Trapping is difficult. Not when you trample in a casual, discreet way, with people you like or know well, but yes when you are in a more competitive context, where the rules are more strictly imposed and the quizzes there has something built into the game. The sleight of hand and psychic games that work with people who view us in good faith or don’t want to argue with us don’t work the same way with the unknown , and at least when there are motivations that are more than just a place of gambling. Therefore, when there is money involved, it is not only more difficult to cheat, but it is the burden of being a lack of respect or a show of immaturity to something much more problematic, and legislated by law: a scam.
Card Shark puts us in the shoes of a crook. Playing as a young man who knows the Condé de Saint-Germain, a notorious con man who did more than plunder in pre-Revolutionary 17th-century France, you have to learn his best tricks, help him with his business, and now, , fall to the scam bar. That is, to begin to deceive ourselves to reach out to the poor poor who push us forward.
In this sense, Card Shark is not a card game. Firstly because some of his games don’t sound like cards, but also because his main technique is not to play cards well: the basis of Card Shark is to cheat.
At the start of each game of Saint-Germain, another of the characters from the gypsy camp in which we hide for fear of being accused of a crime we did not commit, will explain to us how we are going to win the games that expect and what we need to know how to do it. Scoring cards, changing tricks or watching rivals’ hands will be things we must learn to be victorious. But since we apostatize money and commit fraud, our rivals of slow patience, we are subject to a strict limit: as far as we can – because we have lost too much, because we have spent too much time or because we cheated too much – they will call the police, and they will make sure that our traps do not escape us. This adds extra tension to the game: we always play counter-clockwise, so the longer we take to complete each trick, the more wary our rivals will be.
In this sense, the game takes advantage of all the possibilities of the command to create the feeling that each turn we do is different. Marking cards, pouring wine or making a signal to indicate the value and the handle of a card are actions that use the joystick in a way that involves us in the game, making us feel that we are actively participating in this victory. . We are not limited to selecting the right option from a menu, but we must communicate it discreetly with our actions, providing another additional element of immersion, also in the fact that it is easy to set foot in and finish by losing with our own traps.
Its excellent mechanical design clearly shows that the ambience is equally exquisite. To transcend the 17th century and hold Saint-Germain as a mentor, you have to go up through the most turbulent tabernacles until you reach Versailles, where you hope to overthrow King Sol, himself Luis XIV. All with the intention of helping those most in need and changing the system – which might upset historians; Saint-Germain was not known, precisely, for his revolutionary ideas -, slowly moving forward in a story of betrayals, secrets and enemies that we will only discover by winning the games in which we take our turns, we are sure to win even the most difficult games.
But if the environment works so well it is thanks to its excellent artistic direction. With an enviable painterly style of heavy wood, pure colors and high contrast, painstakingly polished animations, and a very readable screen in gameplay segments, the game does everything to make it as enjoyable to play as it gets. what a great thing to watch. The only problem we found in the demo, available at Steam Next Fest, is a bunch of bugs and the repetitiveness of the music, which if it hadn’t ever been over-patented could end up playing in the long run.
In any case, these are minor issues that can be avoided in the final version. It is not for nothing that no video game has conveyed so well the difficulty of being wrong when presenting a few rich characters, replicas of matices, in addition to their well-known roses, such as the late Saint-Germain or Luis XIV, but also others, like the philosopher Voltaire, are not very favorable to our criminal practices.
This, with two additional difficulty modes – a story mode, for those who just want to know what’s going on; and a way roguelike, for those who want to suffer – to ensure that the game has the potential to reach many more people than it seems. Something that makes us think it’s a way not to miss Devolver Digital, the distributors of Card Shark, and who have recently given us authentic media joys like Loop Hero, Inscryption or Death’s Door, only you can rely on what we are doing trampas. They have secret knowledge about the future or what makes an excellent and unforgettable game. But even if we do tricks with these esoteric powers, like with Card Shark, it’s still satisfying to see how everything works out for us the same way. We just want to be able to continue playing without having to wait for a departure date that we never knew.