When is Love Letter a different game? Infinity Gauntlet pushes this argument to the limit.
I love me some Love Letter. A fun and light filler game, I have spoken about it a few times. Check out my thoughts on a lot of the Love Letter games here. Now Marvel has gotten into the theme, and Infinity Gauntlet has gone one step beyond a theme upgrade.
How? Love Letter has turned into a one-vs-many game! One player takes the role of Thanos the Mad Titan, and the others take turns playing different heroes trying to defeat him.
Wait, how is that Love Letter? I thought the point was not to play the Princess?
See what I mean about pushing the limits of what constitutes a Love Letter game? Making this a competitive/cooperative experience certainly changes the feeling of the game. That said, it has sparked my interest.
The goals in the game are intuitive to anyone that has watched the Marvel movies. The heroes are trying to knock Thanos’ health to 0 before he can do the same to them. Or before he can collect all of the Infinity Stones.
So how do you fight in Love Letter? I remember the Baron starting a score comparison, but combat?
Well, you have the right comparison. When you initiate combat, you compare the card in your hands secretly, and the person with the lowest number is defeated.
Unlike Love Letter, in Infinity Gauntlet there is no player elimination though. The losing team (heroes or Thanos) loses a life point, and the defeated card is put down and replaced.
Thanos has six health, and heroes have an amount determined by the number of players.
How do you collect Infinity Stones?
Here lies another big difference between Love Letter and Infinity Gauntlet. The heroes and Thanos have their decks, and the stones replace characters for individual value cards.
When a card is played (discarded in the original rules), the card is placed in front of the player. So Thanos can be finding and playing Infinity Stones from their deck, while heroes are doing everything they can to thwart his plans.
But Thanos doesn’t have to play all of the Infinity Stones to win. Thanos players get to hold two cards in their hand instead of one before drawing, so they can keep a couple back for hidden information.
Once they can reveal all six stones, the player reveals and then snaps their fingers, winning the game. So we all get to recreate ‘The Snap’!
But I have Love Letter, why would I want this one?
Usually, that would be my stance. If you have Love Letter or a variant you like, that’s often all you need for your shelf. For a game with similar mechanics but a different experience, I would suggest Lost Legacy from Seiji Kanai, the creator of Love Letter.
But talking about the rule changes here, this feels like a very different game is on offer that the ‘a Love Letter game’ hides. I would have looked at a Marvel skinned Love Letter sure, but I wouldn’t be excited about it. Not like this.
One-vs-many games also usually put a lot of pressure on the ‘One’ player, as they have to act as game master and rules lawyer while trying to play as well. Infinity Gauntlet fixes this problem, as they are mostly playing the same game as everyone else with their own deck. This makes switching the Thanos player for multiple plays super easy.
Also, because Love Letter is such a simple and fun game, a long game is usually around 15 minutes. Plus you can play Infinity Gauntlet with up to six players, including more people, and no one can get knocked out first turn!
So at the moment, Z-Man has only announced the Infinity Gauntlet is coming. You can’t order a copy just yet unless your local store has it available on preorder. But when it is available, the low price point will make this an instant inclusion in my monthly games order. When I have it, I will tell you all about my thoughts on Infinity Gauntlet then! 😀
Until next time,