Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. But the Princess loves me, so there! Love Letter is copyright of Seji Kanai and AEG. Images used are for reference and commentary.
Love Letter is a travel-sized card game for 2-4 players…but a 2 player game is a dud game. You have been warned. It is fun, quick and easy to learn and play. Gameplay averages at 20 minutes.
In Love Letter, players vie for the attention of Princess Anette. The goal of the game is to get your love letter to the Princess without being caught. You are also trying to intercept the letters of other sneaky suitors. The game is a mixture of strategy and luck, and uses a small deck of 16 cards that may help or hinder you and your rivals.
Each player begins the round with one card. On their turn, they draw a second card and choose one to play. For instance, Odette the Guard may interrogate your rivals. If you play her, you must accuse another player of having a certain accomplice.
“Avast, fiend! I know you cavort with the Prince!”
If you are wrong, you look like a bit of a nob, but nothing happens. If you are right, the player must discard the Prince – their letter intercepted – and they are out of the round. The last suitor standing – or the one with the highest valued card at the end of the round – succeeds in getting their letter to the Princess and gains a token of affection. The game ends when one suitor has four tokens of affection and wins the heart of the Princess.
Love letter is a game of luck and deduction. It incorporates some bluffing, but not enough that it will hinder those without a poker face. Just those without a brain. The fact that is is small and compact makes it great for playing on the go, and it is accessible to even the greatest gaming noobs. Remember to read the instruction book inside, not just for the rules but for the rich backstory of all the different characters.
There are many other editions of Love Letter. There is a deluxe edition, with more cards and characters, and many other themed versions of the game. Each edition changes an element to switch up the gameplay, keeping interest fresh and allowing gamers to choose the version that best suits them.