Most helpful positive review
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic Game & Better Than AEG Version IMO
on October 26, 2013
First off Love Letter is a great little 16 card round-based game that plays quickly and has some really neat moments. That said this will focus on the difference between this and the AEG version that comes in the lil draw bag.
This version has more Japanese-like artwork that I honestly prefer over the more traditional fantasy AEG print. Some of the names of cards have changed, but the most significant change is the Countess (AEG) vs. Minister (Japon). The Countess makes you discard her if she is "caught" with the King or Prince and the Minister simply makes you lose if the total of your hand is 12 or higher.
Now a lot have complained that it's lame there's a round 1 loss condition in randomly drawing a Minister plus any 5+ card. This is easily avoided by just making a house rule that the Minister "kicks in" after turn 1. Plus the addition of him to the game makes any 5+ card just a lil more dangerous as you could draw a Minister at any time for instadeath.
There are also two promo Princess cards (nerd and prince) add some nice additional flavor.
So I'd say that unless you're really in love with the draw bag or the artwork of the AEG print to go with this one and soon! Especially as how this comes with some promo Princess cards that can be substituted in (the nerdy Princess and the Prince for the ladies).
EDIT: Added an explanation of how to play the game for the unfamiliar.
Effectively you're trying to get 4 love letters to the Princess by finding either her or her best confidants. How this plays is that each round you each are dealt 1 card and then 1 card is "burned" or discarded to the side (so as to somewhat prevent card counting). Play then rotates with each player drawing 1 card then choosing 1 of the 2 cards in their hand to play. This will usually entail you guessing what other players are with Soldiers or mucking up their hand with Wizards and the like. Anyone who's alive at the end of the round when the last card is played then finally reveals their hands and compare their numerical value. Princess is highest at 8 and Soldier lowest at 1. In my experience most games don't make it to the end as it can get pretty cutthroat. Super fast to play and I can't recommend this highly enough.