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Subject: Love Letter - A Five-point Review rss

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Sean May
South Korea
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Play cards to force your opponents out of the round or to ensure that you have the highest-value card by the end of the round. Gain a token if you win the round; first to x tokens wins (x depends on the number of players).

Aesthetics: 9

There's not a lot in this game, but what there is is very good. The artwork is lovely, the cards are well designed, the rules are concise and straightforward. I kind of wish the red cubes used as the tokens were heart-shaped or something more thematic, but ... they're a nice shade of red, I guess.

Gameplay: 8

It's a little confusing to play at first given that all the cards do different things and, as a new player, you don't know what they are or how they relate to each other. After a few plays, however, it is easily grokkable what cards your opponents might have and how you should counter their plays.

You only ever have a choice of two cards to play (the rules say 'discard', but really you're playing the card and then discarding it - it really annoys me that the rules put that the other way round: choose a card to discard and carry out its effect. If you're just discarding something, to my way of thinking, then you do not carry out its effect), so analysis paralysis is never too much of a factor, but neither is strategy. Knowledge of the total deck, therefore is your only hope for good play. Well, sheer luck is an option, too.

Interest: 6

The theme is a bit sappy - passing a love letter to the object of your affections - and really bears very little relation to the mechanisms in the game. There's a modicum of world-building in there, but not much. It does have a cis-male kind of perspective that may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the equal balance of male and female characters is a positive step (although the women in the game are either low-level (guard and handmaid) or high-level (countess and princess), with no one in the middle ranks). The game is very simple, but that makes it an ideal filler game.

Fun: 8

I enjoy this game quite a lot. The cards are nice, the deck is simple enough that you can hold it all in your mind at once in order to figure out your best option, and the pleasure of guessing right and bumping someone out of the round is great. Even being knocked out is entertaining, too, and you know you'll only be sitting out for a couple of minutes until the next hand starts.

Replayability: 7.5

Love Letter is perhaps my definitive filler game, especially with less experienced gamers.

Overall: 7.7

A fun, simple, pretty filler game.

I've retconned this review slightly to add one more category: Replayability.

The previous Overall score was 7.75
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Scott Mohnkern
United States
Germantown
Maryland
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Re: Love Letter - A Four-point Review
Captain Maybe wrote:
Play cards to force your opponents out of the round or to ensure that you have the highest-value card by the end of the round. Gain a token if you win the round; first to x tokens wins (x depends on the number of players).

Aesthetics: 9

There's not a lot in this game, but what there is is very good. The artwork is lovely, the cards are well designed, the rules are concise and straightforward. I kind of wish the red cubes used as the tokens were heart-shaped or something more thematic, but ... they're a nice shade of red, I guess.

Gameplay: 8

It's a little confusing to play at first given that all the cards do different things and, as a new player, you don't know what they are or how they relate to each other. After a few plays, however, it is easily grokkable what cards your opponents might have and how you should counter their plays.

You only ever have a choice of two cards to play (the rules say 'discard', but really you're playing the card and then discarding it - it really annoys me that the rules put that the other way round: choose a card to discard and carry out its effect. If you're just discarding something, to my way of thinking, then you do not carry out its effect), so analysis paralysis is never too much of a factor, but neither is strategy. Knowledge of the total deck, therefore is your only hope for good play. Well, sheer luck is an option, too.

Interest: 6

The theme is a bit sappy - passing a love letter to the object of your affections - and really bears very little relation to the mechanisms in the game. There's a modicum of world-building in there, but not much. It does have a cis-male kind of perspective that may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the equal balance of male and female characters is a positive step (although the women in the game are either low-level (guard and handmaid) or high-level (countess and princess), with no one in the middle ranks). The game is very simple, but that makes it an ideal filler game.

Fun: 8

I enjoy this game quite a lot. The cards are nice, the deck is simple enough that you can hold it all in your mind at once in order to figure out your best option, and the pleasure of guessing right and bumping someone out of the round is great. Even being knocked out is entertaining, too, and you know you'll only be sitting out for a couple of minutes until the next hand starts.

Overall: 7.75


Nice short review, if you play the Premium game, with 32 cards instead of 16, you will find that the female cards do start to "enter the middle"
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Benjamin Maggi
United States
Loudonville
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Re: Love Letter - A Four-point Review
mohnkern wrote:
Nice short review, if you play the Premium game, with 32 cards instead of 16, you will find that the female cards do start to "enter the middle"


In my opinion, if you add the additional 16 cards the game ceases to be a light filler (where is shines), and instead becomes a much longer game, but not necessarily a better one.
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Sean May
South Korea
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Re: Love Letter - A Four-point Review
Quote:
Nice short review, if you play the Premium game, with 32 cards instead of 16, you will find that the female cards do start to "enter the middle"


Thanks. I haven't heard of the premium version, but I played the Lovecraftian edition lately, which adds about ten cards, I think. It was an interesting update, but I'd want to play it again before judging it.

Quote:
In my opinion, if you add the additional 16 cards the game ceases to be a light filler (where is shines), and instead becomes a much longer game, but not necessarily a better one.


I can see that - the speed of the rounds is probably its main selling point.
 
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