Love Letter: Review

OVERVIEW

Our Rating:

Love Letter is a game of social deduction for 2-4 players. The story of the game is that Princess Annette is heartbroken after the arrest of her mother for high treason and has locked herself away in the tower. Suitors want to court her to try to make her happy again, but the only way to get to the Princess is to send her a letter. The hard part is getting your letter to her, you must find someone else that has access to the Princess to carry your letter to have any hope of getting it to her.

KAITLYN'S REVIEW

My Rating:

Likes

  • Quick rounds
  • Micro game
  • Easy to learn/ teach
  • Great story elements
  • low price point

Dislikes

  • Only 2-4 players  unless you buy the premium version
  • Not a lot of strategy
  • Not a game you would want to play all night
  • Low role development

Intro/First Impressions

Love Letter is a micro game that involves using social deduction to deduce what card/ role your opponents are holding. To play, each player is dealt a card, at the start of your turn you pick up one more card and must play one of them which involves following the action stated on the card. The person with the highest card after all the cards have been drawn, or the last person remaining with a card wins that round and gets their letter to the Princess.

Love Letter Review

Thoughts

Other than on your turn, each player is only holding one card at a time. The action that they choose may or may not be a clue to which other card they have. Throughout the round you are trying to figure out what card each of your opponents are keeping secret to knock them out of the round. Each character on the cards has a different action such as guessing what an opponent has or comparing cards.

This brings me to one of the things I dislike about Love Letter. I find there is not much role development with your card. In general, the rounds are so fast and cards are changing so quickly, that you are mostly just keeping track of what has been played and therefore what they are not rather than what they are.

For this reason I prefer other social deduction games such as Coup, or Avalon because there is much more depth involved to keep your role a secret. In these games players are able to lie about their role and you can catch them making an “out of character” move. In Love Letter you must follow what your card says and therefore there are not as many strategic decisions to be made.

Often it is more of a guessing game than strategy, and when it does get into more of the strategy elements, the round is almost over.

With that being said, it is a great game for beginners or younger players. Once someone reaches the age that they can easily read the cards they would be able to play the game. Also we do still enjoy playing a game here and there even though the strategy element is somewhat lacking in comparison to other games we own.

Love Letter has come out in many different versions over the years. For example The Hobbit, Wedding edition, Letters to Santa, Archer, Adventure Time and more. For the most part game play is the same across all versions with only slight changes.

We have played both the original Love Letter Tempest Edition and the Batman edition and they both play the same other than the ability to score an extra point if you hold the Batman card and knock someone else out of the round. The added Batman symbols for points are also a great addition that we really appreciate.

I really enjoy playing Love Letter, the rounds are quick to play, about 3 mins, games can take a little while if you play to 4 points (each round you win being worth a point) but you can also just play hand by hand and not worry about the overall score. We really enjoy having micro games like this to either start the evening off with or to finish a night if there is not time for a long game.

Another thing I love about small games like Love Letter is that they are great to travel with, they don't take up much room in your bag or suitcase, and they are super simple to teach to new players. With that being said, it’s not a game that I would want to play for a whole night, while some micro games like Coup have been able to keep our attention for a larger span of time, i’m ready to move on after a full game of Love Letter.

I wish there was an expansion available to make it playable with a larger group. It is a game for 2-4 players and our usual group as the Hexagamers is 6 players which means we don't play it as often as other games in our collections. There is a premium version that works for 2-8 players but it is a lot more expensive than the original version. Also if you buy any of the special editions you cant expand the number of players. 

One of the final elements I would like to recognize is the story. AEG put a lot of time into the story behind Love Letter and also how it links to other games they publish. The game Courtier takes place before Love Letter, and Dominaire is set afterwards. While these 3 games are all in the tempest line, you do not need to own either of the others to play any of the games.

The instructions for love letter have a few pages devoted to the development of the story surrounding the games, when we first played we skipped over these to the quick start . Afterwards I went back and read through the full booklet and I feel they did a really great job developing the story. Some people are drawn into the backstory and feel that a game creates and if this is you and your gaming group then I would highly recommend Love Letter for you.

Conclusion

Love Letter is the perfect game for you if you are looking for something quick and simple to start off or add to your collection. The story is great and the different options that you can purchase are a lot of fun. It would also make the perfect gift for the gamer in your life and the price point is very inexpensive so its a win win! Let us know what you think of Love Letter in the comments section below and also any other games that you would like us to review!

About the author

Kaitlyn

I love playing board games with my family and friends! If i'm not doing that you can usually find me belting out a song or drinking way too much coffee! Check out my full biography on the about me page!

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: