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Forget Balatro, the best card game ever is on sale

Balatro is cool and all, but this underrated card game set in 18th-century France is going cheap on Steam, and it's one of my favorites.

A drawing of a woman wearing a green dress sitting at a table smiling, eyes closed, holding four green cards in front of her face

As someone with two history degrees, I consider myself relatively hard to impress when it comes to historical videogames. I’ve gone on many a rant about the Assassin’s Creed series and I’ve slated Call of Duty. Conversely, I’ve sung the praises of games like LA Noire and Plague Tale. Of all the myriad games I’ve played over the years, though, there’s never been one quite like Card Shark, which is currently on sale. Step aside, Balatro, 2022’s most underrated indie is coming for your head.

In Card Shark, you have one aim: cheat at cards, and make lots of money. You start of as a lowly, mute tavern boy, scamming your local parlors and deceiving commoners at the behest of the mysterious Comte de Saint-Germain – no, not the one from Castlevania. As your wealth grows and you perfect your subterfuge, however, you’ll quickly ascend to the high-stakes card games where, if you make one wrong move, could cost you your life.

Your aim is to secure a spot at the King’s Table, where you’ll have to use all of your cunning to best the regent himself. Your journey will take you across the length and breadth of a handcrafted 18th-century France, created by illustrator Nicolai Troshinsky. The entire game looks like it’s straight out of a period painting, and it’s one of the things that made me fall in love with it.

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In my Card Shark review, I gave the game a 8/10, and a part of me wishes I had given it a nine – there’s just nothing quite like it out there. The folks on Steam seem to agree, as Card Shark has accrued a whole slew of positive ratings.

So, if you’re done with Balatro (for now, I hear it’s addictive) you can pick up Card Shark for $9.99 / £8.37 on Steam as part of Digital Tabletop Fest. The sale runs until Monday March 11, so make sure you pick it up before then.

If you’re looking for some more cheap pickups, though, we have a list of all the best free Steam games – you won’t need to cheat at cards to grab one of these, thankfully. Or, if you’re still playing Balatro, we have a rundown of what the Balatro blank voucher does.

You can also follow us on Google News for daily PC games news, reviews, and guides, or grab our PCGN deals tracker to net yourself some bargains.