[Nintendo Switch] Card Shark Review
Card Shark from Nerial and Devolver Digital is an interesting adventure game in which you’ll lean heavily into your card skills to get to the top. Learn more in our Card Shark review!
Card Shark from Nerial and Devolver Digital is an interesting adventure game in which you’ll lean heavily into your card skills to get to the top. It’s 1743 in the South of France, and you’re a lad in a smoke-filled establishment, pouring drinks for clients. You’re asked by the Comte de Saint-Germain for your assistance in a game of cards. He intends to win big tonight, and it will all be thanks to your help! His plan is simple: your job is to assist those in attendance, so you’ll be serving all participants wine during the night. While doing this, you’ll take a quick peek at his opponent’s cards so that you can signal to him the best suit in each opponent’s hand. This will be whichever suit he has the most of. To signal him, you’ll cleverly take your cloth and wipe the table in the pattern of each suit!
For hearts, you’ll press and hold the X button as you wipe in a circular clockwise motion. For spades, the signal will be to wipe in a circular counter-clockwise motion. If, on the other hand, you’re seeing a bunch of diamonds, then you must wipe in a straight line up and down. As for clubs, you’ll signal by vigorously wiping the table in a side-to-side pattern. This is simple enough on its own, but you can’t wipe the table until you’ve taken a peek at the cards each opponent has, and you must do this while pouring them wine without spilling their cup!
Pouring wine to catch a glimpse of a player’s cards to then wipe the table is only the tip of the iceberg. That strategy is known as The Bottle of Cahors and is one of many card techniques you’ll learn during your time with Card Shark that help to keep the experience feeling fresh. You’ll also learn The Three Card Monte, by which you’ll manage to trick someone into betting high as they try to find the Queen, as you cheat your way to victory. Another example is The Indiscreet Fingers, by which you can signal to your partner not only the suit of the card but also the highest card for it – Jack, Queen, King, or Ace.
Opponents will grow suspicious when they’re losing heavily over and over again, so you’ll need to be careful that you and your partner don’t overdo things. Each round, the minimum bet is automatically increased, which is why I suggest that you don’t then increase your bet even more right away, since this will lower the time you have to pull off each of the card tricks needed to guarantee a win. Being greedy can end up being deadly, and then you’ll have to see if you’re good enough to cheat death… literally!
Right after the tutorial/prologue, the Comte de Saint-Germain will take you to a camp where you’ll be safe from the police and those looking for the people responsible for the death of the woman that managed the establishment you used to work at. Oh, did I fail to mention that she ends up dead after being shot by one of the people you helped the Comte cheat out of a good sum of money? Anyway, it is at this camp that you’ll meet the Magician, who will teach you another trick to add to your repertoire.
In exchange for their help, the Comte and yourself will need to split your earnings with the Camp of the Cascarots. You’ll be told how much the Comte will donate, and you’ll then get to decide how much you’ll contribute. Money is important for progressing through the game’s story because losing a hand or two won’t be the end of things. In fact, losing will make your opponent happy, which will lower its level of suspicion. As long as you have enough money to cover another bet or two, you can carry on.
Card Shark is an interesting adventure game in which cards play a big role in your success, even though you never play any actual card games. There are many tricks to learn that will guarantee you win so that you can uncover the truth about what was going on in 1743 France. And yes, you can pet the dog in Card Shark. The game is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 asking price, and it’s one you should definitely add to your collection.
This Card Shark review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Devolver Digital.