iOS, Android, PC/Mac •
We’ve been fans of Nomad Games since the early days when their only title was a solitaire take on Talisman. Since then they’ve been the developer of Talisman: Digital Edition mainly with a few other games tossed in here and there. There was a Fighting Fantasy gamebook and, more recently, a digital version of AEG’s Smash Up. Over the past few months, however, they’re really spreading their wings and hitting the digital board game scene hard. In June they announced that digital versions of Mystic Vale, Cat Lady, and Space Base were in the works and today they dropped an even bigger, juicier morsel: AEG‘s (and now Z-Man’s) mega-hit, Love Letter, is coming to digital in October.
Love Letter was the game that blew-up the “micro-game” trend that was popular a year or two ago. These are basically games with a lot of depth without a lot of components. Games like Coup and The Resistance fit the mold, but the biggest of them all has to be Love Letter which still manages to release with a new coat of paint a couple times every year. Now there’s even a Cthulhu version (of course), but you can also snag a Batman, Adventure Time, Archer, The Hobbit, and countless other editions.
The game consists solely of 16 cards and each round takes no more than 3-5 minutes to play. That’s being a bit generous, actually, as many hands finish up before the three minute mark. Cards are numbered and the goal is to have the highest value card in your hand when the deck runs out. This is harder than it sounds, however, as there are many mechanisms to knock players out of a round. Last one still holding a card wins that round. If getting knocked out of a game sounds annoying, remember that games last only minutes, so you’ll be hopping right back in before you know it.
Love Letter is a pretty great game and one that I take with me on every trip or vacation due to its small size and ease of entry. It’s one that my kids will teach other kids when friends come over, or that my family will play together…even my wife who is so anti-game she once made me sleep on the couch for simply asking her to play a game of Pandemic.
Love Letter is a game of risk, deduction, and luck for 1–4 players. Your goal is to get your love letter into Princess Annette’s hands while deflecting the letters from competing suitors. From a deck with only sixteen cards, each player starts with only one card in hand; one card is removed from play. On a turn, you draw one card, and play one card, trying to expose others and knock them from the game. Powerful cards lead to early gains, but make you a target. Rely on weaker cards for too long, however, and your letter may be tossed in the fire!
We don’t know much about the digital port other than it’s coming in October and will be available on iOS, Android, and Steam. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that asynchronous play is out the window. Games are so short that I don’t see this being a problem, but maybe Nomad will surprise us. You never know.