Two fight better than one
Foul Play is available to play in 2 player co-op throughout the campaign, either online or offline. Unfortunately, it is not drop in/drop out; instead you have to launch the level with both players ready to go. You can take two separate profiles into the game and they will unlock their own achievements. Creating or finding an online game is a simple interface that will match you with the next suitable game, or with a friend should you decide to go private.
Once you are into the game, the co-op works well. With two players fighting the daemon hordes, the game gets significantly easier to hit high combos – if you have a competent partner. The highest scores are achieved by combinations and avoiding being hit. One hit on either player makes the audience less impressed. Each player has their own combo meter, so you can still achieve individual impressive heights, but the overall level score may be affected if your co-op partner does not impress the locals as much as you.
An important thing to remember is that many players won’t care about the high score system until at least a second play thru. The first run should be based on enjoying yourselves and bashing as many buttons as possible to see what each new level brings. There is a joy to be had grabbing an enemy just before they strike and throwing them to your partner, only for your mate to catch the enemy and throw them back. You soon find yourselves passing cultists back and forth in a manner that would not look out of place on the tennis courts of Wimbledon.
A motley crew of enemies
There is a simple joy in playing a well-made game like Foul Play in co-op. Perhaps, there is not a huge difference between fighting solo and with a friend, but as all Co-Optimus readers are aware; more is indeed the merrier. Visual touches throughout the game make it a pleasure to play; the stagehand that is constantly getting caught in the action, or the fact that the levels are set up as 5 different dramas with different enemies. On the downside, the game is pretty simple and you can complete it by bashing the buttons, but this would be a disservice to a game that fleshes out to around 12 combination moves as you level up.
Is Foul Play the best side scrolling beat ‘em up available to download? Not quite, it may be charming and funny, but the gameplay does become repetitive and it is actually a little too easy in places. The king remains Castle Crashers, but if you are a fan of this seminal download title, Foul Play is a perfect accompaniment. It gives homage, but is also able to bring some new elements to the genre.
The Co-Op Experience: Foul Play supports two player online and local co-op. Two players team up as Baron Dashforth and Mr. Swampwick to brawl with daemons using their arsenal of abilities and tag team moves.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.