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Subject: Board Games and Baseball Review: Love Letter rss

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Josiah Shanks
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One of the most surprising things to me is the number of people who play this game each month and record their plays on BGG. I'm perhaps in the extreme minority for this game on BGG. I don't play it very often. If I do, it's for a couple of rounds or to determine a start player for a given game.

Number of players: 2-4
Time: 10-30 minutes, depends on how many rounds you play
Type of game: Deduction, player elimination, hand management
Complexity: Low

How to play: This is a very simple game. Each player is dealt one card. On your turn, you draw a card and then you play a card. You then follow the action listed on the card. You then play until either all players but one are eliminated or until the deck runs out of cards (there are 18 cards in the game, iirc). Your goal at the end of the game is to get a letter to the princess by having the princess card in your hand at the end of the game or a card that is the highest number in your hand at the end of the game. You play as many rounds as you would like.

The cards are pretty straightforward and go through the game, fairly easily. The player aide with the game also allows you to keep track of how many cards of each one are in the deck so you can do a pretty good job of eliminating players.

Likes: The player aide allows you to make fairly informed guesses when you play the guard to be able to guess the card that another player has to eliminate them. You can keep track of the cards that have been played fairly well. It's an easy game to teach, we've taught it a number of times with very little questions. There are fractions of interesting decisions to be made, in terms of having players discard or guessing what cards they have. The player elimination with multiple players actually works really well to prevent people from winning running away.

Dislikes: If you play as many rounds to get the majority of the jewels that the game includes, you will be playing this simple game for about 30 minutes which is just too long. The game is almost all luck. There's not a lot of skill in determining what cards you have or a way of managing it.

2 player variant? The game works alright with two players. You take out more of the cards and lay them face up so that you can keep track of what cards have been taken out to simulate other people playing. That is all well and good. There's not a lot of room for protection with 2 players which makes the elimination quicker in this game, I do like that, as well.

Overall impressions: My biggest complaint with the game is that the game gets old fairly quick. I like the first round that we play each time. With each subsequent round, I like it less and less until I'm actively rooting for whoever is in the lead to win the game. That's why I primarily use it as a one round affair to determine the start player. I do not like there's not a lot of decisions to be made in the game and you can easily be eliminated by luck. If you want to help people get in the hobby, I would play a round or two of this or even first one to two wins. It's a nice introduction to get people ready to play games. But other than that, I can't recommend it that highly. I think, overall, someone played the guard and eliminated Love Letter. Too Many Cinderellas has largely replaced this game for me in this niche.

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