Love Letter (card game)

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Love Letter
Love Letter box cover.jpg
Box cover
Designer(s)Seiji Kanai
Players2 to 4
Playing time20 minutes

Love Letter is a card game introduced in May 2012 and designed by Seiji Kanai.[1] It is produced in the United States by Alderac Entertainment Group.


Each player aims to deliver a love letter to the princess with the assistance of collaborators.

Playing method[edit]

2–4 people play. First, one card is dealt to each person, and one is discarded face-down from the round (so the process of elimination cannot be used to prove which cards are left) and the rest are deposited face-down into a deck in the middle. During each player's turn, he or she draws one card from the deck and plays either that card, or the card they already had. After processing the effect described on the discarded card, the next player gets a turn. This is repeated until either the deck disappears, in which case the player holding the highest card wins the round, or until all players but one are eliminated, in which case the remaining player wins the round. The deck (including the discarded card) is shuffled, and play begins again. The game ends when one player has won a predetermined number of rounds (normally anywhere from three to seven).

Card types[edit]

Card Strength Number in deck Effects
Guard 1 5 Player designates another player and names a type of card. If that player's hand matches the type of card specified, that player is eliminated from the round. However, Guard cannot be named as the type of card.
Priest/Spy 2 2 Player is allowed to see another player's hand.
Baron 3 2 Player will choose another player and privately compare hands. The player with the lower-strength hand is eliminated from the round.
Handmaiden 4 2 Player cannot be affected by any other player's card until the next turn.
Prince 5 2 Player can choose any player (including himself) to discard his hand and draw a new one. If the discarded card is the Princess, the discarding player is eliminated.
King 6 1 Player trades hands with any other player.
Countess 7 1 If a player holds both this card and either the King or Prince card, this card must be played immediately.
Princess 8 1 If a player plays this card for any reason, he is eliminated from the round.

Awards won[edit]

Love Letter has received the following awards:[2]

  • 2014 Deutscher Spiele Preis, 4th place
  • 2014 Spiel des Jahres recommended
  • 2014 Origin Awards Best Traditional Card Game
  • 2014 Guildbrikken Best Family Game
  • 2014 Fairplay A la Carte
  • 2013 Golden Geek Best Party Board Game
  • 2013 Golden Geek Best Innovative Board Game
  • 2013 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game
  • 2013 Golden Geek Best Card Game
  • 2012 Japan Boardgame Prize Voters' Selection
  • 2012 Dice Tower Best Family Game[1]


Due to the game's successful sales, Alderac has subsequently produced Archer-, Batman- and Hobbit-themed versions.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b Otake, Tomoko (31 January 2014). "Indie designer Kanai carves out niche with analog board games". The Japan Times. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  2. ^ Love Letter Page at Boardgame Geek
  3. ^ Morris, Steven Ray (5 April 2016). "A Guide to Which Love Letter Theme is Best for You". Geek & Sundry. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  4. ^ Mappin, Don. "Hobbit, Batman, Archer, Star Wars—the many faces of Love Letter". Ars Technica. Retrieved 4 May 2018.

External links[edit]