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Sleight of Hand looks like a noir spiritual successor to Metal Gear Acid from dev behind puzzle gem Framed

With the voice of Metal Gear Solid’s Meryl Silverburgh to boot

Sleight of Hand hero Lady Luck holds up a card while overlooking the streets of Steeple City
Image credit: RiffRaff Games

Sleight of Hand is an upcoming stealth-action game in which your sneaky detective uses cards to sneak around enemies while on the hunt for your former cult. It’s from the co-creator of acclaimed mobile game Framed, and has more than one connection to Metal Gear Solid going for it.

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Sleight of Hand was revealed by developers RiffRaff Games during tonight’s Xbox Partner Preview stream. RiffRaff was founded by Joshua Boggs, who rose to fame under former studio Loveshack - with their stylish and mechanically ingenious 2014 puzzler named by Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima as the best game of that year.

It seems that Kojima’s influence has rubbed off on Boggs’ latest game in several ways. Sleight of Hand looks to be a noir adventure following occultist gumshoe Lady Luck as she tracks down her former coven employers-turned-betrayers in the smoky streets of Steeple City.

Like sorely missed MGS spin-off Metal Gear Acid (which never made it off the PSP onto PC, an injustice that Master Collection Vol. 2 might hopefully correct), the game’s third-person stealth gameplay is driven by the use of cards, as Lady Luck builds a deck of cursed cards allowing her to vanish into a cloud of smoke, entangle enemies or petrify them to halt their attacks, among other powers.

Lady Luck stares under a crowbar in stealth-action deckbuilder Sleight of Hand
Image credit: RiffRaff Games

The crooning brass score, moody dialogue - delivered by Debi Mae West, known for voicing Meryl Silverburgh in Metal Gear Solid, as another link - and low-lit, 1920s-evoking world deliver seen in Sleight of Hand’s cinematic reveal trailer seem to deliver on what RiffRaff describe as being a hardboiled atmosphere, though I’m curious to see exactly how that translates into its card-driven gameplay.

We’ll likely see more ahead of Sleight of Hand’s release in 2025, with the game set to be a day-one Game Pass release, alongside Steam.

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