Making traps is difficult. Not when we make trap casually, shameless, with people who care or know well, but when we are in a more competitive context, where the rules are more strictly imposed and maybe there is even something at strict. The hand tricks and psychological games that work with people who buddy good faith or do not want to discuss with us do not work in the same way with strangers, and even less when there are motivations that go beyond the mere pleasure of playing. Therefore, when there is money involved, it is not only more difficult to cheat, but they become a lack of respect or a sample of immaturity to something much more problematic, and legislated by law: a scam.


Basic information

  • Developer: NERIAL
  • Editor: Return digital
  • Platforms: Switch, PC
  • Proven version: PC
  • Availability: 2022

Card Shark puts us on the skin of a scammer. Encouraging a mute young man who knows the Earl of Saint-Germain, a well-known scammer who did more than cars in the pre-revolutionary France of the seventeenth century, our duty will be to learn his best tricks, help him in his business and, from a certain point, Low to the mud of the scam. That is, to begin to cheat for ourselves to schedule the unfortunate poor who are put in front of us.

In that sense, Card Shark is not a card game. To begin with, because some of the games of it are not card, but also because your main mechanics does not consist of playing cards well: Card Shark’s base is cheating.

At the beginning of each game Saint-Germain, or another of the gypsy camp in which we fear fear of being accused of a crime that we have not committed, will explain how we are going to win the games that we have ahead and what we need know to do it. Making letters, changing decks or looking at the hands of the rivals will be things that we will have to learn to get victorious. But since we are betting money and cheating, our rivals are slowly losing their patience, thus putting a strict limit: as soon as they get caught – for having lost a lot, for having spent too much time or because our traps are very obvious -, will rise up They will call the gendarmes, and they will make sure that our traps come out expensive. This adds an added voltage to the game: we are always playing counterreloj, since the more time it takes us to run each trick, the more our rivals will suspect.

In that sense, the game takes advantage of all the possibilities of command to create the feeling that each trick we do is different. Mark letters, serve wine or make a signal to indicate the value and stick of a letter are actions that use the joystick in a way that involves us in the game, making us feel that we are active part of that victory. We do not limit ourselves to choose from the correct option, but we have to communicate subtly with our actions, giving it another extra component of immersion, also in the fact of how easy it is to put the leg and end up losing our own traps.

Diamond Press Ultimate Card Making Collection, AS #1:
At its excellent mechanical design, it should be added that the setting is equally exquisite. After entering the seventeenth century and having a mentor to Saint-Germain, our duty is to rise from the most murky taverns to get to Versailles, where we hope to be able to pluck King Sun, Louis XIV himself. All with the purpose of helping disadvantaged and change the system – something that can bother historians; Saint-Germain was not known, precisely, by the revolutionary ideas of him – progressing slowly in a history of betrayals, secrets and enmemistades that we will only discover winning the games in which we make our traps, making sure to win the games even in the more circumstances unfavorable

But if the setting works so well it is thanks to its excellent art direction. With an enviable pictorial style of thick stroke, dirty colors and high contrast, some animations cared up to the sick and a very readable screen in the playable segments, the game does everything so that it is so nice to play as Excesors to observe. His only problem we have found on the demo, available at Steam Next Fest, are a handful of bugs and the repetitiveness of music, which although it never becomes too patent could end up tiring in the long term.

In any case, these are smaller problems that can be purified face to the final version. Not for nothing, never a videogame has transmitted so well the difficulty of cheating at the same time that gives us rich characters, full of nuances, who are also known faces, like the already mentioned Saint-Germain or Louis XIV, but also others, like the Volotaire philosopher, not much in favor of our criminal practices.

That, along with two modes of extra difficulty – a story mode, for those who want to just know what happens; And a mode Roguelike, for those who want to suffer – make the game have the game to reach a lot more people than it might seem at an entrance. Something that makes us think that this way of not missing from the shooting digital shot, the Distributors of Card Shark, and that we have recently given us authentic jewels of the medium like Loop Hero, Inscryption or Death’s Door, can only be done to be doing us Traps They have some secret knowledge about the future or what it does to an excellent and unforgettable game. But even if they are cheating with those esoteric powers, as with Card Shark, it is as satisfying to see how everything is solved that does not matter. We just want to be able to continue playing without having to wait for an exit date that we still do not know.

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