Been a busy weekend playing some board games with family over this Bank Holiday, as you do when the weather outside is decidedly non-seasonal.
The first one I’ll write about takes a popular card game and adds some fun flavour with a popular cartoon theme. Adventure Time Love Letter is for two to four players, all competing to win the heart of Princess Bubblegum by making sure she reads your letters to her.
Rules of Love Letter
The game is quite simple really; players draw from a deck of cards with values from 1 to 8. The Princess herself is number eight, while Guards occupy the bottom spot in the ranks. With one card in hand, draw another and decide which of the two actions on the card you wish to play; these can range from seeing another player’s hand to swapping cards with them.
Players can be knocked out of each round in various ways, if you lose a one-on-one battle to reveal the highest-ranked card or if another player is able to guess what card you’re holding. From a deck of only 16 cards and three placed face-up at the start of every round, it takes some deduction and logic to be able to deduce what other players have.
Or, if you’re like me, your opponents just have to possess the ability to read minds, because that’s what seemed to happen every other round!
When the deck of cards has all gone, players compare their last cards and the one with the highest value wins – they are the one who delivers that all-important love letter. Alternatively, the last player left standing after eliminations is the winner, and takes one of the fetching jewels which come with the game. There are 13 stones, so it’s the player who collects seven in a two-player game, five in a three-player game and four in a four-player encounter.
Love Letter game design
While I’m not a fan of the tendency to reskin a traditional game and pass it off as new – the likes of Star Wars and WoW-themed Monopoly being two that come to mind – this particular take on Love Letter does have some great features. The deck’s designs are fantastically well detailed, with cards of our favourites Finn and Jake, plus the likes of Lemongrab and Gunter joining the fray.
In terms of the game itself, as I’m fairly new to any type of board or card game beyond the old favourites like, ahem, Monopoly, I really enjoyed this game. It’s easy to learn and difficult to master, as all good games are, and even the relatively small deck takes some time to get on board with in terms of strategy.
I’d highly recommend the Adventure Time variation of Love Letter to any newbie board gamers who are looking for something new and fun to play, and am myself becoming more and more intrigued about what else is on offer out there. This is a great place to start.