. You can, however, replay earlier stages from main menu to achieve higher scores.

The combat mechanic is very simple, chaining normal and powerful attacks while deflecting the enemies or throw them against each others. And this what differentiates from Castle Crasher, it offers more lively battles and flexible ala Devil May Cry DMC but in 2D. By chaining you'll be increasing your scores and earns stars that'll be calculated at the end of each level. As you progress, you'll unlock more abilities/perks to use in game. Use these to... chain more enemies. Heh.

And of course, playing coop is much more fun than alone. It's hilarious, really, to have a messed up battle on the stages.

Graphic wise I'm incredibly amused. It really is that great - suitable for this game - colorful and innately bunch sense of humor drawn into the art and character designs. Special effects don't distract you from the battles and carefully blend with the stages, movement and attack animations are not sluggish and feel natural. FPS throughout the level is stable enough even during chaotic battle. Some minus points though, there are no deep customizations like AA or refresh rate and some commonly supported resolutions are not supported. But overall, I'd say the job well done.

And lastly, controller support is great - and I expect it so much because this is a platformer. I wouldn't even give the game a damn great review if it had poor support, but this Foul Play is just apt at adapting controller support. Dinput and Xinput are both supported, moreover each buttons can be customized in game. No complaints from me on this aspect really.

Funny thing is, metacritic user score gives this 69/100. Don't listen - it deserves more. A recommended game from me.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 21
10/10 GOTY Would Dashforth Again
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30 of 34 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 16, 2014
This game is just awesome. Amazing hand crafted art, a large variety of combos, and a main character who looks just like the Pringles guy. The game play is fast, intuitive and never really gets boring.

The idea of an on-stage brawler alone is pretty genius, seeing the audiences reaction to your on-screen action is bloody awesome. The game is quite easy since I only actually ran into trouble on the last boss of episode 5, I hadn't "died" before then.

The time it takes to finish is probably just about right for a game of this style, I wasn't getting bored towards the end, I just think that one more episode would of been a bit too much.

I'd definitely recommend anyone stick this one on their wish-list to pick up in the up coming sale.
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69 of 107 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2013
The brawler genre, simple as it may be, is one of my very favorites -- I include Scott Pilgrim and Castle Crashers when discussing my favorites games. So, I was predictably excited to pick up Foul Play upon its release. The art style looks fantastic and the presentation (while gimmicky at first) is fresh and creative.

Unfortunately, the gameplay is pretty shallow. Granted, the brawler genre is not known for its depth of gameplay, but, after running through the first few levels, I can legitimately say that simply mashing buttons is a viable, if not more effective strategy to defeating enemies. While it's amusing enough to try to string together juggles and combos, knowing that I could be blindly smashing keys to accomplish the very same thing diminishes any sense of reward or accomplishment I could have attained.

I really wanted to like this game; it's cool looking, kitchsy, and charming. Ultimately, though, I just couldn't bring myself to finish it. Maybe when it drops to around $2.50, it might be worth purchasing. At the time of writing, however, it's sitting at $7.49 during the 2013 Winter Sale. So, this brawler fan must give Foul Play a thumbs down.
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20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 9, 2014
My friend persuaded me to play this with him while on skype, with the both of us acting out the story using our poor british accents for hilarious results. Many lols were had, especially with how quirky the game is.

Quite a good game, with how my friend and I played Foul Play made the experience highly entertaining.
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22 of 26 people (85%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2013
Foul Play.

Let me tell you here and now, there's nothing foul about this title. In fact, it strenghtens my love for indie developers more than big publishers, developers, whatever. Devolver does it again. After Shadow Warrior being recommended by quite a few people and Serious Sam 3, which despite its flaws did provide me with quite some good entertainment, I got my hands on Foul Play.

What I love about indie games is the fact that from time to time you get a game that may look like something familiar but then it throws a twist and after just a few minutes of game time you realize that there's nothing quite like it.
On with the first impression shall we?

Gameplay wise, despite it obviously being built with a controller in mind, keyboard works quite well. The controls are responsive and you really don't feel at a loss. That being said I don't doubt it's better with a controller.

The game is presented as a standard side-scrolling brawler with combos, unlockables, skills, perks in the form of charms and so on. Nothing special about that you would think but you would be wrong.

The art style is what sets it apart from any other game out there. The whole story unravels on stage. And no, I'm not kidding. You and your partner, the game featuring 2 player coop, are actors reenacting a story from a journal that you get to unlock page by page as the story progresses. As such, you always see the spectators, sometimes with a special request, the background scenery being changed and from time to time you catch the actors off-guard or even the janitor at his best.

The point of each performance is to get the highest score by getting big combos, doing the above-mentioned special requests and of course by not getting hit. What's more interesting is the fact that you can't die. All you have to worry about is the quality of your performance, trying to fill the always present meter and amaze the crowd allowing you to do even more impressive stunts as a reward.
I hate to finish in a negative manner but I do have some cons to point out. First off, the graphics settings are not there. That I didn't find too bad but, the game doesn't feature 16:10 resolutions. The second and last con would be the fact that the game being created with a controller in mind, all the instructions for let's say combos and controls are only pointed out for the controller even if you are using a keyboard. It's not big of a deal since the game uses 10-12 keys including WASD but a con is a con.

At the end of this, the verdict would be a 9/10 the above mentioned not being able to affect my experience with the game so far in a such a manner that it fails to provide what you would expect from it. My advice? If you're into old-school sidescrolling brawlers bought into the 21st century this is a must. You could do far worse with 14.99,you could get Call of Duty: Ghosts...
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18 of 21 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2013
Quirky humor, unique game mechanics, and an original theme- What else could you ask for? The girlfriend and I play this Local Co-Op helped out by full controller support! We have a lot of fun doing our own voice acting for the scenes, really getting in to the spirit of the theme and experiencing it all play out. Fantastic fun game, buy it! (Oh, did I mention I did this all under Linux? :D )
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19 of 24 people (79%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 21, 2013
Foul Play is an original beat 'em up game where you fight for an audience. The story is told like it's a play so you're actually fighting actors in suits. The better you fight the more impressed your audience will be. Impress them enough to gain more stars and to level up, unlocking charms (which grant bonuses) and new moves (those are also fun for replaying levels). It's a charming game, with pretty graphics and enough detail in the characters. Movements could use some work though. Sometimes they're a bit limited, so it makes the game look cheap. Voice overs are nowhere to be seen, except for a few 'hey's' and 'oh's', things like that.

The music also didn't impress, because I can't remember if there even was music in it in the first place, and if so, if it was any good.

Foul Play is an impressive little game nevertheless and should be played if you're into beat 'em ups or if you have a lot of time on your hands (in my opinion, it's more fun to play in 30 minute sessions).

[Rating: 71/100]
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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 26, 2014
Fast, frantic..........a bit on the easy side, but undeniably fun as you mash those combos together. Visuals are pretty without being groundbreaking, and the artwork is decent. The main campaign is short but fair for what you pay, and you always have the replay value of revisiting earlier levels to improve your scores and target missed objectives.

Recommended. 7.5/10
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16 of 21 people (76%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 15, 2014
A quick, fun, beat-em-up game that focuses on combos and performance over KO's. I finished it in about 4 hours, which is about perfect, as there isn't much depth to the game and it would have gotten boring if it lasted much longer.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 2, 2014
All the world's a stage... In this frantic 2-d button-mashing-tastic brawler game with Mr. Pringle and his rogue-like sidekick with a black bandana you go around kick baddies' butts castle crasher style! It can indeed become very repetitive were it not for the clever yet amusing character dialogues/monologues plus ability to deck out your character with special charms unlocked only via challenges presented in most scenes per act. The challenges themselves can be quite difficult to achieve ranging anywhere from as simple as perform a flawless scene to reaching as high as x200 hit combo in a scenario. Charms equippe grant special abilities such as giving you extra combo stacks after a successful parry of enemy attack or increase duration until combo wears off under which you must start accumulating them all over again. Grinding out high combo stack can boost audience mood drastically and also bring you high score multipliers--activating showstopper effect can accelerate this effect and help you reach high stacks faster but cannot be activated too frequently. Efficiency requires timing the activation at favourable windows of opportunity to facilitate earning high combos and score.

Very good game overall if you fancy castle crasher style gameplay, albeit solo most of the time--online multiplayer is dead. Despite the lack of a live online community, you can always grab your trusty fellow sidekick to deliver the performance of a century in local co-op action.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 6, 2014
It's a fun game, especially coop. One thing that irks me though. It's a console port, the move list is explained in controller signs - "A" "X" etc. even if I select keyboard as my primary controller. Other games are intelligent enough to list the moves in "space" "shift" etc.

One major annoyance. In Play 3 game crashed to desktop and after I restarted it all my progress was wiped. I had to start from the very beginning. Very very annoying. Otherwise it's very funny and fun game.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 21, 2014
I'll keep it short. This is a good game, great even. Nice, fluid controls, enjoyable combat and absolutely delightful if played in multiplayer. There is almost no problem with latency and the built in voice chat is a joy to play with, because you can laugh, joke and curse at your fellow player as you put the fear of Dashfort into your foes. Furthermore, the art style is absolutely marvelous, with a charm and humour that only heightened my enjoyment. The narrative ties it all together, with a nice build up throughout the story that is ended by a finale that is both awesome and funny.

So in short, buy this game, if only for the amazing aesthetic.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 1, 2014
Foul play imo should be given 6 out of 10. I haven't complete it yet but basically I got the entire idea. It is classic beat'em style game and fun to play with firend online or locally. It is well done in visual aspect, the soundtracks are good, and the gameplay is decent. For 15 bucks, it may not be worth that much but with 75% off sale, I have to say, it is worth that price.
However, being worth 3 or 4 bucks doesn't mean it is flawless. Here come the some flaw.
1. Maybe or not, the later levels doesn't introduce many new features. It lacks variation. Sometimes you probably feel that enemies are just the same but with different apparences. That is not variation which needs new strategies. It becomes repetitive sooner or later.
2. Movement/action delay. You will feel sometimes character take too much time on one movement and you have to wait until the movement is finished. Otherwise, you can't do anything during that process. This concept is acceptable however, when you jump too high in the air doing combos, if you miss the target or enemies, they fall on the ground before you do, then your combos are simpy break because when you are doing combos in the air, you have 1. combo attack, 2. stay in the air process to finish. It takes too long for you to get back to ground to continue the combo. So to complete the challenges like 100 combos are really hard since it is easier that movement delay breaks combo.
3. I was really tired playing this game. Confronting multiple enemies, sometimes time limits, and movement delay as I said above are the reasons that you constantly typing buttons. It either kills your index and middle fingers when using a keyboard or kills your thumbs when using a controller. It becomes a button masher.
4. I still don't understand how your health point is calculated...None of the indicators on the top screen are clear for me. I just don't get it...
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 5, 2014
Foul Play is a splendid game, as Baron Dashforth would rightly say. Even if I haven't actually completed it, I'm already feeling I've had the time of my life playing it! It's a sidescrolling beat-em-up, and very British - right up my street (well, metaphorically considering I already live in Britain). But the characters don't die! ''Life is a theatre'' should be one of this game's catchphrases - that's the twist that really wins it for me.

If you don't have the right computer to play it on, there is no worry! The game is also available on the X360 marketplace, which is the reason the game has XBOX controller support. The first time I played this game, I realised I did not have an XBOX controller reciever - but then I realized you can keybind your keyboard to play! Overall I love this game and recommend it TO ANYONE. 10.1/10

No exclamation marks were harmed in the making of this post.

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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 8, 2014
Foul Play isn't just a beat-'em-up.
It's a beat-'em-up-with-style-to-impress-the-crowd.
You try and combo, of course, but in order for the crowd to LOVE you, and for you to be efficient, you have to beat-'em-up with extreme style, jumping, parry-throwing, and just being a gentlemanly "daemon"-hunter.

Basically, a fun game that requires you be fancy.


Beat them up.
Like a sir.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2013
My kids and I love playing this game, its so light hearted and fun.
We played it at Eurogamer Expo and had to purchase it.
Worth every penny!
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