We are always on the hunt for two player games, particularly those that can work for couples. Love Letter was a particularly good find, since it blends deceptively simple game rules and quick game play with an hidden sophistication that revolves around doping out the other player (actually players, since the game can play up to 4 people.)
The game is multiple rounds of seeing who can get the “Love Letter” through. To do so, in Stratago like fashion, the player needs to be the one with the card that has the highest value at the end of the round. Since each player only has one card, that should be easy, right? The tricky part comes from what you do on your turn when you draw a card, effectively doubling your hand size. There are cards that will let you look at another players hand, that will protect you until the next turn, that will match your other card up with an opponent, with the winner surviving the round, and cards that if you guess what the other person has in their hand, will make them lose the round. (There are a number of rounds, so a quick win or lose isn’t enough to make anyone grumpy.) Another example of the interesting game play is that while the princess has the top number of any card, guaranteeing you the win if you can keep her until the end, if you are forced to discard her, you lose the round. The game ends up being mostly about doping out what your opponent has in their hand, from the small number (15 or so) cards that are in the deck.
We’ve played this one on one and with the family. While the Love Letter name might put off kids in an ‘Is this a Kissing movie?” reflexive icky reaction, there is nothing in the game that is actually like that at all. Instead, it is a fun game that is easy to figure out, but increasingly interesting to play the better you get to know the game (and other players). Loved by the 50+ year old
The game is $11.99 and comes in a purse friendly red velvet bag. We give it an 18/20 on the D20 ratings die.