Players can test different ways to travel through rows of cards to reach an exit point, giving them multiple tests to their tactics in this excellent strategy game. Lines appear to indicate which card you've moved to and from in Card Thief, and you can often click on your last move to undo the action without a penalty. You need to keep an eye on your stealth point total, because points can be subtracted if you, for instance, cross over a guard card. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if your total point amount has gotten so low that it's less than a guard card's value, you can be captured. There are a number of ways to get around that issue, though -- literally -- such as landing on a torch card, which will stop illuminating a neighboring guard card, potentially making it easier to pass.
Players can also use equipment cards, such as a rope arrow that lets you swap places with another card, provided you have a greater or equal value to the targeted card. Some cards allow you to hide, which will also replenish their stealth points, and players can pickpocket guards for gold if that card isn't illuminated. Some slightly more complex elements can also be involved -- landing on a card that's watched by a certain guard, for instance, which is indicated by an eye icon on the card's bottom portion, can give the guard a point. Selecting an illuminated card near to him will make the guard turn in that card's direction. Although those rules are explained before you start playing, some may take awhile to commit to memory. After a few games, though, you should be able to get the hang of it. There aren't many visual bells and whistles -- one of the most dynamic elements involves the guards blinking. There also are, to date, just four castle settings to get through, so you may not come back to the game indefinitely -- but Card Thief's nuanced points system helps keep this fun twist on classic card games from feeling routine after a few rounds.