Love Letter has proved to be a phenomenally successful micro game. It is quick to teach, learn and play - with players each having one card and, on their turn, simply drawing a second card and playing one of their now two cards and implementing its text. The game has spawned several imitations, as well as a seemingly endless number of reskins.
Love Letter plays two to four players. The Premium Edition is designed to play with five to eight players. When I first saw this at Essen Spiel in October, my initial reaction was quite dismissive. Is this just another attempt to milk yet more out of the original game? There were already well known variants combining cards from two packs to facilitate a higher player count, so what did this add beyond an expensive-looking box?
I played the game and any doubts were quickly dispelled. AEG hadn't merely published an edition with a duplicate set of cards, they'd developed an extended court with a nine new characters, each with their own special ability. What's more, the cards in this game are large format (5 x 3 inches) and the game comes with beautiful heavy-duty printed sleeves for every card. To complete the package, the simple wooden cubes used for scoring in the original have been replaced here with chunky wooden hearts. It's a fabulous-looking edition and it plays well, if not quite as fast as the original.
The new roles and their interactions have given rise to a few queries in play but these were minor and readily house ruled.
And, by the way, you can of course play the original four-player game
using cards from this version.