This is board game review 5
Love Letter from AEG is a small card game for 2-4 players. The game has a million versions (I wish I was joking) that are all more-or-less the same in terms of gameplay. Personally, I prefer the original Japanese version with translation. However, there are versions for all tastes ranging from Adventure Time to The Hobbit.
How To Play
The object of this game is to get four tokens of affection, or points, by winning rounds. Rounds consists of quick card play using the provided deck of cards. To set up the game, take the deck of cards provided in the game and remove the reference cards in addition to the two extra princess cards. With the remaining cards, shuffle and remove one card without looking.
The card removed will not be used in that round. Players are then dealt 1 card from the deck. A start player is decided and play begins. On your turn you do the following: Draw, play, pass. You first begin with the draw phase. The player should have two cards and now must choose to play 1. After doing so they pass their turn to the next person.
Cards are numbered 1-8 with each number having a set amount in the deck. The smaller numbers are more plentiful, but are considered weaker. The larger numbers, while more powerful, are often more dangerous to hold. In the traditional game, there are these cards:
- Soldiers: Name a non-Soldier card, if target player has card, he/she s out of the round. There are 5 of these cards.
- Clown: Look at player’s hand. 2 copies.
- Knight: Compare hands, lower rank is out of the round. 2 copies.
- Priestess: Ignore all effects targeting you until your next turn. 2 copies.
- Wizard: Target Player discards hand, draws new card. 2 copies.
- General: Change hands with target player. 1 copy.
- Minister: If your hand is 12 or more, you are out of the round. 1 copy.
- Princess: If you discard this card, you are out of the round. 1 copy.
What makes the game interesting is that a player is trying to force others out of the game in order to be the last one standing for that round. Players do this by using the cards to force their opponents into either making an illegal move, or by correctly guessing their hand by using the solider card.
Once only one player is left in the round, they gain a point and a new round begins. Shuffle the all played cards and remaining cards (including the one set aside card) to set up for the next round. Follow the same steps used at the start and continue playing rounds until somebody reaches 4 points.
Closing Thoughts & Where To Buy
Love Letter is a great game that can typically be played fairly quickly. It is often played 2 or 3 times in a row and has been a great amount of fun for all I’ve played with. I’ve had success with the game with people as young as 6 and as old as 80+. The game is so straight-forward that the concepts shouldn’t be difficult to grasp. The strategy required for the game may take some time to figure out, but it’s in no way a brain burner.
The game works well as both a filler between games, or even as a feature game with the right people. I recommend the game at a full 4 players, but it’s still fun at 2 or 3. If you haven’t played this one yet, you really should. It’s a solid game that is worthy of any collection.
I especially recommend this game to those looking for something on the lighter side, or something that plays pretty fast in between games. Any version should do the trick, that’s just going to be a matter of preference. Each version has a lot packed into its tiny package and is sure to offer hours of entertainment.
Love Letter can be found at Coolstuff here for $8.99. This version is the one that I have, but they sell the other versions at slightly different costs. They are all pretty much the same with only slight card or rule variances that don’t really change the game too much.
What do you think of the game? Fun or just plain over-hyped? Let myself and others know in the comments below. If this review was helpful to you, be sure to leave a like here. Consider following me here, via email subscription, Facebook, or over on Twitter @JS_Reviews to keep up with the latest on my site.