Love Letter

Overview: Love Letter is a bluffing deduction card game set in a middle ages theme (although there are several different themed version of Love Letter).  Players ultimately want to deliver their love letter to the princess which is done by playing a card that keeps them in the game or knock out other players.  The gameplay is simple, draw a card, then play a card and resolve its action.  Play continues until there is only one player left, or there are no more cards to draw.  In the latter case, whoever has the highest value left in their hand gets a token.  The player who receives four tokens wins.  love letter box

Love Letter is a short microgame that has spread the gaming community like wildfire. The simple gameplay, beautiful art, and deduction strategy are what draws so many to this game.  While there is a fair amount of luck involved (a player may play the guard and guess your card in the first turn knocking you out) but that doesn’t happen too often.  Players do have to be smart about their card plays, especially if someone has seen your card or has traded hands with you. As all cards played or discarded are public, the players can deduce which cards a player may have by the end of a round. Sometimes, a player may not be able to win even with this knowledge which is how the luck factors in.  However, because the gameplay is so simple, having randomness isn’t as much of an issue and is expected.

Another great feature of Love Letter is the small packaging.  A gamer may easily fit their copy in a pocket or purse, and the game itself doesn’t take much space.  This is one of the reasons why Love Letter is so popular, because people can play it on planes, trains, work benches, and desks.  New gamers will be attracted to the Love Letter because it takes about five minutes to explain the game.  It’s accessible to most types of gamers as it’s a great filler game between rounds of more hardcore games, plus a good gateway game if playing with non-gamers.  The only caveat about Love Letter is that it tends to take longer than expected with four players, especially if the opponents are always targeting the player in first. Aside from this, Love Letter is a great addition to every gamer’s collection.

Pictured is the Legend of the Five Rings Edition
Pictured is the Legend of the Five Rings Edition

2 Player Experience

Two player Love Letter is fun and quick although it is less interesting than four player because there is less than a player can do in their turn.  For example, if your opponent has played a protection card then that player may have to use a card on themselves, therefore causing them to get knocked out of the round.  However, because it plays so much quicker than four player, it is fun for a filler game or passing the time.

4 Player Experience

Love Letter with four players is intriguingly  fun.  There are more players to interact with which makes certain roles stronger or easier to use than in two player.  As there are more cards revealed it is also easier to figure out which players have which roles, especially at the end of a round.  Also, it’s harder getting knocked out by dumb luck which can help make the game more pleasant.  However, it does seem to take longer in a four player game than in a two player, especially if players are targeting the first place player.  Love Letter works well with four players if you expect a longer game.

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