Back in the days when I would go to a weekly games night, there was a small game that got played more than you would think. That game is Love Letter, original or a variant.
Small, quick, and great for playing while waiting for people. While playing ‘bigger’ games with players being knocked out, downtime can be a drag. While waiting, you can float in and out of games of Love Letter pretty easily.
Well, I am still not healthy enough to be around people comfortably, but I do have Love Letter on Steam. So I tried it on the Steam Deck!
Love Letter is simple to learn and teach. You always have one card in your hand, and on your turn, draw another. Then, pick which card to play by putting it in front of you.
Each card has a value (1-8) and a power. The powers are printed on the card, meaning you don’t have to memorise too many rules.
Winning Love Letter means being the last person with a card in their hand, or if you make it through the deck, have the highest numbered card. That’s it. Love Letter is simple but in the best way.
The digital Love Letter scratched an itch for me. After a week of playing literally nothing while sick, I was keen to play something. The main draw of Love Letter for me is the social aspect, something missing from the digital version.
But if you see it on sale and are curious, the Steam version is fun. You can play online against other people, but if you can do it with voice chat (Discord maybe?) you will likely enjoy it more.
There are a few Love Letter variants I enjoy. Batman Love Letter scores you points for using the Guard power well. Archer Love Letter involves swapping a burned card, making card counting more interesting.
My favourite version is also my least played. Love Letter with a Lovecraftian flavour, Lovecraft Letter involves 2 decks and plays up to 6 players. You want at least 4 veteran players for Lovecraft Letter, which can be harder to swing.