Cardful Planning: Review


This game was reviewed on a Nintendo Switch OLED

Reviewed by: Amanda Martin

A love story like you've never seen featuring playing cards. On your way to pick up a beautiful rose for your love, you find they have disappeared, and it is up to you to find them again.

You begin in a hub room, with different doorways dotted around. These doorways unlock with progress, so you only have one option to start with. In each area you are blessed with a suit (like a card suit...not a tux), and each suit comes with its own special ability. One skill allows you to drag boxes around the space, another allows you to dash around to avoid danger. As you only have a limited space to work within, these abilities are invaluable, however you are occasionally prevented from using them, giving an extra challenge to the game. Once you've obtained these abilities, you're able to use them in every room you enter afterwards, making the puzzles easier to deal with.

This is full of the classic puzzle platform tropes, such as spike traps, lasers and projectiles that home in on you. There are switches that can be flipped to gain access to other areas, and boxes that can be moved around the grid to protect yourself from danger or even make a handy little bridge. This game uses an interesting feature due to a playing card being used as your avatar. Your card flips as it moves, going from face up to face down. Upgrades can only be picked up if you land on them face up, so it adds another layer to the puzzle element. These upgrades allow you to evolve your card from the lowly 2 all the way up to the A.

Every level allows you the opportunity to test your newly acquired ability, as well as combining all abilities together to come up with different solutions and routes. These levels progress you to the final stage, a fun little boss fight to test your knowledge of the game, and one step closer to your love.

This game features different modes to test your skill. You can have a nice chill experience where your room progress doesn't reset upon death, and you can restart the room as many times as you like without worrying about a timer or death counter. There is a speedrun mode to truly test your abilities and reflexes, as a faster time pushes you up the leaderboard. There is also a league mode, where fewer deaths will reward you with a higher position (I'm definitely at the bottom!). This gives the game great accessibility for all players, as they can experience the game in whatever way they please, be it competitive or not.

I feel like some levels are able to be won with a little brute force, as one ability allows you to shoot your own projectiles that destroy distant crossbows. Dashing around to get rid of this problem first allows you a bit more time to ponder your next move without fear of arrows flying towards you. But it also goes to show that there is more than one way to achieve your goal.

A nice little puzzler to get your brain working. 

Reviewed by: Amanda Martin