What is the relationship between Luke Skywalker, a love letter and Thanos? Love Letter is of course, an excellent card game that taught me not to hate the moment, but to appreciate the chaos.
Love Letter is a game with great mechanical charm. It is a small deck of cards with a velvet pouch, which is very easy to carry. It is small enough to fit in a pants pocket, but can be played by up to 6, with a game duration of only a few minutes, which of course we are encouraged to play liberally. Even on a table, it takes little space, in short, the ideal game to get in all situations.
The Love Letter comes in three variations, with the Marvel Edition and the Star Wars Edition. There are other editions, such as Love Letter Munchkin, but the latter is just a simple change of theme, where the other two also change the way it is played.
But before we get into Star Wars and Marvel, let’s first remind some stragglers in the corner out there, what this game is all about.
One or the other
Place the deck of cards in the middle of the table and place one card face up before dealing one card to each player. The first player (The last one to kiss the love of his life. If it’s not marked, it should be!) draws a card. So he has two cards in his hand, he chooses one, puts it down and applies the effect it shows, and keeps the other. There are 10 different cards in the deck, several of which can directly eliminate a player. Take the guard for example, it is only the value 1, but it allows you to try to guess which card is an opponent’s hand. If your guess is correct, the targeted player will be eliminated from the round, it’s that simple!
Since the number of cards is limited and everything is open, it is easier and easier to guess what the opponents have when the game is difficult. Counting cards is part of the game, and so spread your cards on the table so that everything remains visible! If the deck is empty, players are still alive compared to the card they are holding. The one with the highest value wins the round.
Games are very rare, especially with a small number of players. Most of the time the players were eliminated before.
The games are fast (5 minutes), we don’t stay offside for long. The winner wins one token and we change one round.
amberss the dark side
In fact, the tactical level of a part of Love Letter is highly questionable. In the middle of time, we die without making the slightest decision that affects the round, some situations do not even leave us with any option but to commit suicide! On the other hand, some games drag and come to situations where a good call, a good understanding of the game, or a good bluff determines the outcome of the game. Love Letter games vary greatly between absolute injustice where we laugh at the impossible, and suspenseful games where the players hold each other until the end, like duelists waiting for the signal to fire.
True, Love Letter is very random, but how delightful it is. And with such short sleeves, there is no time to be bored!
Love Letter: Jabba’s Palace is not a great variant. There are many of the same cards, but dressed in the version of Star Wars, divided into two camps, the mercenaries and the rebellion, which are still mixed. Mission cards are an interesting addition that change the victory condition when the deck is empty, which is especially relevant in games 4 and +. There are more knockout cards, including some very brutal ones, such as Rancor which kills the player with the weakest card, or Jabba, which kills a player if they have a rebellion card in their hand. This version is more direct and faster, therefore more dynamic in the eyes of some. Some of the new effects are pretty cool, like R2D2 allowing you to see the hidden card at the start of the game, a change from its priest equivalent that allows you to see the card to another player, who was unable to do any of this information*.
* Note from Yored: Except the player’s next turn to eliminate a guard if he keeps his card in hand.
Love Letter Marvel’s Infinity Gauntlet deviates further from the base version, and pits multiple players (The Avengers) against just one (Thanos). Each team has its own deck. There is no direct elimination, instead players have hit points. The game heavily revolves around battles between players and Thanos. The involved player compares his card with Thanos’s, whoever has the weakest loses a life point. Of course, Thanos has a lot of advantages for him, he has slightly stronger cards, one more card in his hand and an alternative victory condition: If Thanos manages to collect all the Infinity Stones in his deck, he immediately won the game. So the Avengers will organize themselves and act quickly. They cannot communicate, but can share bonuses that increase the value of their next card played, or their allies draw. Without the possibility of immediate loss, the games are a bit higher on average, but the game is pretty well “balanced”, with a mixture of games that run perfectly one way or the other, as well as some tight games that will leave players in the teeth.
An undisputed classic
All in all, regardless of the form and theme, Love Letter is actually a great game, an easy recommendation for anyone. Understanding each card may take a little time, but once the cards are there, all you have to do is put one of your two and apply its effect, making the game very accessible. Although the classic version remains my favorite, the Marvel and Star Wars versions are excellent variants that change games well. I can only cross my fingers for an upcoming change in one of my favorite universes.
2 to 6 players,
10 years +
5 to 15′
Author: Seiji Kanai