Speed Review: Batman Love Letter

What is a Speed Review? A Speed Review is where it has been decided that I spend way too long writing reviews of really short games. As such, and to add a bit more of a challenge to the article, the review has to be written in less time than it takes to play the game. You can read my first Speed Review for A Fake Artist Goes To New York here

20 minutes on the clock.

Batman Love Letter is a deductive card game, designed by Seiji Kanai, that is a re-skin of his beloved Love Letter game that came out in 2012. It is a game in which players control two Batman themed characters in their hands. Each turn they must play one, drawing a new card.

There are 16 cards in the deck, each one with a special ability and number values that helps you take out other players, and these represent Batman and several other characters in the DC Universe. The whole theme is that the inmates have escaped from Arkham Asylum (again!) and it is up to you to catch the Joker. Of the 16 cards, there are eight variations with different numbers of each. These include Batman (of which there are four), Poison Ivy (of which there are two) and the Joker (of which there is only one).

The cards all do something different when played. Some, like Poison Ivy, allow for you to force a player to discard cards. Some, like Batman, allow for you to choose a player and guess their hand. If you get it right then that player is out. Cards like Bane allow you to compare hands, with the player with the lowest valued hand being knocked out of the game. If the player with the Joker is forced to discard the Joker, they instantly lose.

Each round lasts around five minutes, and after each round the winning player gets given a Bat-Signal token. The player who wins four Bat-Signal tokens wins the game.

Examples of the cards…all jumbled up to make it super helpful…

Eight minutes left.

The quality and components of Batman Love Letter are fairly standard. The box is of a really nice quality; however, the cards are plain. The artwork has been taken from different comics, so interestingly BGG doesn’t list an artist’s name in association with the game. The Bat-Signal tokens are wooden, and have a really nice feel to them.

Six minutes left.

So, would I recommend Batman Love Letter? Well, that depends. If you already own Love Letter then this is literally just a re-skin. Owning both copies is probably unnecessary as they are the same game. That being said, Batman Love Letter can be a fun warm-up game for those who want something to get their adrenaline going on a gaming evening.

The game itself is fast paced, and the biggest strength is that it can be completed quickly. I would argue however that it is unnecessary to play the game four to thirteen times so one player has enough Bat tokens. Instead, it does work as a quick five minute filler only being played once.

There is some challenge as well, with card counting being a large part of the game as people discard cards. Luckily there are less than 20 cards in total, so it’s not too difficult. It can be a great game for rivalries and fun if you just want to irritate someone. It is also a fairly good entry level or family game. Fun for most.

If you like Coup then you will probably like Love Letter. If you get this because it is a Batman themed game then I would argue that the theme doesn’t add a huge amount, but it is still a nice addition to the collection.

If I am truthful with you, I feel fairly neutral about this game. I feel like it is a good game, with a lot of good qualities, making it an okay filler, but there are better games out there. The Batman element doesn’t really add anything you can’t get from just reading a comic. Ultimately, this leads to the ever so useful conclusion – get if you want – don’t if you don’t.

One minute left.

So, with that completely bland conclusion, let me know what you think in the comments below. Is this something that will interest you, or something you would rather leave for another day?

Time.

9 thoughts on “Speed Review: Batman Love Letter

Add yours

  1. I like Love Letter, and having played a few different versions of it I can safely say that they’re pretty much all the same and unless you’re obsessed with batman pictures then just get whichever version is the cheapest! Having said that, I seem to remember the LOTR version having one or two cards that play slightly differently to the base game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think Seiji had much if anything to do with the re-skins. With the big exception of Lovecraft Letter which was recently released.

      Disappointed in the lacklustre review as Love Letter is one of my favourites to introduce to new gamers. Easy enough to pick up and play, deep enough to have some control, has a fun luck element, all without the personal attacks that comes with Coup.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha yeah, I’m very keen to check it out. Although, it comes with deluxe components so the price is a bit more than what I would like to play. However, I’ve heard that it is sufficiently different enough from Love Letter to warrant a purchase…. One of these days. :p

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh, I like Love Letter 🙂 I just don’t think Batman Love Letter is worth getting over basic Love Letter for the sake of it being a Batman game. I love Batman, grew up reading the comics and graphic novels – this has all the great gameplay of Love Letter, but the Batmanliness doesn’t really come through.

        Also, Lovecraft Letter sounds amazing. Thanks for bringing it to my attention guys! Who doesn’t love to add a bit of Cthulhu to their evening? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I saw that! I’m already starting to psyche myself up over it as I see more and more previews enter my feed. They are even going into some fairly unknown villains – really exciting 😀 !!!

        Liked by 1 person

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