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FOUL PLAY: MYSTERY AT AWKWARD MANOR

Something terrible has happened at Awkward Manor!

For those who love a good murder mystery, here is a new twist. Now you can explore an elegant English mansion, just as if you were there in person. Forget virtual reality - Virtual Travel makes it real.

There are ten different game levels to satisfy every age and ability. As a gumshoe detective at Level 1, you'll get lots of help, but as a skilled detective at Level 10, it could take you an hour or more to solve each mystery!

Awkward Manor has fourteen beautifully photographed rooms and thousands of places where suspects may have left clues... there's a clue now, under that chair! It looks as if Major Gallop was in the library!

When was he there? Ring for the butler, he may be able to help you... Oh well, not this time! Let's go upstairs to the Royal Bedroom... Mrs. Thatcham's there! She may know more about the Major's movements!

Let's ask her where she was at 7.45... Yes! As she walks away, she says she was with Major Gallop in the Ballroom! Maybe he was in here as well! Make a thorough search and...

What's this above the wardrobe? Ah ha!, the murder weapon! Now we're on the murderer's trail! Who else was here?... Gallop! Again! It looks very bad indeed for the Major!

The room, the weapon, the time, and finally- the Accusation! Gotcha! Now Sergeant Plod arrives to take him away! Shall we go on to a more difficult challenge? Yes!

And next time you play, the mystery will be completely different. With over 4,000 different solutions, why not invite your friends over? Up to six players can take part- or you can solve the mystery yourself! The extensive on-line help and tutorial system is always just one click away. Much better than a manual, it actually shows you how the game works, and gives hints to help you solve each mystery. 
  • Virtual Travel incorporating over 5,000 color photographs. 
  • 14 Rooms: 7 Upstairs, 7 Downstairs. 
  • Over 2,000 sounds. 
  • Thousands of clue locations. 
  • Online tutorials and help.
  • Variable length turns to "equalize" player skills.
  • Game levels 1-3: Suitable for ages 7 and up.
  • Game levels 4-10: Suitable for ages 9 and up.
  • 1-6 Players. 
~from the back of the box

Cluedo (or Clue to some of you) will forever be a favourite in my house, but there'll always be a plethora of videogame adaptations if you find yourself friendless when craving a game. Despite its name, Foul Play: Mystery at Awkward Manor is very much based around Cluedo. The tiny Hasbro copyright notice proves it.

Released in 1995 for Mac and 1997 for Windows, the whole package seems a little behind the times when compared to the excellent game simply titles Cluedo from 1994 (also on this site). It bears a lot of gameplay similarities too. It eschews the traditional board and dice for timed turns during which you can visit as many rooms as you want. You'll need to search for clues, talk to suspects and uncover the murder weapon. Just make sure you jot down the clues as you go (a handy PDF log sheet is included).

Graphically, it's very pixelated. The Virtual Travel boasted on the back of the box is little more than a number of 360° panoramic views of your surroundings displayed in a tiny box with the odd transition animation for good measure. As you click around each room, there'll be more than just murder weapons to look out for. Personal items will confirm or contradict a characters whereabouts while the clock will tell you how much time you have left. If you think you have the answer, give the telephone a ring to make an accusation.

The six usual Cluedo characters have been replaced with a number of different characters, including  Senator Bluster, Dr Quandry and Miss Sang Lo. Any one of them could have murdered Sir John Stiffening in any number of ways. Awkward Manor, the stately home the game takes place in, would look very nice if it was presented in a higher resolution, though it looks cluttered in its pixelated form. The real-world location is that of Holker Hall, home of the Cavendish family.

It anything, do not play on the easiest three settings. You'll get a play-by-play commentary of every action by the very British butler who acts as your guide. All speech is unskippable, with the ESC key immediately booting you out of the game. In fact, finishing a round will do the same, whether you've found the culprit or not. It screams of rushed programming.

From what little information I can find online, this game is not particularly well-liked with a few devastating 1-star reviews on some random places. I don't think it deserved that level of ire, but in all honest between this and the aforementioned Cluedo, Foul Play loses quite badly.



To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox running Microsoft Windows 3.1 to get the game working on modern systems. Detective Notepad (fancy & regular version) and Notepad Sample included. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 139 Mb.  Install Size: 263 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ

Download


Foul Play: Mystery at Awkward Manor is © Hasbro Inc & The Armchair Travel Company Ltd
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me


Like this? Try These...

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2 comments:

  1. There seems to be a typo in the installation path - it installs to C; instead of C: so it gets put in a subdirectory of wherever the installer was. Currently, it can be fixed by the user during installation when the filepath is shown onscreen.

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    Replies
    1. Good catch! I'll post a revision when I have the time. The game's completely portable so you can cut and paste it wherever you want, though you'd have to alter the any shortcuts.

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