Lord of the Board

Spreading the love of board games one meeple at a time

Love Letter

Even though I’m not technically a mother yet, Justin took Mother’s Day this past weekend as an opportunity to buy himself…uh… I mean, me, a Mother’s Day gift.

Justin and I had visited Board Game Warriors in New Westminster and the owner suggested we try out a game called Love Letter. There’s a little sticker on the front that says, “The Hit Game from the 2012 Essen Game Fair.” We didn’t see Love Letter while we were in Essen, but for less than $10 we were interested to try out a new game to get us through yet another rainy Vancouver weekend.

So, come Mother’s Day, Justin gave me Love Letter as a gift (wrapped in newspaper, of course) and said it was from our unborn child. Now, I don’t want to be one of those parents who forces interests on her child, but at least until our little one is able to dip his hand in paint and press a print onto paper, I have a feeling that all of our gift-giving holidays will be filled with board games “from baby.”

We didn’t get a chance to play Love Letter until bedtime, so we actually just had a quick game right on top of our bed. It was easy to play this way, and makes me think that, together with it’s small size, this would be a great game to take traveling.

Love Letter’s theme is quite a bit more complicated than the gameplay. The instructions come with a little story and the object is to get your love letter to Princess Annette to bring some joy in to her life after her mother, the Queen, was arrested for high treason. Don’t let the theme and very complicated back story put you off though, it is a fun and simple numbers game. Most of the time, I didn’t even think about the theme, but I don’t think the game would be as good without one.

Love Letter's 23 page instruction booklet - don't worry, it's mostly story - and cubes to mark the winner of each round.

Love Letter’s 23 page instruction booklet – don’t worry, it’s mostly story – and cubes to mark the winner of each round.

Like many card-based games, most of the instructions on how to play are on the cards themselves. Gameplay is simple: a player starts with one card, and picks up a second. He then decides which card to play to try to get his opponent(s) out of the round. The player who wins the most rounds out of 13 is the winner. The player whose remaining card has the highest value at the end of the round is the winner. Justin and I played the two-player version, and never made it to the end of a round. Instead, we were able to get one another “out” by playing cards that forced the other player out fairly quickly.

IMGP0322

Handy little card to help players remember how many of each card is in the game.

Justin won the first game, but even when I was pretty far behind I was able to catch up quickly if I could get a good card in my hand. At one point, when he had one 6 rounds and I had only won 3 (and it was first to win 7 to win), I felt discouraged, but I got a good card and was able to win 2 more rounds before he won his 7th. I usually like games like Dominion or Stone Age, where you don’t know who is winning until the end, but that doesn’t always happen in 2 player games.

Some of the cards in the game. I found the Princess a very difficult card to have in my hand.

Some of the cards in the game. I found the Princess a very difficult card to have in my hand.

Overall, I like Love Letter. I’d be really interested to see how it plays with 4 players, so we’re going to have to have a couple of friends over soon to try it out. I like that it was a good price, and easy to learn. Plus, it’s always nice to have more 2 player games to pull out while waiting for dinner to cook.

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This entry was posted on May 17, 2013 by in Reviewed Games and tagged , , .

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