16 December 2015
Trust no one in your bid to woo the princess
AEG | Fantasy card game | 2-4 players | 20 minutes | www.alderac.com
“Once upon a time, there was a kingdom in which lived a beautiful princess. She was a sweet soul, kind to all and was thus loved by the whole of the kingdom. Several young men had fallen haplessly in love with the princess, but unable to enter the castle, all they could do was to send her letters of their affection. However, to their dismay, they found that letters from just anyone would not reach the princess. So the young would-be suitors set themselves on finding allies among the castles servants, so that they might deliver their letter to the princess personally”.
This is AEG’s introduction to its game Love Letter in the instruction manual and what a nice little bit of innocent flavour it is. What it doesn’t tell you that Love letter is in fact a cut throat battle of wits and chance between the players. Trust no one that’s the core of the game, because they are out to thwart any chance you have with the princess.
Designed by Seiji Kanai the game itself is very simple, when you buy the basic version you will get a little velvet bag of cards and some red wooden cubes. The cards represent the different servants whose abilities you can use to help yourself or try to knock your opponents out of the game. There are multiples of some of the servants and some are unique so in the mid to later stages of the game you will spend a lot of your time checking what everyone has already played in order to work out what your opponents may have in their hands. Although nothing beats guessing the princess on the first turn and putting someone out or in my opinion going after those annoying handmaids to try and get them out of the game early.
One of the first things about this game, if you’re like me, is the fantastic art. The original version has beautiful painted portrait style artwork on every card which helps to capture the time period in which the game is set. My favorite version however is the Kanai factory limited edition, which not only has extra and different cards but has a stunning Japanese watercolour style for the artwork.
This brings me to the final awesome thing about Love Letter... there are multiple versions of the game all based on pop culture subjects. Currently there are eight versions of the game ranging from the original to a Munchkin version and even a Batman one… I can only assume you have to chat up Catwoman. For the kids there’s even a letters to Santa edition of the game.
There is so much variety that would surely have something to suit most people and there’s more coming, editions based on the massively popular cartoons Adventure Time and Archer are due for release very soon so there’s no excuse not to own this fantastic little game. (Blair Fraser)
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