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Slay the Spire has a deckbuilding rival on Steam, and it’s a mega-hit

Balatro is your next roguelike deckbuilding mega-fix after Slay the Spire, and it's already doing incredibly well on Steam and beyond.

Balatro success Steam: a Joker playing card on a grey background with a jester skull on the card

I conquered my first run of Balatro last night, and I’ve never felt more alive. The new roguelike deckbuilder takes the card combinations of poker and mixes them with superb visuals, tactile feedback, and a plethora of unlocks that see you snaking through different strategies on every single run. After a massive demo at Steam Next Fest Balatro is now out in the world, and it’s doing incredibly well.

Balatro isn’t really like poker at all, and that’s part of the reason it’s doing so well. You need to make poker hands to score enough points to move through the rounds, but over 150 Joker cards can help you modify how you score, alongside card upgrades, consumables, and several other modifiers that help you strategize in the roguelike game.

In just three days Balatro has already sold over 250,000 copies, with a Steam concurrent peak of over 29,000 players that keeps holding incredibly steady. For reference, that’s more than Terraria, Overwatch 2, The Finals, and Ark: Survival Evolved right now. Coming from mysterious solo developer LocalThunk, Balatro once again proves that anything can succeed.

Balatro success Steam: an image of a tweet saying Balatro has sold 250,000 copies

With 6,000 Steam reviews at 98% positive, Balatro has come out of nowhere and made a case to be called one of the best PC games of 2024.

Just like how almost every version of Windows used to come with Solitaire and Minesweeper, everybody should have Balatro on their PC. It’s just that good. Many are calling it the best card roguelike since 2019’s Slay the Spire, and while Balatro has nowhere near the same review numbers, the concurrent player peak is only 4,000 behind Slay the Spire’s peak of 33,000.

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That doesn’t mean much in this case, but it does show that gamers yearn for a roguelike deckbuilder, and they’ll go to poker to get it. You can find Balatro on Steam right now.

If you’re just diving in you’ll want to be in the loop on the Balatro blank voucher, alongside some of the best card games you can currently play on PC.

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