Card Shark is an adventure game with puzzle and arcade elements, that focuses on card cheats. The game was developed by Nerial, an independent British studio with credits including Reigns and Orwell's Animal Farm. It was published by Devolver Digital, which is also responsible for Polish Shadow Warrior 3.
We experience the charms of 18th century France, including some of the most important personalities, as we follow a disabled young man in his cheating career. As a result of a disease causing strange attacks and fainting, he is unable to speak, and communicates with the world using meaningful mimics and gestures.
The adventure begins when the boy meets the Count of Saint-Germain at the inn where he works, and is drawn by him into complicity in a card game scam. Their partnership is discovered and the enraged adversary, in a fit of anger, mistakenly kills the young man's employer. This forces the boy to flee and join a good-hearted gang of swindlers, of which the Count turns out to be a member - at its head is the Magician, who supports the poorest and most needy with the money he dishonestly obtains.
The core of the game mechanics are the gradually learned methods of cheating in card games and tricks. They are presented to us by various people and we can practice under their guidance until we master all the elements. If necessary, we will also be shown the basics of card rules, such as the names of the colours and seniority.
However, mastering the rules of a particular cheating method (which we can peek at at any time by going to the menu) is only the first difficulty we encounter - during the game we often have to constantly remember the arrangement of cards or the advantage of a colour, sometimes having a very limited time for this - for example as long as it takes to fill someone's glass. We still have to make sure to perform our moves smoothly and without unnecessary procrastination, sometimes even rhythmically, so as not to arouse the suspicions of our fellow players - when their patience runs out they may accuse us of cheating and attack or challenge us to a duel, which will most likely end up with death for our hero - fortunately, death can also be played with cards, although it depends on the chosen difficulty level.
Our cheating adventures begin with the most ordinary inns and close friends of the count, but further successes and money earned (a selected part of which we give to the Magician for charity) allow us to enter the more respectable places, where more money is made. If, on the other hand, we make a mistake and our ways do not provide us with victory, we will have to seek earnings among the simple folk, by methods that do not require an amount to bet, or borrow money previously paid to the gang.
Graphics of the game is based on drawings by Nicolai Troshinsky, a Russian illustrator and director. In the game we can listen to orchestral music composed by Andrea Boccadoro.
Game mode: single player
Age restrictions Card Shark: 16+
Card Shark System requirements
PC / Windows
- Intel Core i3-530 2.93 GHz / AMD A8-3850 2.9 GHz
- 4 GB RAM
- graphic card 1 GB Radeon HD 6550D or better
- 2 GB HDD
- Windows 7 64-bit
- Intel Core i5-760 2.8 GHz / AMD A10-5800K 3.8 GHz
- 8 GB RAM
- graphic card 1 GB GeForce GTX 550 Ti / Radeon HD 7750 or better
- 2 GB HDD
- Windows 10 64-bit