Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holiday Recomendation 2014: Love Letter

One game.  I only have one game to recommend.  It's all I need.

In the past, I have written holiday game guides for the casual and family play group.  In that group of reviews you will also find some recommendations for Christmas themed games.  This year, there is a solution for both.

Promotional image from AEG
First, I will talk about the one game that should be on your list to give this year:  Love LetterThis is my best find of the year.  It really hits the best possible combination in a casual game for Christmas: fun, accessible and inexpensive.

In Love Letter, players are courting the young and beautiful Princess Annette.  Unfortunately, she is distraught over the arrest of her mother (this is actually part of a game series with a storyline, but that really doesn't matter).  In her distress, the Princess has shut her door to suitors, so each player must find someone of influence to carry their letter to the her Highness.

Fun.  I have now played this with all kinds of gamers: teenagers, hard core gamers, and family members.  Everyone has liked it.  It is a short game (30 minutes), but the victory points required to win (actually cubes representing the successful sending of a love letter in this game) could be increased to lengthen it.  We have played matches lasting over an hour, and the game didn't wear out it's welcome.

Accessible.  Take a card, discard a card, and do what the discard says.  Last person standing wins the round.   Play until someone wins a given amount of rounds.  That's it!  This is a game anyone can play.  There is text right on the cards which tell you what each card's discard effect is.  Once someone is old enough to read, they could play.  And, since there are only 16 cards of eight types, kids would actually memorize the cards fast enough to play anyway.

Inexpensive.  The game is less than $10 a copy for the boxed edition.  If you get the velvet bag version, it's less than $8.  Personally, I have the velvet bag version, which also means it fits in my pocket.  We have played it in restaurants while waiting for our waitress before!

Promotional image by AEG
And as for Christmas themed games - there is a Christmas edition!  The characters are not the same; instead of getting a love letter to Princess Annette, you are trying to get your list to Santa.  However, the game play is the same.  It's called Letters to Santa, and just came out a couple of weeks ago.  I snatched up a copy on the first day available, because there just aren't too many really good Christmas games out there. Finding one was great!

This game plays well with two, but really needs 3-4 players to shine.  It is a game that is great for a stocking stuffer, or as just a little something to give. 

If there is one thing I don't like about my experience with Love Letter, it's that I found it late.  I missed so much fun with this!  It actually came out a few years ago, and I just didn't try it!  Don't do the same!

It's Your Move,