Card Thief is a kind of uncommon cell board video games that is not merely a translation of one thing often bought in a cardboard field. Card Thief makes use of playing cards in a novel means that takes full benefit of its digital house with advanced technique and distinctive parts that may be tough on the tabletop. It is quick, addictive enjoyable—as all cell video games must be—with nice strategic depth that’s tough to grasp. When you’re prepared to study, you will be properly rewarded by this Editors’ Choice mobile game obtainable for each Android and iOS.

The Magpie Calls

Card Thief is on the market for each iPhone and Android, however with a pricing twist. The Android model of Card Thief (which is what I examined) is free, however requires a $2.99 in-app cost to unlock some options. On iPhone, the sport is $2.99 up entrance. That may appear to be loads in an age of free cell apps, however it’s properly well worth the cash. Better of all, the paid model has no adverts and might be performed offline—an ever-more uncommon function without cost cell video games.

In contrast to most digital board video games, card thief doesn’t have a bodily analog which you can decide up from the shop. It is completely digital, however it nonetheless makes use of onscreen simulacra of bodily parts reminiscent of playing cards and fingers. In that means it is similar to Hearthstone, the wonderful and dangerously enjoyable free digital card sport from Blizzard. However whereas Hearthstone focuses on player-vs-player motion and ever-changing challenges, Card Thief is a solitary expertise someplace between a sport and a puzzle.

One factor that helps Card Thief is the extremely stylized visible design, which additionally prevents the entire thing from falling into an uncanny valley entice. Actually, the visible parts are glorious, utilizing designs that appear like lower paper in a darkish, however not miserable, fantasy type. In a number of methods, it seems like Year Walk, regardless of being a wildly completely different expertise.

Card Thief is the creation of Arnold Rauers and the workforce at TinyTouchTales. It has a really comparable type to Card Crawl, one other card-based fantasy solitaire sport from Rauers. The 2 share a whimsical, darkish storybook fantasy type, with characters who appear like paper puppets. Actually, while you begin up Card Thief, you uncover that the headquarters of the thieves guild is ready beneath the tavern by which patrons play Card Crawl. A few of these characters even seem within the firm’s not too long ago launched Miracle Merchant. However whereas Card Crawl was all comforting and comfortable browns and oranges, and Miracle Service provider high-saturated comedian e-book tones, the sneaky Card Thief is all black and blue at the hours of darkness.

Additionally like Card Crawl, Card Thief doesn’t require an web connection and is vertically oriented so it may be performed one handed. As a each day practice commuter, it is a huge plus for me. Even difficult rounds of Card Thief might be accomplished in a couple of minutes, so might be spontaneous about when and the place you play.

The Thrill of the Heist

Card ThiefCard Thief jogs my memory of a press-your-luck situation, the place every resolution you make will increase your danger in addition to your rewards. All through Card Thief, the sport has intelligent methods to double down on the danger, so you need to change your technique accordingly.

Card Thief can be a stealth sport, in the identical vein as Steel Gear Stable V or Thief. I do know this sounds loopy. However belief me, it really works. Positioning, eradicating sources of sunshine, and distracting enemies is extremely necessary.

You start with a three-by-three grid of playing cards, together with one representing the thief (that is you). Every flip, you faucet on playing cards on the board to chart a path to your thief to take. Consider every sport as a heist, and the grid of playing cards like a ground plan of your mark’s mansion. Alongside the best way you are confronted by guard canine that may sniff you out at nighttime, gnomish guards with torches to flush you from the shadows, and tough-but-dumb brutes. Though it is just a card sport, it delivers a powerful sense of a fantasy metropolis at night time.

Card Thief

Playing cards are eliminated as you progress throughout them, with contemporary ones arriving firstly of the subsequent spherical. The article of every spherical is to steal a treasure chest card and safely make your method to an exit card. A very good technique is to remain within the shadows, and controlling mild (that’s, eradicating torches and different mild sources) is essential. You can’t, for instance, transfer throughout a door card and even out the exit hatch whether it is adjoining to a lightweight supply.

Your path throughout the board prices you sneak factors. You begin with ten, proven within the higher left of your thief’s card. Every card requires sneak factors so that you can transfer throughout it, and that value is proven in blue. Even in the event you’re in mild, you are protected, so long as you’ve gotten sneak factors left. I prefer to think about it as hiding in plain sight, or comically standing behind the curtains whereas a guard examines the room. In case your sneak factors drop beneath zero, the guards and different hazards could detect you! However handle to remain within the darkness and you’ll nonetheless win, even with detrimental sneak factors.

It is a easy setup however a number of wrinkles add to the technique. An issue multiplier on the prime of the display might be elevated while you stroll over sure playing cards marked with a rising arrow. You would possibly put out a torch, however doing so will increase the problem modifier. Immediately, playing cards that value one sneak factors value two, and ones that value three value six. Usually essentially the most profitable path will go away you weak for the subsequent spherical. Some playing cards may also transfer to completely different positions, following you, and others can vastly enhance the problem multiplier in the event that they spot you.

The issue multiplier additionally applies to the luggage of golden gems that make up Card Thief’s level system. The rising rewards goad you into taking higher and higher dangers, generally with cataclysmic outcomes. For instance, in the event you sneak up behind a guard who’s in darkness, the quantity on his card is transformed to treasure and will not value you sneak factors. I’ve run across the board simply to drive up the problem so as to enrage a guard earlier than robbing him blind. This type of play straddles a line between the abstraction of conventional card video games and action-oriented videogames in a enjoyable and stunning means.

That stated, it did take me fairly a while to wrap my head round Card Thief. I extremely suggest taking part in by means of the tutorial, attempting just a few ranges, after which taking part in the tutorial once more. I utterly missed the problem multiplier system my first time by means of and simply performed on intuition. That was nice, and I did fairly properly, however understanding Card Thief’s nuance made it rather more rewarding. Sadly, I am unsure if it may very well be higher communicated within the tutorial; some belongings you simply should study by taking part in.

All Within the Field

In contrast to most different board video games I’ve performed on cell gadgets, Card Thief doesn’t provide on-line or pass-and-play modes. It is purely a solitaire expertise.

Card Thief has 4 completely different settings, every represented by a distinct manor or fortress on a map. These are loosely themed, and every has completely different sorts of hazards. These additionally enhance in problem and might solely be unlocked by incomes medallions from profitable heists. Every day Heists—that’s, new, each day problem decks—assist maintain the sport contemporary even after you’ve got performed by means of all the present ranges.

You can too unlock and improve gear with loot from profitable heists. The Cloak card, for instance, provides 5 sneak factors to your thief when performed. You’ll be able to elevate that quantity to seven sneak factors by finishing numerous quests reminiscent of exiting a fortress with -Three sneak factors. This additionally helps maintain the play attention-grabbing, and lets gamers customise their expertise.

A brand new launch provides different thieves and challenges. By incomes sure rewards, you will unlock new eventualities and characters. These are introduced as Contracts, which the sport offers you 24 hours to finish. Some are foolish, however most are very difficult. For instance, one Contract locations a 20-point treasure card on the board that decreases in worth each flip. I particularly like that contracts are unlocked with Stolen Items earned by beating common ranges in Card Thief, which inspires extra play. That stated, it may be a little bit of a chore to play by means of ranges simply to unlock a very costly problem.

Seize the Loot

You, like me, could also be turned off by the concept of a solitaire card sport on a cell system. However Card Thief is a wonderful expertise, with fast-paced technique and memorable, charming visuals. Successful a spherical appears like precise success, and taking the additional time to rob a guard blind is scrumptious. It is a wonderful on each iPhone and Android, and vital for any board sport fan.