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"How Foul Play Games Started: A Journey of Creativity and Ambition"

Updated: Feb 22

What does an SEN teaching assistant/actor/cub leader/dad and a business owner/act

or/writer/dad have in common? It sounds like a joke doesn't it?!

Well, that’s us in a nutshell.

They say variety is the spice of life, we work hard, and we play hard and we love what we do so we do it willingly.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes our lives are so busy that we just don’t stop and that can be said for most people but when Covid hit, it was enforced.

Dads’ business ground to a halt, you see Dad owns a production and entertainment company and with pubs, restaurants, and hotels unable to operate bookings were cancelled left, right and centre.

Dad became full-time teacher to our 8-year-old as Dadda (me) was working full-time providing care to at risk children and children of keyworkers within school.

So, cubs, acting, business were out. Instead, our lives were solely devoted to children. Caring for them and teaching them.

But a problem arose, you see Dad’s business employs 45 actors and without a job they were struggling. We needed to come up with a plan, a plan to ensure that the business would survive, (Afterall government pay-outs weren’t available to business’ such as this) to be able to come back stronger than ever to rehire the actors and get the bookings! we needed to work overtime.

Then Dad had an idea, to make a game that people could play whilst under lockdown that still had the spirit of what we perform to audiences up and down the country, murder mysteries.

There were factors that had to be considered. It had to be small enough that we could post it ourselves, it had to stay true to our style and our brand. So we got to work.

Our evenings were filled once again, not with cubs or acting but game design, testing and playing. We hired a fantastic local artist James Laurence and a brilliant graphic designer Ian Robinson and before we knew it we had a game! Foul Play: The Manor House Murder was born.

When lockdown eased a secret meeting between the companies directors and managers was held and it was agreed that the game held true to its mission statement and would be produced.

The next step would be putting all our weight behind sales and making sure that the game was successful enough to see the company through whilst restrictions were still in place and would continue to be a success to ease the financial burden on the company.

Again, Dad got to work on producing a website, making contacts, and coming up with a masterplan to launch the game.

One night whilst flicking through Facebook he came across a group fundraising for Morecambe Bay hospitals “NHS Christmas fair fundraiser” Anyone could pay a fee and set up a virtual store for people to buy their wares leading up to Christmas. Dad signed up.

Now it’s important to state at first, we weren’t sure about how many games to order so we took a gamble and ordered 2500 and hoped we could sell.

The game was launched in September on Facebook to all the supporters of the company first, all those people who have seen and enjoyed our shows enough to follow us and was on the NHS virtual market. We were both taken back by the support we had received and the amount of people commenting how much they enjoyed the game.

By December we were running extremely low, and we had to place another order. We were so happy with the progress of the game that we decided to make another Foul Play: Once upon a Crime.

This game was released in and again quickly began to sell extremely well. Families, gamers and bloggers were very quick to write reviews and all of them had positive remarks. Don't take our word for it. Have a look yourselves...

Due to the success of the game the company survived, in fact because the game was so popular it also gave us a brilliant opportunity… Dad’s company now have “live” versions of the games, fully interactive, fully immersive for family audiences.

The birth of Foul Play Games came from COVID, so out of all the stress and trauma that this time brought us, it also brought us something positive.

Since then Foul Play has gone from strength to strength winning multiple awards!

So why not treat yourself to a copy?!

(Click the picture to be taken to the store)

Follow Foul Play Games on Social Media.


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