Framed creator announces hard-boiled occult stealth game Sleight of Hand

A new take on card games.

4 mins read
The key art for Sleight of Hand.

It’s rare for a game about cards to be super innovative (though The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood does come to mind), but RiffRaff Games’ Sleight of Hand may do just that. Debuting at the Xbox Partner Preview today, Sleight of Hand is described as a third-person card-slinging occult noir stealth sim. Set in the rather rainy Steeple City, players take on the role of an occult detective fated to take down her former coven. Her cursed cards cast a smoke-based menagerie of magic. The intriguing title is set to be released next year, but I’m already excited to see more in the future.

Once revered, Lady Luck (voiced by Debi Mae West, who is also the voice of Meryl Silverburgh in many Metal Gear Solid titles) had a less than amicable split with her coven. Actually, it’s a bit worse than that: she lost her left hand. She’s broke and tired of fighting fate, so she sets out to Steeple City with a cursed card deck in her hand. She’s ready to track down every single person from her past life.'s Discord banner. You click on it to be taken to the Website's Discord server

In this world, knowledge of ritual magic and possession of cursed artifacts separate the haves from the have-nots. The hard-boiled city is rife with taboo. Lady Luck will have to get around patrolling ruffians by Evaporating into smoke. Even the odds with a group of goons using Chain Smoker to cast cards against all of them at once – she can then snuff them out using a Lethal card, or choose an affliction so she can sneak past them. Take out enemies using powerful combos. For example, let’s talk about a random Inaccessible guard who is causing problems with his pesky spotlight. Mark him with a Hex card, tagging every target within sight. Then use another card on top of it, like using a Peekaboo guard to teleport behind the guard. After that, a card isn’t even needed for a silent takedown.

The deck can be upgraded, the perfect hand assembled. Each level is highly replayable, encouraging experimentation. Hidden passwords are used to access secret pathways through speakeasies, where Lady Luck can interrogate former friends of the ex-coven to settle old debts. Bring the coven leader in using new powers, intel, and cards.

“Making this game has been a long-time dream of mine. It combines my love of Kojima’s brilliant pioneering work in Tactical Espionage Action with Metal Gear Solid and my obsessive desire to push the envelope in making new gameplay experiences,” said Joshua Boggs, CEO and Game Director at RiffRaff Games, in a press release. “In typical ‘me fashion’ (as the team here would say), I’ve sought to turn the genre on its head with a healthy dose of innovative card play. It’s been a hard road, honestly the hardest project I’ve worked on, but I am so honoured to walk side by side with this team as we push the stealth action genre in a brand new direction.”

Developed and published by RiffRaff Games, Sleight of Hand will be released for PC via Steam, Windows PC, and Xbox Series in 2025.

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Lindsay picked up an NES controller for the first time at the age of 6 and instantly fell in love. She began reviewing GBA games 20 years ago and quickly branched out from her Nintendo comfort zone. She has has developed a great love of life sims and FMV titles. For her, accessibility is one of the most important parts of any game (but she also really appreciates good UI).

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