You know what you’re getting when you buy a Love Letter game, right? A minimalist card game with 20 or so cards, which provides a surprisingly deep and strategic experience that you can teach and play a full game of in minutes.

You know it inside out, from the card effects to the general composition of the cards in the deck – so a retheming of the game is a bit like buying a specifically licensed Monopoly; you enjoy the game as is, but you just want to enjoy it with your favourite theme too.

Except in the case of Jabba’s Palace: A Love Letter Game, things are different. The goal remains to be the last player standing after everyone else is eliminated and even elements like the Guard card remain (of course, this being Jabba’s Palace, they’re Gamorrean Guards) – but almost everything else is different.

There’s no Princess/number 9 card, for one thing, and cards are also split into factions: Rebel and Palace (Jabba’s side, essentially) cards.

One of the biggest shake ups to the formula comes in the shape of the Agenda cards – which break ties in the event that more than one player remains when the deck is exhausted.

These can change the strategy of players over the course of a game – it remains in play for the entire game, not switching per round – and will ensure victory in one of four ways: highest card in hand (same as standard Love Letter), most Rebel cards in a player’s play area, highest sum of Palace cards in a player’s play area or the players with the highest Rebel and Jabba card in hand each win the round.

There’s also the Threepio card, which is essentially a Guard that carries a risk of payback for a wrong guess.

Or the Han Solo card, which gives a bonus token if you have it in your hand at the end of the round. There’s more, of course, with all of the changes fitting with the scum and villainy theme and each character’s function within the lore.

Depending on the number of players taking part, a certain number of tokens are needed in order to win.

As always, it’s a straightforward and fast moving game that just about anybody can learn and play incredibly quickly. It’s suitable for all ages and with the Star Wars theme, it may also entice people who are (ridiculously) put off by the Regency theme of the original game.

It’s different enough to complement the standard Love Letter too, unlike many other of the differently themed Love Letter games.

The artwork, all themed around the characters and scenes from the beginning of Return of the Jedi, is absolutely gorgeous too.

Its minimalist rules, components and table footprint – storage is also convenient, in the now-standard, velvety Love Letter drawstring bag – that you can take it anywhere and play it with anyone.

I’d always recommend Love Letter games to those curious about the board game hobby; they’re a great step up from bland, luck driven mainstream fare – and Jabba’s Palace is no different. It’s a superb game with some neat, thematic changes that’ll make it feel fresh even to Love Letter veterans – and as such, it comes highly recommended!

You can buy Jabba’s Palace: A Love Letter Game from Amazon here.

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