Card Room

Description

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Xiao Lou was killed in an accident and reborn in the Card World.

Each card here represents a secret room and clearing the instance will give a reward. Xiao Lou draws a card and thinks he could draw all types of equipment and weapons. As a result: Su Shi, Li Bai, Tao Yuanming*… character cards keep coming one after another.

Xiao Lou, “???”

What was this escape game? What type of fate made him keep drawing character cards?

*famous poets of ancient China

Associated Names
One entry per line
The Secret Chamber of the Card Game
โลกแห่งไพ่
卡牌密室(重生)
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
The Earth is Online (24)
The Trial Game of Life (14)
Game Loading (10)
Global Examination (8)
Supernatural Movie Actor App (6)
I Wasn’t Born Lucky (5)
Recommendation Lists
  1. BL/Bromance Recommendations
  2. jjjhhh
  3. Quality BL's That I've Read
  4. Apocalypse [BL]
  5. BL novels I plan to read

Latest Release

Date Group Release
05/12/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 10 part8
05/12/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 10 part7
05/12/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 10 part6
05/12/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 10 part5
05/11/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 10 part4
05/11/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 10 part3
05/11/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 10 part2
05/11/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 10 part1
05/09/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 9 part8
05/09/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 9 part7
05/09/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 9 part6
05/09/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 9 part5
05/09/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 9 part4
05/09/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 9 part3
05/09/22 Rainbow Mushroom... extra 9 part2
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Ploppy
New Ploppy
September 26, 2022
Status: Completed
(3.5 stars actually, but no half stars, so i'll settle for overpraising)

The novel was good. Worth reading 500+ chapters? Maybe not. Depends on your taste, I suppose.

My first impression of this story was, "Give more chapters." The novel starts with our main character, Xiao Lou (abbreviated to XL here), playing a game of Fight the Landlord and decimating. Flash forward a few hours: he's standing by the window, and a bloody vortex sucks in the playing cards still on the table. Then he gets hit by a truck... more>> and dies (that turned dark quick). After dying, he has a choice to either let his soul be obliterated or enter the Card World, his only chance at living again. He, being the model protagonist, chooses not to give up on life and starts a series of instances, which, as a professor of forensic science, he's extremely good at. He soon meets up with the male lead, Yu Hanjiang (YHJ), who's a police officer. They solve puzzles together, are mature and reliable, and begin a steady romance. They also collect a cast of teammates who shine in their own ways.

Enter Moon City. Here is where it takes a turn for the worse. Their teammates become akin to cannon fodder in their roles, only there to bring the two mains into the spotlight. Although their importance and intellect are not forgotten in any way, YHJ and XL's importance and intellect are hyped up so much that everything else is wiped from our minds. While I was reading this novel, I noticed all boasts towards the main couple are said twice, but in different ways. Although, I'm not sure if that's the translator or the author's doing. Also, "This is not something ordinary people can do!" I saw this line at least fifty times.... No. Please.

#2: The crimes and plots of the instances get simpler. At the beginning, I can't stop reading. All of the mystery-solving and sleuthing (in hearts I meant) keeps me on my toes, but after the Beacon in Troubled Times arc, everything changes (btw that's when they get to the 5's I think). Basically, completing the rooms starts relying more heavily on ability to get information, rather than piecing all the information together to get the whole picture. It becomes more like Spades than the OG Hearts rooms. (these aren't spoilers, are they?)

Now, the romance. Hehe. It made me cringe. Second-hand embarrassment galore. Like I mentioned, at the beginning, the characters are portrayed as mature and reliable, with the occasional flushed ears/cheeks. But as we get to the Beacon in Troubled Times arc, it becomes clear that this romance is a slow-burn. Like, really slow-burn. I'm all up for that usually, but this slow-burn set off indignation. I couldn't believe that the stable characters from the beginning would suddenly turn irrational, shy, obsessive, even. It reminded me of kids, grade-school kids who don't know that love is a relationship, who bully their crushes to get them to notice (no bullying happened tho). First, XL looked at YHJ, found out YHJ wasn't looking, so XL looked away, and then YHJ looked at XL, found out XL wasn't looking, so YHJ looked away, and then it repeats. (still no spoilers, right? idk the scope of a spoiler yet) Additionally, XL is suddenly portrayed as a more feminine character. Like in one arc, he gains the identity of a woman and has to act the part fully. It was funny at first, but then it got weirdly distant from his usual, stable, mature, reliable, character. I could go on and on about the romance, but let me finish with this: the confession was subpar. You would think that after a slow-burn, a gorgeous confession is what matters most to the author, but it was tinged with forcefulness, and YHJ... I've never seen him so obsessive before. All the side couples are also the same. None of them have an equal dynamic between the two lovers.
Spoiler

(they're also all bl, which doesn't reflect real life at all, but... okay, ig)

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After all that, let me talk about the part I dislike most: the ending. First, just to drop this in, there's a big reveal at the end that's never elaborated on, but it was the only thing that kept me going in the second half of the novel... Also, the full structure of the Card World is never explained. Okay.

Spoiler

The major characters of this story are neither heroes nor heroines. They are the first to clear the Card World, after denying and denying and denying offers from the Keepers to stop them. But what we find at the end, is that they go home. They survive, and leave behind the 80 million other people vying for a second chance at life. Nothing changes. So it begs the question, why were the Keepers so anxious to have them stay? Nothing changes, so why care? And let's not forget that from the very first chapter, it's clear that the Card World is not a gracious savior, but rather a murdering puppeteer. Because, well, there's a bloody vortex that sucks the playing cards in before XL even dies. That means that death is not the cause of the Card World, but that the Card World is the cause of death. It is the villain, but it's left to reign eternal. And the main characters live happily ever after, oblivious to what their oh so great intelligence should have led them to perceive, oblivious to the fact that they are also villains in millions of hearts because they had the power to save everyone, but didn't. The fact that author wrote 500+ chapters of content only to reach this conclusion saddens me.

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3.5/5 for an amazing first half and making me stay for the entire novel. Don't take my review as fact. Try it out for yourself. <<less
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keinnan
keinnan rated it
August 17, 2019
Status: c37
Spoiler

I've read up to the currently released chapters of this, and would definitely recommend it! The mysteries are compelling, the characters both clever and complement each other beautifully, and the chemistry between them is tantalizing. MC is a doctor of forensics who has a hobby of solving escape room puzzles while ML is the head of a Major Crimes Unit who makes criminals tremble with just a look. One of the most hilarious moments in the first few chapters is when MC solves the novice puzzle room in 58 seconds (there were 4 puzzles, and you open a treasure chest after solving each one, so that's pretty much 10 seconds per puzzle), and there's a worldwide announcement of the puzzle room record being reset, which ML hears while being like "........." is still staring at the first puzzle with a headache after one minute. Meanwhile, the MC just barely makes it out of the zombie survival game a few minutes before the time limit after many harrowing escapes and creatively using all the props he's earned so far, and then hears that ML finished it in a record 15 minutes. (MC: WTF did he bring a bulldozer?) MC asks him later how he did it, and ML is like, I picked up a stick and bashed the zombies' heads in. (MC:... he really did bulldoze through it). In particular, the way they each solved the final boss in that room had me laughing for minutes. MC smartly figured out the boss's ruse and avoided the trap, meanwhile ML was like, "he turned out to be evil, so I killed him." MC:... very straightforward!

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Efu-sama
Efu-sama rated it
April 2, 2021
Status: c310
There are 3 points that the author originally did very well in the earlier chapters, but degraded so much and makes me frustrated and disappointed in 2/3 of the middle and later chapters.

But first, I want to say that I honestly like this novel. It's the mixture of "I Became a God in a Horror Game", "Earth Is Online", and "Meeting a Demonic Cultivator even a God Cries". In terms of the setting of going into another world, meeting many other players, forming a team, and there is a central... more>> world where players meet, this novel is similar to "I Became a God in A Horror Game". But in terms of the setting where the players could get so many props with interesting and sometimes mundane props in every survival game, then this novel is similar to "Earth Is Online". While in terms of how in some games it involved murder mysteries, then it is similar to "Meeting a Demonic Cultivator even a God Cries".

The MC is a forensic doctor, while the ML is a police officer, a cool combination of IQ and muscles.

The ability of the MC and ML is really acceptable and understandable due to their profession prior.

To sum it up why I have to drop this novel without finishing it, is because there's a lot of drama. Teenage romance drama in MC and ML's romance despite the two of them are nearly 30 y.o, and dramatic action or plots in the survival arcs. It's like the author deliberately wrote some plots just because she wants some drama mixed in. For most people, it's definitely alright, but for me who's tired of any drama, it's a minus thing.

To put it in more detail, then I will say it in:

First, as the chapter went on, the author spent times waaaay too much to praise the ML. Okay! I know it, the protagonist must shine, the ML must be cool and strong, I know it! LOL. But, the way the author went to praise them too much, in every single case, with the author making the statement of "oh, I meet a Great God, I can win by lying down", when they meet ML and MC, that was repeated in every case, EVERY CASE, by so many characters, either the soy sauces and even the supporting characters, I was so fed up, like:

"I know they must be great, and I know protagonists are cool, but can you tone it down, please??? It makes people feel annoyed instead if you overpraise some characters. Just write it casually and let the readers admired them judging by their actions in the novel instead of forcing the statement that they're amazing using propaganda in narration and outright saying by the Soy Sauce characters and Supporting characters... not just a few times but REPEATEDLY in every case and many scenes."

Overpraising. It is a detrimental thing when the novel is actually very good but the author makes the protagonist shines too much and repeatedly forcing the idea that the protagonists are amazing using the overpraises from other characters.

Then, this overpraising infected to the second problem, that is "Overshadowing".

The teammates in this novel actually have their own strengths and unique characteristics in them. I really like that. They have a certain charm in strange aspects. Regardless, they're still strong overall.

However, after they joined with MC and ML, their cool persona went down the drain and got overshadowed by the MC and ML. It's not because the MC and ML are too OP, but because the author herself that forcefully make the MC and ML shine the most, and deliberately make the other characters that originally are cool and interesting, becoming somehow lackluster and ordinary.

Yes, they still get stronger by each day just like how MC and ML are, but, to be honest, I can't seem to see their charms anymore with how much the author praise and make MC and ML to shine like a diamond, LOL.
Protagonist buff! The author annoyingly creates a protagonist buff that forcefully makes other characters' charms dim down when they got closed to the protagonists...

But, perhaps that feeling did come because there's a WHOLE LOTS of supporting characters close to the protagonist that even the authors found it difficult to care for them while also not neglecting the protagonists.

Next, the romance.

Oh, God.... the romance here is really, causing me to facepalm. It's full of second-hand embarrassment. Some people say it's full of sugar, then why do I feel like it's actually just awkward and... borderline childish? I mean, well, if you're still below 20 y.o, and still haven't read tons of romance kinds of literature, I guess it's true that their romance is sweet and fluffy. Yet, when it comes to adult readers, it's just full of second-hand embarrassment... something like, when a boy and a girl shyly peeking at each other, and then get shy all over again, that kind of romance.

In the end, their romance is what makes this novel different from its two cousins, Earth Is Online, and I Became A God in A Horror Game. Those two novels have calm, and clearly mature romance. You will know that the MC and ML there, are adult, with the way they deal about romance and relationship.

While this novel, clearly making you wonder if the MC and ML are 14 or 15 y.o boys, LOL.

It's not bad, but really, I can't handle tons of second-hand embarrassment.

Lastly, and the most disappointing one, according to my own taste. I have to say that I read BL stories mostly to find the excitement of reading A GUY, a handsome and definitely GUY I Repeat, somehow fall in love with another handsome and definitely ANOTHER GUY. To put it simply, my taste in BL couple is, two GUYS, who both of them make me admire them as a MAN, makes my girly heart to want and chase them. Therefore, if one of the guys was turned into a FEMININE one, then I can't worship them as a GUY, can I? It's gonna make me feel sour, and causing me to feel like I just read yet another GIRL and GUY romance, that I am not fond of.

So, in this novel, The MC at first was a calm scholar, described to be a handsome fellow, causing many girls to go red and blushing. It's a totally good character set and I really like it that the author gives us the justice that Seme or Uke is originally a guy. And handsome guys deserved to be pursued by girls, don't just make the Seme who is cool and pursued by girls, while the Uke was like a transparent guy, ignored by girls.

However! Again, starting from chapter 160 or something, at 8th of Hearts case, the author ran from her original setting and went into the direction of "FEMININE UKE"!!!! God damn it!!!!!!!! I was so annoyed, frustrated, and weeping for this! Why??????? Why author-nim, why??????

The originally calm, cool, and handsome Uke, was transformed into a feminine one. The author didn't waste words to make him more and more Feminine in action! Starting from he is very good at cooking, from soft speaking, from gentle like a mother, to blushing in many scenes, and even went to make a role-play of being "husband and wife" with the ML in one of the arcs, to finally make the MC like a damsel in distress need to be rescued by the strong ML!!! The author spent every effort to describe the "PERFECT AND IDEAL FEMININE UKE"!

There goes my favorite cool and calm handsome uke in the earlier chapters............ RIP!~!

I would like it if the MC indeed originally is a frail one, just like the novel "Peerless" where the MC was indeed so weak physically while only good at the brain, and could even be blown away from the wind, LOL.

So, why author????

Why author-nim?? Why did you break my heart away???? QAQ

Why did you break all my expectation, and why did you break all of your previous and earlier setting???

Why????

I got so depressed and frustrated....

This novel is good in general. If you ignore the exaggerated, the overpraising, and the creation of the protagonist buff, plus the second-hand embarrassment, then it's okay for you.

If you actually like femininized uke then it's also okay for you. For, things like that are actually just personal taste.

Because this novel's plot is really honestly good. <<less
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pephem
pephem rated it
August 1, 2021
Status: c52
Okay I normally think it's unfair to write reviews for novels that I drop because I feel like it's unfair to judge something when you haven't finished it and given it a chance to redeem/explain itself HOWEVER I literally cannot stop thinking about this even though it's been months and it's driving me insane.

The first few parts are fun. I got pretty into it and even had a good time putting on mood music while reading. (Some smokey bar noir piano in the BG during the poker scene is choice.)... more>> Then it hit the Financial Crisis arc.

Spoiler

So there's this mechanism in the 'game' where if you lose, you get sent to a punishment room that has some infinitesimal survival rate. It's almost guaranteed death. And up until this point, the reader and the characters really have no idea what that entails and it's a suspenseful threat hanging over the heads of the protagonists. Then, in this arc, the characters meet someone who has been there and survived and it turns out his punishment was....... wait for it...

To be... homeless for two weeks. That's right. The.000000001% survival rate challenge is. Homelessness. For like not even a month.

Okay. Did the author forget that real life homeless people exist.... ? Question mark.

I mean I was already baffled by this whole arc because it's like 'survive for x amount of time in a city facing a financial crisis but you start out with a butt load of money and it's not even that long of a time period to have to survive for.' And I was sitting there, unemployed, in my pandemic quarantine room that I hadn't left for months, eating my one daily allotment of instant noodles for the nth time. And I get to this point and I look around myself like... Am I supposed to take this challenge seriously?????????? Huh??????? Have none of you suffered even a little bit before???

Then the punishment room hit and I was like okay the bad writing is getting worse. But I can keep going it's not completely hopeless yet. BUT THEN. The angelic beautiful singing voice teenager who survived TWO WEEKS OF HOMELESSNESS (wow) tells our protagonists that he did it.......... Without stealing.

Because that would be wrong.

...

It's SO so important not to steal from NPCs in a life or death game with a.0000000000000000001% survival rate even if you just steal like bread or something. /sarcasm

???????????? WHY?????????????

What a bizarre moral bottom line.

And the adult protagonists are like yes that was the correct moral decision and it's because of this that you deserve to live and not because you're a minor in a life or death game. If you had chosen to steal we wouldn't care if you died. You can be on our team because you are a beautiful and pure youth who is attractive and can sing and who knows how much more important it is to maintain your morals (of not stealing like $10 worth of food) than it is to survive. That's the guy we want on our survival game team.

Absolutely baffling.

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Anyway I immediately dropped it. I couldn't do it. It was not only preachy and moralizing but in a way that was completely absurd and totally detached from reality. This might seem really petty but it broke the immersion so hard for me.

How can you write a story realistically depicting what someone would do to survive a situation like this when you won't let them commit even the tiniest, most inconsequentially morally gray actions? What kind of naive sheltered life is this author living? Do people really have this kind of unrealistic expectation for human beings under intense stress? It wasn't even that intense of a situation!!!! Why did you build it up so that it seemed like it was!!!!!!

I'm not joking when I say this continues to drive me insane even though I stopped reading this novel ages ago. I don't understand this kind of thinking at all and it makes me indignant whenever I see someone praise this novel or even if I just like. See its name. How can anyone take this seriously? I really can't suppress the compulsion to complain about it to someone anymore. <<less
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astrobabe
astrobabe rated it
September 23, 2019
Status: c133
Like everybody else, I love love LOVE this novel. I'm reading it everyday as the author releases new chapters. For all the people wondering, the "romance" or the very, very beginnings of it starts in the Spades 4 room. There have only been inklings but it's cute and funny.

Edit: *INTENSE CACKLING* Idk if the readers got antsy for the BL but the author started adding in a lot of sugar. ... more>>
Spoiler

Lots of mild, fluffy stuff like blushing and sweet thoughts. They're still not together, but it doesn't even matter.

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Besides the general suspense and thrilling aspects of the novel that goes hand in hand with them solving mysteries, overcoming puzzles, and trying to generally survive against the rooms as well as unforeseen circumstances, I really like how the author uses the rooms to address heavy subject matters like r*pe or abuse of power and some other stuff. Also straight up dunks on stallion novels LOL.

The characters are wonderful. They're just generally well-intentioned, likeable people in a bad situation who happen to be super capable. I wouldn't say they're the most original by any means, but you can't help but root for them anyway and enjoy their dynamic.

I don't think you'll regret reading this one... well, except for not being able to find out what happens next when you hit the wall of available chapters T_T. Happy reading! <<less
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Achiless
Achiless rated it
March 16, 2020
Status: c143
Story pretty good. The survival games are in between mindgames and survival, like both are included. All survival games are also really original and enjoyable. One of the best survival themed novels I've read.

Also the CP is on point. No fast romance, which is good bc you can see their feelings develop. You'll definitely feel the change in feelings of the MC and ML towards each other.

BUT at a certain point it gets so cringe. Like "his hart felt warm when he saw his teammates following him without a second thought...", "looking at... smiling, his heart felt warm..." and "He almost got fooled, but thank god... was by his side. He looked at... sideways and his heart felt warm" or something all the time. Bro get your heart checked... more>> on.
Also at a certain point the MC will explain the situation or their way of sovling a problem WAY TOO detailed and sometimes even repeatedly in a way as if the target audience are elementary school kids. Like I appreciate it, but I'm not that s*upid. It's such a turn-off that I deducted a star.
Another thing is that the environment the characters are in is always ideal. Like oh, do you need a toilet (something readers won't even think about themselves) ? This side-character just has a toilet card. Going to the restaurant? Best seats near the window available. There are lots of these events that are just way too perfect and therefore cringe, but I won't mention all because some I suspects some will have something to do with a plottwist concerning how the cardroom world works.

HOWEVER Card Room is a must-read regardless, because of the story itself. <<less
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mallowmochi
mallowmochi rated it
December 14, 2020
Status: c6
I tried reading once, I fell asleep. I tried reading twice, I fell asleep twice. The writing style is too redundant. Well, I'll understand if a thought was repeated for emphasis or summary BUT MY FRIEND as long as there was some "analysis" which is actually not that deep there is a freaking paraphrased paragraph (not sure what to call it but it's like active tone it became passive but same thing was said) and sometimes there will be another paraphrased paragraph again because idk the more the merrier like... more>> dude. Then I see all these 5-star review and like what the hell did I read the wrong thing? I felt like I read Card Room for Dummy
Spoiler

and seriously 80 million people and you are the first who was calm and rare

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TLDR writing style redundant mystery not that mysterious 1 star for the translator (thank you) 1 star for the potential <<less
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Iwanttoreincarnate
Iwanttoreincarnate rated it
September 15, 2019
Status: c89
My favourite is heart rooms.I mtl because I can't wait and reached the latest chapter. Mtl is easy to understand except for spade and clover game rules. I like both MC and ml. Two supporting characters are good too. Recommend it to people who like The Earth Is Online. Right now, there is not much romance and only focus on plot.
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EUGEO SYNTHESIS
EUGEO SYNTHESIS rated it
February 28, 2022
Status: --
International Readers/ NU Readers, really disappoints me...

I mean how can you give a low rating and comment only based on the chapters you read???

First, MC is not picky or fair-minded person... But back to the reality if they want to make a good group, then they have to choose people who have good morals, That's the reason why they save people and judge each person's personality.

Second, why did they bring someone with a singing profession etc. That's because every card taken (a reward after completing the game) will be according... more>> to that person's profession or interest... Besides that, the mission of each card world is different, even though it has the same theme, but often have to do things from certain professions.

Well professions things will not stand out at first... But after their level of card room become higher, there will be more skills from different professions needed. That's why you can't just fill groups based on smart people or strong people.

Besides that MC and ML are not omnipotent as some comments say, even though they will remain as think-tank group, this doesn't change the fact that each group mate has their own expertise... For example,

Spoiler

Yeqi (Singer) where skills are mostly controlled enemy, there is also Mr. Shou (stock businessman) whose strength is in generating finances in the group, and Long Sen couple (Sports Teacher and Dancers) who serve as spy, and many more... Basically we can say that each teammate has their own advantages and duties

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Beside that, if you read this story in the original source (The Chinese One) you will know that every chapter will have lively comments, where they always praise each arc of the story, and every time there is a comment asking something like story holes and etc, then there will be another comments who explained that it wasn't a hole + the author himself would always add an author note every time there was a wrong detail, so this story almost didn't have any holes + flaws.

The only story arc that readers complain in this story is might be the last story arc, this is because the last story arc is considered too general... But over time, all comments will be filled with "Face Slapping..." (I think it was a type of slang in China ???) Because there are too many plot twists in it.

Last, This story should have at least a 4.8 rating... Only having a 4.6 rating is a real shame.

Note : I see there is a new comment ask "Among 80 million people, why only MC team who can get out of the card room..."

Actually there are two answer for this comment...

Spoiler

1. MC team is very solid, actually this is already been explained... The previous ML brother team also had a very solid formation, unfortunately they were not bonded emotionally, which caused them to fall apart from the start, and yeah this is the reason why MC have to judge each person's character before inviting them into the group... This is not meant to show the MC as the Marry Sue character, but rather to prevent the team from breaking apart when faced with difficult choices.

2. Turning back time... It could be said that if someone leaves the world of cards then the time in the real world itself will regress to a time when they haven't entered the world of cards... and considering of cunning personalities the guards have, then it's logical to say that no one has ever come out, because time is flowing backwards, which means they haven't entered the world of cards.

Remember the guards won't lie, but they'll never tell the truth either... So yeah, maybe there are some teams who might have finished the world of cards before, but due to the time travel things, rather than finished it's more like they never entered the world of cards.

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Prakruti000
Prakruti000 rated it
October 17, 2021
Status: c444
Somewhere in between 3.5 to 4.0. Sorry for my poor English.

I honestly accept that I really enjoyed this novel in some aspects. But I am not satisfied. To meet a happy ending,
Spoiler

To clear the card world and return to Earth

[collapse]
MC and ML must had to form an elite team of 8-15 people. The team members are well designed characters with not-shallow backgrounds. They could really make an elite team. But I think the author is fond of the main leads a bit too much. EACH AND EVERY TIME MC/ML achieve or solve something (even a small thing like filling the blanks of a poem) they would be praised atleast three times. One time by author, one or more times by their equally capable team mates, and again by author. The last time would be like explaining us readers the process of MC/ML cracking those puzzles and then concluding they are geniuses, Gods of literacy etc. Which was a toothache for me. I can edit 30-45 chapters from the whole which would only contain praising.

Spoiler

AMONG 80 MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, MC is the very first one who has mental strength, who could be calm and quick witted while facing a death challenge and at last, upright as hell. And of course ML should be included. This is way too exaggerated to me that I count it as a reverie.

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I am not fond of these the-only-one-in-the-whole type of OP characters.

    • Characters are OP. Then they should definitely shine among others. I can understand. But rather than praising them again and again, if the author had just elaborated their actions and thoughts, leaving the clear imaginary picture of their intelligence and capability to us at once, the impact would be much more I guess. For example, in reality, if I see a talented person's achievements, I would appreciate, admire or even worship. But if they are praised repeatedly like they are the most capable person, something will definitely be aroused in my heart. I won't feel like in first case. I would be uncomfortable. Of course, for some people it might not be a problem, . After all, I am only expressing my opinions.
    • This overpraising of the main leads especially in team mates' view, had definitely brought a great impact on the team mates. It reduced their feeling of capability, impact of their presence, the hopes I put on them etc. Especially the sentences like "lying down and winning", "hugging the male gods' (main leads) golden thigh". It reduced the significance and value of team members but not male leads. Later, I didn't feel their team strength at all. If they are elite team, none of them should be felt inferior or dependent like an incapable person. I think I really thought of this team very highly. I didn't feel their strength, tacit understanding, connections, anything. I was satisfied by those four seniors
      Spoiler

      Tang Ci, Lu Jiuchuan, Spider Goddess and Lod Gui. They are also an elite team.

      [collapse]
      They looked like an elite team. None of them felt powerless, dependent or dumb. But I felt their connection.
    • Next, the romantic relationship. At the starting, MC was super smart, decisive, quick witted, ADULT, MATURE, UNDERSTANDING and MANLY. Later, when he fell for ML, he became girly and more and more OOC. He would easily blush, become extremely nervous, shy easily at ML's glare, which didn't fit his character at all. Even if it was his first love, behaving like a shy full teenager who got his first crush was extremely funny and annoying at the same time. This attitude suited Ye Qi (second MC) more than him. The same thing happens in many other novels. I don't understand why should the authors change the character only to create a "cute" lovestory even if it doesn't feel in that way.
    • I'm really not into ML. Although he was interesting at starting, as the plot progressed, he felt more obsessive, possessive, selfish and dumb at sometimes which was also OOC. I was more okay with second pair.
    • Sentences, dialogues, processes and other explanations are very repetitive. If I had read it while I was half sleepy or absent minded, it would have definitely helped me in not missing anything. I skipped those repetitive explanations frequently.
    • There are some more things I am unsatisfied with but I hope they'd get better at ending. So I won't mention them.
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ylial
ylial rated it
February 9, 2020
Status: c483
The novel is really good!! ?

It is really entertaining, the story has only a little lapses. I really ship the MC and ML, as well as the secondary BL couples. Compared to other survival danmei novel, this one is really well written that when reading other novels, I feel bland and lacking... I'm really excited to see how they can escape fr the cards. Most notably, the MC, ML and side characters are not annoying.

The author really put effort in making the instances. I like the hidden instance of... more>> a combined 10 ♠️❤️♣♦ I really look forward to the next chapters. Will wait for another 100 chapters to be released before continuing to read. <<less
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trash_generalist
trash_generalist rated it
April 27, 2022
Status: Completed
This gets full marks from me! Ahh it has everything I like in a novel~ Complex characters, rich worldbuilding, and an exciting plot! The romance here is pretty good too~ Even though its a subplot, the progression is very natural and is closely connected to the characters' development.

CHARACTERS:

As mentioned, the characters in this novel are pretty complex! They also all have their own roles to play, it's not just the main character's KO-ing everyone and all the challenges. Everyone has their own strengths. Of course, some are stronger... more>> than others and have stronger presences but----- By the end, there's no doubt that you'll start to like everyone~

  • Xiao Lou (MC) : Our MC is a professor with a forensics background. He actually meets the ML way before the events of the plot start, but before their potential as partners could begin he gets into an accident and is pulled into the card world. Lucky for him, he's always been a fan of escape rooms and puzzles. He's also very knowledgeable about puzzles and has a relatively strong mentality. So, he has an edge over other card world challengers.
  • Yu Hanjiang (ML) : The MC is the captain of the criminal police force. This background allows him to stand toe to toe with the MC -- in fact, they complement each other very well! The ML is strong and has strong detective skills. He's also got that 'cold' but 'reliable' aura that makes people trust him easily while the MC has a flexible mind and a welcoming aura that makes people feel safe.
Important Side Characters (Minor Spoilers) :

Spoiler
  • Shao Qingge: The first key character to be introduced after the two main characters! His strength lies in money and gambling~ Maintains a very aloof and playful personality but he's a lot more crafty than he looks!
  • Ye Qi: Another key character. His strength lies in music and his strong mentality. He's one of the youngest and has a naive/pure kind of personality, but he should not be underestimated!
  • Liu Qiao: The first key female character~ She's the silent but reliable type! Also pretty young, but like Ye Qi, one must not underestimate her strengths.
  • Longsen and Qunyue: A married couple that came into the card world at the same time! Their strength lies in concealment and stealth.
  • Old Mo: A veteran of the Card World~ His strength lies in mazes and architecture (which is more important than you think LOLOL)

There are several other important side characters but they're introduced pretty late and will involve heavy spoilers so I'll stop here! My favorites from these are the Lu-Tang pair~

[collapse]

ROMANCE:

As mentioned, the romance is a subplot here! But, the impact is pretty high because the author does a great job developing the MC and ML's progression. As mentioned, the two knew each other getting into the Card World and after being pulled in, they find each other quickly, starting off a partnership that will last all the way to the end.

Side-pairing (Minor Spoilers) :

Spoiler

The main side-pairing here is the Shao Qingge/Ye Qi pair! They have extra chapters devoted to them, just like the main pair, and develop slowly in the card game~ They're a cute side pair and I love them just as much as I love the main pair. T.T so soft and so funny at the same time~ They're undoubtedly the burst of fresh air in this novel LOLOL always lightening the mood and bringing everyone up with their antics~

[collapse]

SETTING:

The Card World is a survival game -- I think that's the best way to describe it. All of the people that are pulled into this world are people that died. Upon death, they are given the choice to either pass on peacefully or struggle through the Card World (and be given the chance to go back to their old lives).

In the Card World, the Challengers must face four different kinds of challenge rooms:

  • Hearts: Mystery Challenges! (i.e., solving murder mysteries)
  • Diamonds: Puzzles and Mazes!
  • Spades: Survival Challenges! (i.e., surviving a zombie apocalypse setting)
  • Clubs: Ambiguously about gambling and making money (sometimes you're gambling money, sometimes you're gambling your life, most of the time it's both!)
And, just like a card game, there are several rooms for each type, specifically every card type. And the higher up the deck you go, the more difficult the challenges become. Starting from a D-grade room, all the way up to SS-Grade rooms.

PLOT:

After being pulled into the Card World, our MC struggles through the first levels alone, just like everyone else! Actually, he does a lot better than most, even breaking the world record of the first room he goes into. Only... immediately after breaking the world record, it's rewritten by the ML LOLOL!

The breaking of the world records (which is broadcasted to all challengers) allows the MC and ML, who are familiar with each other, to quickly team-up. And, from then on, they go on to challenge the rest of the rooms, meeting friends, family, and enemies along the way.

RATING:

My rating for this is between 4.8-5 starts, so it's practically a full score and the highest score I've given yet~ It's an undeniable favorite and I will definitely be rereading it in the future! The only reason I didn't give it the full 5/5 treatment is that I haven't actually read it through completely~ The official translation made it up to 500 so far (the rest is password locked), and I read the MTL up to 520? 530? seriously. After that though, the quality of the text made my mind wander LOLOL so I decided to just skim the rest and come back to read it another time. <<less
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A188
A188 rated it
September 1, 2020
Status: c79
I really didn't enjoy the novel as much as I wanted to. Ended up dropping it.

The MC is painted as this super smart person and side characters seem to be there just to praise the MC. For me this ended up as just annoying.
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Hualan
Hualan rated it
August 6, 2020
Status: c233
I came to this novel after finished The Earth is Online, which I absolutely loved, so I went to look for more "instances/survival" type of genre. In this book, there are 4 type of instances but the big ones are the Spades, survival, and Heart, mystery. They take up the bulk of the level because of how much stuffs happening there. It is pretty fun to read through it and try to find the mystery yourself. The puzzle and gambling card instances go through pretty fast, lasting only 1... more>> or 2 chapters or so, so it does feel a little imbalance but personally I find those to be least interesting so I didn't mind lol some of the puzzles involved chinese word game too so I couldn't get involved in it.

Now about the lead characters, the MC and ML are pretty smart people but they're not OP. MC is good at puzzle games and he's basically the big brain while the ML is the fighter. They respect and trust each others and help carry the burdens for what the other lack. MC is physically weak so he rely on ML in fights, while ML is strong at fighting but suck at brain puzzles so he just let MC figure out the puzzle stages.

They also will end up joining with other teammates who specialize in certain skills on their own like money making, someone who's good at crowd control when vs mobs in survival stage, or teammates who can spy and gather infos, or someone who's good with space and maze levels. Even tho the 2 main leads are definitely the stronger members, I like that the other teammates are also contributing to the team in their own way and there is no way they could clear the later levels with only the 2 main leads so there're no Gary Stu/OP leads just taking the glory. The team also have good trust and relationship with each other.

I've seen other reviews saying they don't like MC getting praised or he's too OP. I should emphasize that yes, while people do acknowledge MC/ML are smart/strong, once they pick up their teammates you'll will see people sharing roles to clear the tasks more.
Spoiler

For example, the bugs parasite chapter, the one who is the biggest help is the one who has no "fighting power" in the team, not the MC/ML.

[collapse]
Also it make sense MC/ML can clear mystery and survival instances because they already has experiences in the police force figuring out murders so it make sense. The world building is quite interesting with the 2 main cities, the different orgs, and the "free people." There are players who are complacent with their situation and want to stay in the beautiful cities instead of coming back alive while others want to get back home. There are also opposition who hunt down players and I'm interested in finding out the boss in the shadow as the story develop.

Now the romance between the leads is definitely slow burn. There's no hint of anything romantic until after chapter 100 which is fine. I generally like it when development happen naturally and I'm not too focus on romance anyway. The MC/ML knew each others when they were alive but they were not close. They joined up because they were familiar with each others and came to be close and start to develop their feelings. They're both single guys so the moments when they start realizing their feelings and trying to feel out if the other like them back is really sweet.

However, this is a plot focus novel, not romance focus. Their relationships is not the main point. The main plot is them trying to survive the games. While the later couple moments are cute, I wouldn't come into this expecting omg cuTe fLufF sQueAl. The murder mystery so far are pretty dark and contain mature situations like r*pe <<less
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BeforeYouWereBorn
BeforeYouWereBorn rated it
July 11, 2022
Status: c500
I have a habit of reading the story reviews before and after I read a story. Before is to determine what kind of things will I get myself into, and after is to determine which ******* vote badly or insult a novel just because they don't like a tiny part of the novel or have a weird standard on some things. But hey, liking is subjective, right? I understand.

Anyway, this novel is long and could be exhausting for some people to read, mainly because of the suspenses and tension in... more>> every room, but if you're ready for it, you'll be fine. There are a heavy work on the world building here and I truly appreaciate the effort. Not just world settings, but a clever and easy way that the author choose to determine the powers. Now, let's get into the true and false part.

Spoiler
  1. The novel is slow burn? Yes, but it's understandable. Both MC and ML seem like the type that will prioritize stability of their performance first and they got cold feet at first.
  2. The author emphasize too much on the protagonist's greatness? Hey, if I want to read the villain's greatness, I'm gonna go straight to "Daddy, I don't want to marry." I'm kidding. I notice heavy emphasizes on this, yep. But it doesn't bother me enough to drop the novel.
  3. Some facts are explained a few times in the novel? Yes, and I think it's understable. Don't worry, I know there are some high IQ readers among you who can instantly recall a fact whenever you want and have a photographic memory. But for those who don't, including me, it's not annoying. It's 500 chapters, the authors might have some pressure to make sure that readers are following the stories so I noticed a slip of previously known facts here and there during the story.
  4. Feminine uke? This is the most confusing one. Where? Since when gentle and soft speaking equal feminine? Oh my gentle ex lover, you've been wronged.
[collapse]

And there you go my reviews. I just want to give you an advice that reviews are just beacons. It will shed some lights on the novel, but it's definitely not the whole view. You might run into an iceberg, if you're not careful tho BAHAHAHA. Try to read it first and if it truly bothers you, drop it. However if you decides to write a review, read until the end. Reading this long novel, takes time, yes. If you don't have time, well... why? You have work to do? Then what r u doin? GET BACK TO WORK. <<less
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hejikkk
hejikkk rated it
June 16, 2020
Status: c137
(The mood of the synopsis is inaccurate, it honestly has a darker tone and is more focused on solving murder and other mystery cases lol)

The plot and world setting is really good, but sometimes the dialog and interactions just get kinda boring after a while.

I really enjoyed the beginning of the novel though, the cases were fun to follow and it was nice trying to solve the puzzle yourself. This is probably the selling point of the book imo, I'm quite impressed by how different each room is... more>> and how the author manages to come up with so many different story lines. The MC and ML are likable and smart. Truth be told, this novel might have been one of my favourites if not for some key points:

The MC and ML are a bit overhyped by the others. Like I lowkey feel like about 50% of the dialog by the other players is how they praise them (especially the ML) and how they can just lie down and win.

Also (unpopular opinion?) I wish they didn't add so many characters to the team. Probably a tactic to continue the progression of plot/character development and all, but I preferred it when it was just the four person group. There was more personality in each member and they could interact more closely. In fact, the recruitment of the later additions were so rushed, the actual subjects and villains in the instances got more development than them. Since I wasn't attached to the characters as much anymore, it just didn't become as fun to read.

Spoiler

i do love shaoqingge and ye qi though, their characters are a bit more unique and theyre really funny haha

[collapse]

Also is the fact that they become sooo overpowered later on, by how many cards they have. At first it was a bit exciting to see the MC and ML obtain the OP cards, but later, theres so much that I have trouble remembering them all and gaining new powers just becomes tiring.

5/5 for the beginning stages, 3.5/5 for my current stage. Don't let this review completely dissuade you from reading Card Room though, it really is an amazing story. I'm just kind of ranting out the parts I wish were different cause otherwise this would have been one of my top picks based on just the mystery settings alone. <<less
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erikvio
erikvio rated it
October 29, 2019
Status: c70
Tense mystery thriller.

The story follows Xiao Lou, a forensic scientist that gets trapped in a death game system after dying in order to get the chance to resurrect.

The closest comparison to this novel is The Earth is Online (if it was less fantastical and morbid), but I won't draw too many comparisons since I'm reviewing this fic in particular. Just know that you'll probably enjoy this if you liked EiO or wanted a version that is less intense/torture-p*rn-esque.

The setup is great for the games/mysteries. Since the challenges are organized around... more>> the theme of a deck of cards, the protagonists have to undertake challenges of increasing difficulty within different suits (hearts, spades, etc.). The suits have different types of challenges, which provides much appreciated structure and breaks in narrative tension. The heart (murder mysteries) and spade (survival) challenges are particularly tense, and take up the meat of the novel's word count. Clubs (pvp) can be tense or relaxed, depending, while diamonds (logic puzzles) are a fun break for the protagonist and for readers as well. This makes it pretty great for binge reading without getting burnt out by nonstop tension.

The challenges can be pretty harsh, and we're still early on. The mystery thriller vibe is a constant, and the protagonists are on the constant lookout for clues/information. Some scenes were actually pretty chilling.

The level of competency of the two protagonists is pretty exaggerated, imo, but if you've read similar power couple type novels, you'll probably ignore it pretty easily. It's nice that they aren't perfect, even as a duo, which allows for side characters to be relevant.

Their amazing luck with the gacha draws is a running gag, but I think this break from realism hurts the novel overall. At least the author is employing the rewards in creative ways. Personally think it'd be cooler if the leads were succeeding with tools still within the same realm as everyone else, just used more ingeniously; instead of getting super rare cards with great effects so the characters can be badass and for a running joke.

In fact, all the 'jokes' that break the rules and common sense of the world for the sake of humor were a weak aspect of the writing. It just brought attention to the fact that this is very much a fiction, which really broke immersion.

The relationship is definitely a slow burn. The MC and ML were only professional acquaintances before this all began, and it's nice seeing them slowly become more aware of one another. Emphasis on slowly. I probably wouldn't have picked up on anything if I didn't know this was BL due to the tags. They're easy characters to like, but I feel like we've only scratched the surface of these characters even 70 chapters in.

If I had a criticism, it'd be that irrelevant challengers are almost painfully two dimensional, and sometimes start fawning over the protagonists as big thighs to hold onto as a running gag (it doesn't happen often, only in club/spade). I don't think it was that funny, even the first time, and I think this is the type of novel where pointing out how cool they are makes them less so. Should've just let the actions stand on their own. <<less
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earlgreyt
earlgreyt rated it
February 28, 2020
Status: c300
(Reading the raws, but great translator).

I really really like this novel. This is probably the ONLY chinese novel I'm actually following the raws/reading the updates (I prefer already completed novels).

This novel takes a different approach from many Chinese novels.

... more>> One of things you start noticing quickly in CN is that they frequently feature extreme hyper-competitiveness as a positive thing (even [The Earth is Online] was not exempted), short-sighted thinking trumps all, and everyone is playing a zero-sum game.

But as science, data, and literally human history has shown us: Teamwork based on trust and openness, NOT hyper-competitiveness, creates the most productive organizations and is what advances society.

That's what sets this novel apart.

So if you like stories that feature:

  • lots of teamwork (eg. in group stages with many strangers, MC/ML frequently do their best to help everyone pass)
  • moral integrity (MC/ML were in law enforcement, so they don't do shitty things like stealing/massacre)
  • two exceptionally strong protags (MC is an OP doctor/forensic scientist, ML is an OP detective/special ops)
  • multiple arcs/escape rooms with puzzles, mysteries, murders & mayhem
  • slow burn, friends to lovers, (with almost mutual timing of "realisation" of feelings)
This is the story for you!

>>Response to another reviewer:

  • The earlier stages are supposed to be easy (with like a 70-80% pass rate or something for "regular people"). The MC/ML have an advantage in all the murder mystery stages because of their inherent jobs as forensic scientists + detectives. So yes, regular people can follow the police to solve the crime in the Bloody Maple Leaf arc, but that's intentional and it won't happen again.
    Spoiler

    For me, I read that arc as a "let MC and ML develop feelings in a relaxed atmosphere" type break arc, which won't be necessary in the future because they'll get a house and stuff. :D

    [collapse]

The stages absolutely get harder in the future, so don't worry.

Spoiler

I especially enjoyed the group stages, such as the one with the Zergs and the werewolf card game. Ancient times one was the best too haha.

[collapse]

One thought about the crime arcs:

Spoiler

A ton of the murder mysteries had to do with crimes on women, which I'm sure are very frequent... but it made me realize that Western crime shows like Criminal Minds, Numb3rs, Bones, Mentalist, Castle, Dexter etc. (ok yes, I've watched a lot of crime shows) don't write a lot of plotlines or criminals centered around using sex/assault as a means to an end, compared to the high frequency in this story.

I feel like it's a cultural thing? Most C-novels like to romanticize r*pe and Asia in general has terrible laws and enforcement around it. Although this story definitely does not romanticize it (in fact, condemns it), but almost all the murder mysteries so far were related in some way to like sex, cheating, assault, etc. (And what was that kink shaming in the train murder!)

Anyway, so I got a tiny bit tired of that, like change it up a bit! Where are those wholesome little sociopaths?! Or cannibals?!

[collapse]

Anyway, I'm leaving off the 5 stars because the book isn't finished yet, but I'm eagerly awaiting the next arc. <<less
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zenne_yourlocalface-con
I’ll just shorten this, it’s really good. Strong protagonist, strong ML, strong teammates, but they aren’t too OP. There are good characters and I like the plot.

What I dislike is how this is meant to be a BL with strong men yet the protagonist is portrayed to be so... feminine.

Especially in one of the instances where the MC and ML pretended to be husband and wife, he was portrayed more like a woman rather than a man. Aside from that, it’s good.
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XieJyun
XieJyun rated it
February 11, 2021
Status: Completed
This book deserve our five stars. And I don't know why it has 1 star ratings.

The author is done writing this book. And I have to say. This is so good. I am done reading this but I'll be back later again. I won't forget you Xiao Lou, Team Leader Yu, Chief Shao (the golden master, lol), Ye Qi, Luo Quiao, Old Mo, Qu Wangyue, Long Sen, Cousin Lu, Spider Goddess Jing, and Old Gu. The description of their cards are also unforgettable especially Xiao Lou's card. Ahh. That's... more>> all I can say. I'm still relishing the fact that it's done. The extras are also goooood. So fluffy. My mind is all over the place. My review isn't so good. Hahaha. <<less
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xiaoliyang
xiaoliyang rated it
September 21, 2020
Status: c238
You don't understand, this is one of those that got me hooked with mystery and infinite flow genre.

The story is so good, the world-building is superb, and the characters are quite likeable. This isn't like other stories were, with the main character and main love interest as the focus, the others are forgotten. No, in this story, they all have a role, which I find quite great.

You also don't forget to root for other characters, whether they are part of the main gang or not. You hope all of them... more>> survive.

Spoiler

I love each and everyone of the gang. In the latest arc alone, I love how salted fish Chief Shao aka Gold Daddy becomes the key in getting them their S-clearance. Wow. Look at that, even the littlest characters aren't forgotten.

[collapse]

The mystery is great. I love the Hearts and Spades Room for this reason alone. And the whole storyline about going home to reality and that there's a goal to every action... damn!! This is really top-tier.

This story is probably why I get scared of starting Earth is Online even though its written by one of my favourite writers. I heard good things about it, but I'm scared that it will not live up to it (especially when I read some spoilers about its characters). <<less
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