When a game you have probably never heard of comes out a few days ago and already has a Steam Overwhelmingly Positive rating from 9,000 votes you should probably take notice.

Balaltro, the poker-themed deck-building roguelike card game from Playstack and lone developer LocalThunk is being described by players as one of the most addictive games they have ever played, just read the comments on its Steam page.

One even calls it “crack for gamer brains.”

Balatro is not the first smaller game to come out of the blue and take on the AAA(A) titles from the big studios and mop the floor with them this year (we are looking at you Palworld) and now comes the news that Balatro had grossed $1 million in the first eight hours of its release.

PlayStack CEO Harvey Hunt told gamesindustry.biz, “We are floored by Balatro’s success, All publishing partnerships are to some extent a leap of faith, and the sobering industry news of the last twelve months has made each leap seem further. So we understand it’s a rare privilege to note that Balatro reached game profitability within an hour following release.

“I cannot praise the developer LocalThunk and the publishing team at Playstack enough for achieving such an impressive milestone.”

PlayStack confirmed it is its fastest-selling game in its eight-year history.

The Steam description for Balatro states: “The poker roguelike. Balatro is a hypnotically satisfying deck builder where you play illegal poker hands, discover game-changing jokers, and trigger adrenaline-pumping, outrageous combos.” 

Players are already talking about losing hours to the game without realizing it, as the captivating card game is so addictive.

The developer, who is known only as LocalLocalThunk added: “I poured my heart and soul into this game with the hopes of sharing it with a few friends and loved ones, but seeing so many people share and enjoy this odd creation has been incredibly overwhelming. I can’t thank the Balatro fans and Playstack enough for making this possible.”Thunk said, “

Balatro is out now on Steam priced at $14.99 / €13.99 / £12.79.

Paul McNally

Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media.

Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020.

Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine, PlayStation Pro, Amiga Action, Mega Action, ST Action, GQ, Loaded, and the The Mirror. He has also hosted panels at retro-gaming conventions and can regularly be found guesting on gaming podcasts and Twitch shows. He is obsessed with 3D printing and has worked with several major brands in the past to create content

Believing that the reader deserves actually to enjoy what they are reading is a big part of Paul’s ethos when it comes to gaming journalism, elevating the sites he works on above the norm. Reach out on X.


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