Love Letter: Batman edition

Alison Scott
2 min readJul 23, 2017

--

Our family likes playing games together. We do so quite a lot, all things considered, especially if you count Hearthstone, where we play each other, play co-operatively, and spectate each other. We also periodically spectate each other playing other games, play asynchronous two-handed phone games, and battle to finish the daily round of Leap Day.

But we like board games too; the only thing we don’t like about board games is that they’re big, and our house is full. “Not so full you don’t have room for more board games”, I hear you say, and that is true, but a few months ago I expressed a preference for card games on Facebook because of their size, and got a ton of great recommendations that I’m working through.

As well as the recommendations, Esther Macallum-Stewart very kindly went one step further and sent me a couple of games including Love Letter: Batman. Love Letter’s been a super successful game of hilarious bluffing, played in many very short rounds. The Batman version is almost indistinguishable from the original game, but makes one crucial change — it’s possible for people to gain extra tokens in a round by using the ‘Batman’ card to identify and eliminate another player.

You have a hand of one card, and each turn you pick one and play one. The deck is 16 cards, of which one is taken out of the deck before you start. Each card has an effect; the higher rated cards have worse effects; if you survive till the end of the game the person with the highest card wins. It’s easy to get knocked out but not too painful because you’ll be back in again for the next round within a couple of minutes.

This video isn’t very good compared to Tabletop, but it shows gameplay and I give them bonus points for cosplay.

I got knocked out in almost every round, by a wide variety of hilarious strategies. Sometimes fairly, by being backed into a corner, sometimes as a result of blind luck, and once by being completely trolled by Jonathan. Hmm.

So did we enjoy it? Yes, definitely; easy to play and lots of fun. Was there any sense that the person with the best strategy won? Not really; either it’s subtler than we’re appreciating or it’s mostly luck. Will we play it again? Bound to, I’d think. Marianne, who plays lots of Love Letter at uni, says it plays much better with four than with three or two.

--

--