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Reigns developer reveals a new game about cheating at cards in 18th century France

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Reigns (opens in new tab) is a simple but very entertaining game about ruling a medieval kingdom by swiping left or right, Tinder-like, on digital cards that represent daily decisions. Success is often a matter of luck, but "apt decision-making (opens in new tab)" is a big factor too, and unexpected outcomes are all a part of the fun.

After two follow-ups—Reigns: Her Majesty (opens in new tab), and the licensed Reigns: Game of Thrones (opens in new tab)—developer Nerial announced today that it's working on something a little different. Cards are still involved, but instead of swiping them, you're cheating at them: Card Shark (opens in new tab) is a game about hustling your way to the top in 18th century France. 

"Move from the local card parlours to the King’s table by building up your array of card tricks and using your ill-gotten gains to buy your way into some truly high-stakes games," the relatively sparse Steam page says. "Just make sure you don’t get caught as your fellow gamesters do not take kindly to cheaters."

There's not much in the way of detail at this point, but the announcement says the game "will teach you real card tricks and manipulations," which you'll put to good use as you fleece your way through French society. Mastering techniques will unlock new locations, and the more you win, the more you'll be able to risk in truly high-stakes games.

Even more interesting, though (to me, at least) is the promise of narrative twists and turns that the trailer hints at, which will hopefully make getting caught at cheating at least as interesting as successfully pulling it off. That would be a fairly natural evolution of the Reigns experience, which rarely ended well but almost always ended with a bang (opens in new tab).

Card Shark isn't set to come out until sometime in 2021. In the meantime, you can find out more at carksharkgame.com (opens in new tab).

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.