Love Letter Review

LoveLetterSPECS

Betrayal in the city state of Tempest! Queen Marianna is captured. Her gorgeous daughter, Princess Annette, is very sad.Her mother is her life. She locked herself in her tower and she does not want to see anyone. A knock on the door. “Your Highness! I’ve got something for you…”

Nederlandse-vlag

Overview

What you get for your money?

Love Letter comes in a beautiful red velvet bag (at least if you have the AEG ‘Tempest’ version) with the title written in pretty golden letters. This bag contains 16 cards, 13 red cubes, four reference cards and a booklet. The 999 games version, which I’ve also played, comes in a small box.

How do you play the game?

You are trying to cheer up the princess by sending her love letters with the help of some members of the court. The player who does it best, wins a round and gets a cube. The one with the most cubes wins the game. 
How do get your masterful letter to the princess? This goes as follows. As mentioned above, there are sixteen cards. Each player gets exactly one card to start with. One card is discarded and the rest of the cards form the draw pile. In a turn, you draw a card from that pile. On each card a member of the court is depicted. There are eight different people and each person has a value and a special ability. You then have two cards in your hand and you have to discard one of them and carry out whatever the text on the discarded card says.
As an example, if you play the lowest card, the guard, you may point at someone and guess which card the player has in his hands. With the baron, he has a value of three, you compare your hand with the hand of another player and the one with the lowest value is out of the round. The card with the highest value is the princess herself, she has a value of 8. But you may never discard this card, otherwise you are out of the round.
The game continues until only one person is left or the draw pile is empty. The player with the highest card value in his or her hand wins the round.

Review

Gameplay

Love Letter is a little filler game. The kind you take with you everywhere you go. The game is very well done. With little cards you have lots of interaction and a bit of thinking. 
You’ll try to figure out who has what by deduction and also mislead your opponents by bluffing.
The rounds are short, a couple of minutes. So if you have no luck one round, you’ll try again the next.
Lots of luck, little tactics. Expect no great decision making, just go with it, the game isn’t meant to be that way. 

Flavour and Theme

No theme here. The image, title and function of the cards have nothing to do with each other. This game can be done with any theme and looking at several pictures on bgg this is done by many people.

Looks

The illustration are beautiful: like a painting. All the games in the Tempest series look this way. Andrew Hepworth and JeffHimmelman did a great job here.
 
The velvet bag is very pretty. They could have done something better with the cubes though, little hearts or something like that (999 games opted for roses)..

The images on the cards in the 999 game version are a bit smaller and have a black edging. Slightly less beautiful, but not disturbing.

Quality of the game parts

The bag, the wooden cubes and the cards are decent. I have sleeved the cards though. Damage to the cards will ruin this bluffing game.

Fun

This game is quick and easy to play, everyone can jump right in. You can fool each other and have lots of interaction. 
The first card is discarded, a guard, and you point to your neighbour and shout: “Aha! You’re the princess “.  You see because of her big eyes that you’re right. She’s out of the round. Lucky you. She can try again in… three minutes.
Put it in your back pocket and take it everywhere you go. No one I’ve played it with was disappointed. Easy, short and lots of fun!
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