10 April 2019
Not quite as micro
The next edition of microgame hit Love Letter is getting slightly less micro with the addition of five new cards – almost a third of the original’s slim 16-card deck.
The revised version of Love Letter introduces two new characters to Seiji Kanai’s snappy game of bluffing and elimination, where players pick up and play just one card each turn to try and be the last person left standing in the queue for the princess’ affections.
The Chancellor lets players draw two cards, keeping one and putting the other two on the bottom of the deck in any order they like. With a value of 6, the Chancellor is relatively high up in the pecking order – with its ability to control the deck somewhat in the final rounds, it seems like a card with the potential to dominate the late game.
The Spy, meanwhile, is bottom of the pack with a zero value. But the character is also equipped with a powerful ability for the long-term game, allowing a player to claim an extra favour token (the game’s equivalent of points) if they were the only person to play or discard the card that round. The low value makes it a risky card to hang on to, but revealing it earlier could be a mistake if another player manages to pick up the second copy of the card in the deck.
As well as two copies each of the new characters, the new Love Letter adds an extra Guard – the one-value character that makes up the bulk of the deck and allows players to guess at their opponents’ held card to eliminate them instantly. The expansion of the deck up to 21 cards lets the game be played with up to six people rather than the original game’s maximum group size of four.
Love Letter Premium and Lovecraft Letter also featured expanded player counts and new characters with gameplay twists, but came with similarly inflated boxes that detracted from the original’s strength as a fast, portable game – the new edition will come in a pocket-friendly pouch.
The upcoming version of Love Letter, which is due out later this year, also revamps the medieval-inspired artwork and adds a broken wax seal on the back of the character reference cards that can be revealed once a player is eliminated, to make it easier to track who’s left in the game.
There’s no word on price yet, nor whether the changes will eventually find their way into Love Letter’s endless variety of spin-offs and reskins, which range from The Hobbit to the much-beloved Batman Love Letter.