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.
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?