Love Letter is a giant of a game, quite disproportionately to its components. I carry a copy around in my backpack every day with a deck of cards. It is that universally appealing and easy to teach. Its popularity is a testament to how many other people feel the same. The game has reached such a wide audience and is such a runaway hit that I’d be surprised if we didn’t have it in print for years to come.
But still, the game is pretty luck based, even though it might seem like it’s not, with its layer of theme and modern game design. But that can really be attributed to the fact that it’s a modern game. It’s designed in such a way that it makes you feel like you’re much more in control than you are. In the end you’re just at the whim of the deck and it’s quite possible to draw a hand with which it is impossible to win.
But that doesn’t make the game not fun, just light. People have enjoyed games in which there is only luck and no strategy for centuries, and this game does have elements of strategy and theme, which make it more fun to play. But neither of these are at their most prevalent. With Love Letter one just has to let go of the idea that they can control the outcome of the game by having the absolute best strategy and outplaying the other players (which still isn’t possible in most games) and also the idea of having a theme that is so immersive that one can’t separate it from the mechanics (A Princess and Batman being the themes of versions of Love Letter make that point).
It’s a great game, and a lot (a Lot) of people really enjoy it. It has a balance of theme, strategy and luck that draws a lot of people to it and keep them coming back for games (and its length helps with that). But one does have to let go of some strategic and thematic preferences to embrace the luck and enjoy it at times.