Over the years, they have fallen from favour with popular culture, with video games rising to the fore. Video games may have the glitz and glamour, but you can have just as much fun with a group of friends sitting around a table with a few drinks, a few games, and a few hours.
For several years now, I have spent my Tuesday evenings with my friends playing the games we have bought, and over time we have amassed a large selection. In this series I will look at some of the more interesting and fun games I have on my shelves, in a hope that others will catch the ‘geek club’ bug.
Tonight, I’m reviewing…
What They Say
Win the Heart of the Princess!
All the eligible young men (and many not so young) seek to woo the princess of Tempest. Unfortunately, she has locked herself in the palace, and you must rely on others to bring your romantic letters to her. Will you reach her first?
Love Letter is a game of risk, deduction, and luck, for 2-4 players.
Get your love letter into Princess Annette’s hands while keeping other players’ letters away. Powerful cards lead to early gains, but make you a target. Rely on weaker cards for too long and your letter may be tossed in the fire!
Packaging and Quality
Love Letter comes in a plastic blister pack rather than a box, with a small piece of card in the pack acting as a temporary sales blurb for folks who don’t keep such packaging. The plastic packaging is not as inconvenient as most blister packs, in that it is a hinged, recloseable pack, but the fact remains it’s not really what gamers have come to expect.
Inside the packaging however is a change in direction. Instead of the cheap plastic packaging, the game itself is housed in a red velvet-like bag, with the name “Love Letter” embroidered on it. Inside the bag are twenty cards, thirteen red cubes, and a rule book.
The cards are of a high quality, slightly thicker than most cards, with sixteen being used for gameplay, whilst the remaining four are reminder rules for players. The cubes are wooden and don’t appear to have any inconsistencies. The rulebook is small but is printed with text large enough to read, and has some real nice flavour to an otherwise simple game.
The aim of Love Letter is to win the hand of the fair Princess. A romantic endeavour? It may seem so upon reading the description of the game, but in reality the Princess is a lady who tends to want to have a taste of all of the pies. She’ll accept love letters from everybody and anybody, and she makes her decision not on who she likes the most, but rather who pays her the most attention… But that’s beyond the point. To get your love letter to the Princess, you need to give it to the person closest to her at the end of each round.
At the start of each round, one of the sixteen cards (four in a two-player game) is secretly removed from the deck and placed in the bag. The players each draw one card. That is who they currently have entrusted their letter to. The number in the corner of the card is how close they are to the princess. The higher, the better.
Each turn, players draw one card, then choose to discard one of their cards, leaving them with just one card in hand still. Based on what card was discarded, something might happen. For instance, if the Prince is discarded, the player chooses any player to discard their hand, and draw a new one. Some cards might also force players out of the round, such as the Baron, or Guard. Once out, a player can no longer win. Once all other players are out, or there are no cards in the deck, the round is over, and the surviving player with the best card gets a cube.
At the end of the game, once a player has amassed enough cubes to have an unbeatable lead (for instance, 7 in a 2 player game), they win.
Love Letter is a simple game which can easily fill a twenty minute gap at the start or end of a gaming session. The retailer packaging is not great, but the red bag used to store the game is really nicely made and actually has a function in game also. Don’t let the sappy premise sell you short, Love Letter is a game of chancing your luck with a Princess of questionable morals.
Love Letter is produced by Alderac Entertainment Group.