We originally went to Toys’R’Us to by a a LEGO set, but they had nothing we wanted. What they did have was the cute little Love Letter pouches on a kiosk. We’d seen the Table Top Day play of the game on YouTube, and had been considering getting it. We wound up playing it several times, first with just two players, and later with the daughter. It supports up to four players, but we’ve not tried that yet.
The story of the game is that you are trying to get your love letter to the Princess, and the cards all represent people of varying distance to the Princess, with the rank of the card representing how close, from the Guard with a 1 to the Princess herself at 8. Every round you have to draw and play a card, and cards have powers that are triggered when you play.
A good part of the game is counting cards to figure out what is in your opponents hands — and as there is a hidden, unknown card, it’s rare when you can actually say what card is where with 100% certainty. You win rounds by having the highest card available when the draw deck is empty, or by being the only one left. The latter happens very often with the two player hands as there are several cards which force a confrontation that knocks out one of two players. You play rounds until someone has a majority of the tokens, and they are the winner.
The game is pretty fast, the two player game is exceptionally fast, some of the rounds are over one one play. Three player games have a bit of strategy to them, and I suspect the four player game is really the sweet spot, as it’s more likely to end with a showdown of cards instead of last-man-standing.
One thing that really intrigued us about the game is that it sits in a narrative sequence with several other games by the same publisher. We’re hoping to look at CABS for the others, or give them a chance. A quick glance on their website tells me that Love Letter is one of the simpler ones, which is also good — we like a bit of crunch and thought. Love Letter is light and quick to pick up, and good for just about anyone to play, experienced or not. There’s enough strategy/puzzling to keep you alert, and enough quick, random rounds to feel like anyone has a shot.