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You’ve entrusted your nine courtiers to deliver a beautiful love letter to Princess Persephone, but your opponent also has nine courtiers delivering an equally moving love letter to the same princess! In each case 8 letters are decoys and only the letter with the red seal is the “true” love letter.
Intercept your rival’s true love letter to make sure that only your letter sways her affections.
Each of the 3 types of Character pieces carries a letter, has a mirror on the back of the piece and has a special way of moving on the board similar to chess. When your piece lands on an opponent’s piece, you must say what color seal is on their letter. If correct, that piece is removed from play. Otherwise your piece is removed from play, so choose carefully and make liberal use of your mirrors to discover the color of the seals on your opponent’s pieces before venturing to intercept their letters.
Considering that this 2011 game originated with the designer being given a bunch of small round mirrors, a bag of wooden balls, a paint tray, and the challenge of a year to turn those into a game, Jacob Davenport has done an outstanding job of creating an enjoyable two-player game.
The objective of Mirror, Mirror is to move pieces (some of the moves are like chess) on the board, and try to capture your opponent's piece that is carrying a red letter - somewhat similar to the idea of capturing the "Flag" in Stratego. The characters all have `letters' on the reverse side, so they're hidden from view, and only one is red. But you can move your pieces - which have these awesome mirrors on them - into a position behind enemy lines so that you can spy on his pieces and see what colour letters they are carrying.
It's best described as playing a speedy and fun Stratego but with mirrors. Some of the mechanics certainly are more reminiscent of Stratego than Chess, but it's on a smaller playing field, and in much quicker game time. Add in a small element of deduction, a dash of tactics with regard to moving and positioning your pieces, a light-hearted and fun theme, colourful and quality components, and that's Mirror, Mirror! While being an abstract game at its core, it doesn't feel at all like an abstract, and is very fun to play and deduce. It also plays very quickly (15-20 minutes), so it doesn't get bogged down with analysis paralysis. Altogether these elements make Mirror Mirror stand out head and shoulders above your average chess-like abstract as a very clever and a novel two-player game worthy of attention.