Love Letter Review

I bought this game pretty much on impulse one Friday between the rounds at an FNM. Later on I found out that this game is popular among MtG players between rounds in large tournaments in the US. I can see why. Its fast, and it hones certain skills needed in high-level MtG.

You are wooing the Princess of the city state. In order to do that, you need to find the person closest to the Princess to take a letter for you. If you manage to do that better than the others, you’ll get a token of affection and once you have enough of those, you win the game. This is a very simple game on the surface, but has a very pleasing amount of depth compared to the time it takes to play it.

Gameplay is easy enough. Each player has a card in hand. If you ever lose it, you lose that round. On your turn, you draw another card and play one the cards in your hand. Cards have functions, mostly having to do with gaining information on other players hands, as well as exploiting the information you have. Some higher level ones (those closest to the princess) have less useful, often harmful, abilities. Some can be used to defend yourself.

If you make mental notes, and keep in mind all the actions made by the other players, you’ll figure things out eventually, and with a little bit of luck, you’ll be able to win the round. Yes, there is luck involved, but its more about finding ways to get the most of what you have, not about relying on your luck (although, sometimes you can’t do anything besides counting on the top of the deck).

It definitely works for me, but it also works for less serious gamers. I recommend it. Pretty highly, actually, for a certain role: For killing time between playing something longer.

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