Life of a Card Sharper: Card Shark Review

Card games have evolved from a niche for retirees and bored clerks into a dynamic genre in just a few years. And Devolver Digital has arguably done more than any other company combined. The new project of the publishing house approaches gambling from an unexpected angle. In Card Shark, you, as a cheater’s assistant, must juggle cards and perform other tricks in the vastness of pre-revolutionary France. In other words, to deceive gullible and not very rich suckers.

History begins its unhurried run in a provincial bistro in the French wilderness. A deaf-mute, but very talented servant finds himself at the center of the tragic events connected with the death of the mistress of the almshouse. Fearing judicial reprisal, he is nailed to the wandering mystic and swindler Count Saint-Germain. Together with the self-proclaimed count, the heroes will have to visit different parts of France seething in the pre-revolutionary cauldron and unravel the secret of the secret wedding of the king.

Using static graphic images in the style of the late impressionists, the author of the project, Nikolai Troshinsky, perfectly conveys the relaxed atmosphere of Provence, introducing players to simple card tricks along the way. Peeking at the cards while pouring wine, and letting your partner know with a sign what kind of suit your opponent has at the table is just the simplest of many tricks. As the story progresses, cheating moves become more complex, combining combinations of several tricks. And now you are already wringing the cards and hastily pulling out duplicate decks in a damp back room. But it is worth making a mistake in substitutions, and your heroes face bankruptcy, prison, and possibly a harsh death. On maximum difficulty, in the worst case, the soul of a mute minion, along with the only save, will forever go to heaven. On easy difficulty, you can pay tribute to the bony and return to the main story a few seconds before death.

But besides cheating for a while at the card table, the world of Card Shark is a good storyteller, inviting famous and not-so-famous personalities from a turbulent period of French history on a date. In the round dance of faces you can meet the freethinker Voltaire, the philosopher Rousseau and the Musketeers of His Majesty. In case of financial failures on the local map, you can always visit the barn famous for gambling and replenish your gold livres by playing with old acquaintances of the aristocrats using one of three random tricks, or return to the scam camp and increase the general treasury. Unfortunately, all these sacrifices “for orphans” do not bring any positive consequences, and the money raised can be useful only in case of total bankruptcy. Orchestral music by Andrea Boccadoro only adds to the overall drama of the game.

With some interesting card tricks and a rich story, Card Shark suffers from a number of notable flaws. Regardless of the difficulty level, you are always pressed by an inexorable streak of time. An error or failure to fall within the specified time period can cost you money or life. Often, QTEs appear in the story, designed more for reaction than for tactics. And, of course, some tricks seem too difficult to memorize accurately, especially under time constraints.

Sword fights with timings and sequences also cause persistent disappointment. Well, the level of complexity could affect various conventions and restrictions.

Card Shark is a colorful and entertaining game with a number of notable flaws, which is quite capable of teaching you a couple of amazing tricks and clever card tricks for a noisy party.

 

With some interesting card tricks and a rich story, Card Shark suffers from a number of notable flaws. Regardless of the difficulty level, you are always pressed by an inexorable streak of time. An error or failure to fall within the specified time period can cost you money or life. Often, QTEs appear in the story, designed more for reaction than for tactics. And, of course, some tricks seem too difficult to memorize accurately, especially under time constraints.

Sword fights with timings and sequences also cause persistent disappointment. Well, the level of complexity could affect various conventions and restrictions.

Card Shark is a colorful and entertaining game with a number of notable flaws, which is quite capable of teaching you a couple of amazing tricks and clever card tricks for a noisy party.

Shovel Knight

Completed on: PC Correct Topics: None Duration: 9 hours

 

Platforms: SWITCH PC Developer: Publisher: Devolver Digital Genres:

Adventure
card game

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