Monday, March 5, 2012

The Love Letter

If there's one schoolyard romance cliche that's never going to fade, it's the love letter. True, most kids probably send each other love texts or PMs or whatever these days, but the idea is the same: one blossoming adolescent sending a token of their affection to another blossoming adolescent. Will they find true love? Or will one reject the other? That's kinda the point of The Love Letter - though it could also be a condemnation of nosy-ass friends.


You are the most popular boy in school (public, catholic, high, low, not sure what it is). You have tons of friends who will chat with you at the drop of a hat - and this is problematic, because you've just received a love letter from a mysterious girl. You need to read the letter and discover the details of her love... but you have only five minutes to do so before second period, and privacy is somewhat lacking in crowded school hallways.

That, then, is the point of The Love Letter: read the letter, in five minutes, without anyone discovering your furtive perusal. A novel concept, if not the most exciting, though the excitement comes more from the game's 'awwwwww' factor than standard browser game stuff.


The Love Letter offers two control schemes: use the mouse or use the arrow keys. Click with one to read the letter when no one's watching, or hold down SPACE for the other. (Or use a combo, up to you.) I prefer using the arrow keys, myself, as you seldom need swift motions to beat The Love Letter, and I found myself getting stuck on walls while using the mouse.


Pure retro, baby. The Love Letter is just another throwback title to add to the pile. The graphics are hardly glamourous, but they're clean and interesting enough for a game that only lasts five minutes.


The Love Letter has two MIDI-ized tracks: one that's a kind of standard jaunty tune, and one that's token luv. They're alright, nothing special.

Challenge Rating

The Love Letter is one of the easiest browser games I've ever played. There are lots of students roaming the halls, true, and they do seem to home in on your position while you're trying to read, but once you get the hang of corralling the little bastards on one side of the map while you run to the other reading the letter becomes a cake walk. I don't think extreme difficulty was foremost in the programmer's mind - this is supposed to be a swift, sweet romance, not an endurance trial.


The Love Letter is a tiny, interactive story, and not much else. You'll probably play this once, read the letter, meet the girl, suggest it to a friend or two, then forget it exists. Hardly a terrible experience, but not memorable, either. (That said, this mechanic COULD be used to craft a more difficult multi-level game without much trouble, and that might be more interesting to play.)


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