Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Jun 2, 2022
    Between court intrigues, disguises, deceptions and sleight of hand, Card Shark tells an historical era through a story, which, like the truth, is a prism with well-defined faces capable of reflecting light in an iridescent way. Nerial new game is a brilliant take on narrative adventure and card games, where the gameplay makes you feel in the mind of a real cheater in his never ending game against the destiny in search of freedom.
  2. Jun 10, 2022
    A card game in which you don’t actually play cards? This extremely original, creative adventure will fascinate you with its complex story interweaving history and politics, it will pull you in the shadowy world of professional hustlers and amaze you with its unique graphics. You’ve never seen something like this before - that we can guarantee.
  3. Jun 9, 2022
    Whatever the path may hold, all that players can and would experience in Card Shark is beautifully put together, with a fascinating narrative matched by a vibrant and outstanding aesthetic, and propped up by wonderfully inventive gameplay that puts the player in the eye of the storm. In fact, it almost feels like the game has everything stacked in its favor, just like the different plots at play in the quiet confines of high society.
  4. 90
    One scam at a time, the (mis)adventures of an XVIII century apprentice cheater are transformed into the chapters of an unmissable tale in which the deceptions at the table are intertwined with political intrigues. Recommended even for those who are not that into card games.
  5. Jun 2, 2022
    One of the year’s best orchestrations of gameplay and presentation in unison, Card Shark is a smart, but above all, brilliantly-crafted journey of cunning and deception.
  6. Jun 8, 2022
    Card Shark is the indie surprise of the year, or at least one of them. And we won't be thinking our heads off if it ends up being highly regarded among the GOTYs. A very fresh proposal, in which we are constantly learning new mechanics; and not just based on cheating with a French deck of cards, although that is its main premise. If its proposal is attractive, the icing on the cake is a very interesting plot, full of twists, conflicts of interest and, of course, constant deception and betrayal.
  7. Jun 7, 2022
    A fresh, high stakes take on card-based videogames, sure to appeal to more than just deck-builders.
  8. Jun 2, 2022
    Card Shark is certainly one of the most unique and interesting titles of the year, the son of a completely crazy concept that works divinely from the first to the last second of gameplay.
  9. Jun 2, 2022
    Card Shark is unique, layered and an absolute must.
  10. Jun 1, 2022
    Card Shark is a truly unique experience that shouldn’t be slept on. This is the game for those who don’t like card games. The developers have made a very fun experience that builds on itself fluidly in a way that many other games don’t seem to get right.
  11. Jun 10, 2022
    A game that catches the eye of gamers with a unique material, 'A sharper of medieval France'. Its fine art style visual and beautiful orchestra music, narratives featuring alternative history about 19th century France are impressive. However, they used 'card tricks' as a simple tool for progressing the story, unlike my expectation for them to be a key element of the game.
  12. Jun 2, 2022
    Card shark is more like a visual novel combined with a bunch of mini-games. The exquisite graphics style and witty writing make me very satisfied. Even if there are some compromises in gameplay, Card shark is still an excellent work.
  13. Jun 2, 2022
    Card Shark is a unique adventure, both visually and playfully. This game of deception bewitched us for all the hours it took to get to the finale. The gameplay is focused on a few specific ideas, perhaps at times too few. For some players, the lack of variety might be a problem, and we therefore suggest trying the demo first to get a feel for the style.
  14. Jun 22, 2022
    Card Shark is absolutely the most thrilling card game out there, made even more impressive by the fact that you don’t actually do much by way of playing cards. This scintillating sleight of hand title has inadvertently taught me a lot about card tricks, all set to gorgeous Baroque music and stunningly illustrated scenes. The mechanics may feel a little difficult at times due to an onslaught of varied controls, but once you master them, you’ll feel like a card comte(ss) yourself. If you want something enthralling with high production value and even higher stakes, Card Shark can deal you in.
  15. Edge Magazine
    Jun 16, 2022
    Feels high-stakes even before the opening bet reaches three figures. [Issue#373, p.120]
  16. Jun 9, 2022
    More than anything, Card Shark is an experience. It’s not an exceptionally long game, coming in at eight hours, but it very much suits its length. I wasn’t left unsatisfied, nor did it feel padded. The emphasis on the tricks themselves was oddly compelling as well. By the end of the game I had learned the theory behind a good number of techniques, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to practice some of these for real.
  17. Jun 6, 2022
    Card Shark has an interesting idea and the historical background could make for a fascinating exploration of a period rarely featured in non-strategy titles. It also has a unique presentation, that manages to comment on the era without aiming for accuracy. I wanted to learn more about the context Saint-Germain was operating in and why and how card tricks were created and deployed. Unfortunately, the mechanical side of the experience does not quite deliver on its promise. Learning the first few tricks suggests fun gameplay, focused on parting fools from their money. As the depth increases the level of actual fun drops. Card Shark needs to tweak its mechanics to make them more accessible while showing players why these virtual tricks are worth mastering.
  18. Jun 6, 2022
    It’s the most fun you’ll have from a comfortable vantage point of shuffling cards and pouring wine.
  19. Jun 5, 2022
    Card Shark is an original game that is worth your time, even if you are not a gambling fan. The individual pieces of gameplay may be essentially quite simple (visual novel and mini-games), but they are so aptly married and combined with the witty and phlegmatic writing, they make for a very addictive game that will keep your interest until the credits roll.
  20. Jun 3, 2022
    Hands/eye coordination, concentration, self-control, a great memory... If you lack any of this, don't play Card Shark. It is a great - and beautiful - game, but a stressful one.
  21. Jun 2, 2022
    Card Shark is not a card game, it's one about cheating with them, with an interesting story and unique aesthetic. Even if it has some flaws and limitations, or if you think it's a collection of quick time events and minigames, it does it right, and in addictive fashion that will hook you till the end.
  22. Jun 2, 2022
    We were waiting for Card Shark with some impatience and as much to say that we were not disappointed. At the same time clever, original, exhilarating, effective, the game from the Nerial studio offers a unique adventure.
  23. Jun 2, 2022
    Card Shark is an interesting little game. At its heart, it is more of a card-themed visual novel with some educational elements, but it presents the entire experience in an enjoyable package that avoids overstaying its welcome. A few nagging bugs and glitches caught my attention, and nothing ruined the game, but hopefully at least one issue will be patched soon. Either way, it's a fun experience. Just don't try to take the techniques to Las Vegas.
  24. Jun 2, 2022
    All this is beautifully brought to life with scribbly, expressive character portraits, wine-coloured backdrops and a cosy, mock-serious score that suggests a chamber-music troupe lurking just across the salon. Card Shark isn’t always this charming, however. Building the story around perfecting tricks makes for plenty of repetition, whether practising in the coach or restarting a scenario with little more than the shirt on your back. Nerial does its best to avoid a traditional game-over – you can actually cheat death – but it’s easy to imagine a better-resourced version of the game in which every loss sends you along a wholly different story branch. Still, mastering a new con is always worth the trial and error – as is the thrill of taking a duke to the cleaners.
  25. Jun 2, 2022
    Some dizzying tricks and cheap, sudden encounters aside, Card Shark feels like a genuine and charming mystery interwoven into a very interesting series of mechanics mimicking the fascinating sleight of hand behind card tricks.
  26. 80
    Card Shark is a clever and charming game whose engaging plot and gameplay focus on being a great cheat over being a master player gives it a unique personality.
  27. Jun 9, 2022
    If only Card Shark had a different style – one resembling Ocean’s Eleven – I would have found it much more interesting. It's a very peculiar game, a good one, with lots of work put into it, but it's also meant for a very specific audience.
  28. Jun 6, 2022
    Card Shark isn’t a game for everyone. You’ve got to have some patience to both learn the controller combinations to successfully pull-off each step of the cheats and to repeat all of those steps several times during the course of a card game. You also need to enjoy games that are essentially a collection of mini games, and that don’t have much interaction between those games. If those caveats don’t bother you, then you’ll probably find the game’s unique look and setting charming and appealing, and enjoy your time swindling the French aristocracy out of their ill-gotten wealth.
  29. Jun 2, 2022
    Card Shark is not going to change the video game landscape, but it has enough tricks up its sleeve to compete in the indie space. The whole package feels fully realized, even if it doesn’t hit on every one of its mechanical gambles.
  30. Jun 2, 2022
    Cheating the rich out of their coin never felt so satisfying.
  31. Jun 2, 2022
    Despite some pacing issues and uneven difficulty, Card Shark offers some very original card manipulation gameplay in a charming historical setting.
  32. Jul 17, 2022
    Card Shark is a fun little game with plenty of shortcomings and some ways teach you several neat card tricks for loud parties.
  33. 70
    Card Shark’s story, art design, and soundtrack alone make the game a worthwhile experience. What begins as a classic rags-to-riches story quickly evolves into something far more interesting, full of intrigue and betrayal. Progressing the story by cheating the pants off a bunch of pre-revolutionary French dandies in cards is a truly unique and satisfying premise, and it’s largely pulled off well apart from a few imprecise controls. Otherwise, the gameplay might be a little too one-note to hold your engagement for the entire runtime of the game.
  34. Jun 2, 2022
    Card Shark has a few things going for it, not the least of which is unique gameplay. I've never played anything like this. The watercolor style looks great. But the story feels like an afterthought; it never felt important or drove the actual game anywhere. The card playing part of Card Shark is nonexistent, instead focusing on the tricks you are trying to pull. While the tricking is fun, there is a lot to remember, and some of the tricks feel silly to perform. This might not be Devolver Digital’s biggest game to date, but it does have that feel that most Devolver Digital games give off - a unique game with a unique look and feel. Card Shark doesn’t fit into a genre, which is something to admire.
  35. Jun 2, 2022
    Card Shark is an original concept and an intriguing demonstration of how the art of deception can be used to uncover the truth hidden in the upper middle class. Unfortunately, some technical problems have compromise the general experience of the game.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. There's an awful lot to admire about Card Shark. I want more games that do something original like this, that find beauty from odd angles and tell stories in new ways. But playing Card Shark like a real person - with breaks, and other things to do - is hard. If you can't count cards, and find rubbing your tummy while patting your head at all difficult, Card Shark will likely have you absolutely mogadored.
  2. Jun 2, 2022
    Card Shark is easy to play in small chunks, and the relatively short levels make it a great fit for the Steam Deck (which is where I played most of the game) and the Switch. Though I did find I would have to be in the right mood to play it. Sometimes, after a long day at work, I would play something else because I was worried Card Shark would be too complex of a mental challenge. Despite that, I still found Card Shark to be a delightful experience. It hasn’t made me any better at cheating in real life, but at least I can now say I once outsmarted Voltaire in a game of cards.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Jun 11, 2022
  2. Jan 26, 2023
    Like missing out on the ace of spades in a disheveled gatherer do not cheat yourself into missing out on this game. Plug in your joystick andLike missing out on the ace of spades in a disheveled gatherer do not cheat yourself into missing out on this game. Plug in your joystick and enjoy the satsifying feeling of cheating your way up through the french enlightenment age social ranks - but watch out for the cutthroats along the way. A card game cheat is only as good as his lightning fast dexterity.

    If you in any capacity enjoy history, card games and intrigues, then please do yourself the service of buying and playing this game. Also even if you dont enjoy those things but savour the sweetness of a puzzle well solved, then this game is for you.

    Save for the sometimes bothersome quick time events, this game is an indie gem and seriously underrated. Nerial has made a game so good you almost feel like keeping it to yourself, just to savour its delicious cheats.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 25, 2022
    A must play game if you're into card games and you like cheating in card games. The game is quite unique and it's simple and fun to play. TheA must play game if you're into card games and you like cheating in card games. The game is quite unique and it's simple and fun to play. The story is quite interesting but not the best. There're some issues I have with the game like you get one trick wrong you lose is bit lame I wished they made it so that you still have a chance. But the game seems to focus mostly on telling the story and doing those little card mini-games so I might be nitpicking here. Full Review »