And this week we’ve been looking at the problems many couples run into because they turn to video games, or other screens, out of habit, instead of doing things together.
So I thought I would write a post on games you can play with your spouse that need only two players!
In the evening, instead of turning to a screen, break out a game. I’m only including ones that require no technology, because I find that when you play a game away from a screen, you also tend to talk more, and thus build your relationship more.
1. Puzzles – $10-$20
They’re actually quite fun! And you can talk while you do them. In fact, we just bought a coffee table just for this purpose. The top of the coffee table is on a mechanism that raises it when you want to do the puzzle, and lowers it when you’re finished.
So you can keep a big puzzle going for a few weeks until you’re finished!
I love this game! Yes, it’s loud, so it may not be ideal if you’re trying to get school aged kids to sleep. But it can be fun. Who is going to knock it over?
Basically it’s a tower with three blocks per level, with each level rotating 90 degrees. On each turn you have to remove a block from the lower levels and deposit it at the top, creating a higher and higher tower until gravity eventually takes its toll. I like it.
3. Scrabble – $15.50
Remember those episodes of Family Ties where Alex and his dad would play Scrabble til the death, staying up until 3:00 in the morning? My in-laws are like that. Growing up in rural areas they played a ton of Scrabble , and it’s still fun!
4. Upwords – $22.78
A modern variation on Scrabble, this one’s a little easier, because you can get points by putting blocks on top of other ones. So if someone’s already got the word “patch” down, you can change the “p” to a “c” and then add a word in another direction spelling “call”, and get points for both words, if that makes any sense. I find this one easier for children, as well.
5. Yahtzee – $9.99
The famous dice game. You just roll dice and get points for your combinations. If you roll them on a tea towel it’s not that loud, so you can play even when kids are asleep.
A classic game available in all kinds of versions! Play the double 9s (or even double 12s) for added challenge. I always loved Dominoes as a kid! And my mother, who hates competitive games, claims that Dominoes is the only one she can play without breaking out into a cold sweat. So it’s a good one when there’s an ultra-competitive spouse and a not-so-competitive spouse. This one doesn’t hurt as many feelings.
They’re the old staples for a reason: they’re fun. That’s why they’ve lasted for generations! And it’s really easy to find sets with all three games in it.
8. Boggle – $16.13
I’m dangerous to play Boggle with because I’m just so good. Really. I haven’t had anyone beat me since my Uncle Steve when I was 9. But it’s a fun one, if a loud one (especially if the kids are trying to sleep).
9. Cribbage – $9.99
The best 2-player card game around!
And now for some newer ones you may not be as familiar with:
10. Blokus for two – $24.95
This is one of my favourites! It only takes about 10-12 minutes, but you have tiles of all different shapes, and you have to put them down in a specific way. The first one to get rid of all their tiles (or to get rid of most before you’re both out of possible moves) wins.
We play it as a family (we have a 4-person version), but there’s also this two person version, and I really enjoy it. It’s not for the spatially challenged, mind you, unless you want to increase your spatial skills!
11. Carcassone - $22.99
One of my favourite party games, can be played with up to 6 people, but works fine with 2. It takes about half an hour. Basically you each select a tile on each turn that you place, creating a medieval city with roads and monasteries and farms. It’s hard to explain on a blog, but easy once you see it. I like it when we have people over because it doesn’t take long to explain. And because you create the terrain each time you play, it’s different every time, too! It also has lots of expansions you can buy to turn it into a different, and more complicated, game if you want.
12. Axis & Allies – $31.95
Want something more intense, that requires a lot of strategy? Try Axis & Allies! You recreate World War II, using soldiers, battleships, plans, and tanks. We’ve played this plenty of times together, especially in the early years of our marriage. It doesn’t always work if one person is super-competitive and one isn’t, but if you both enjoy games, you can play one game that will last over a series of nights.
12. Dominion – $31.21
Here’s a fun game that changes every time you play! The game comes with dozens of different cards, each with different actions and results. But each game you choose only 10 cards, so the flavour of the game is always changing. This can be played with multiple players, too, but it also works with just two. It’s one of our new favourites, and it has several expansions to change the nature of the game as well.
13. Ticket to Ride – $34.50
Your task is to build a railway connecting two cities. The hardest part? Choosing which routes to keep, and which to turn in. And then getting yours done before your spouse gets his completed! The original Ticket to Ride is North American based, but the expansions are for Europe, India, and Africa. Again, a game that can be played with many more players, but still works with just two. This is another of our big party games for when we have other people over.
Chances are you already have at least some of these games in your games cupboard.
So here’s my challenge to you: why not pick one night of the week (or more, if you’re up to it) which is a “games night” for you and your hubby? Games nights are great for families in general, but they can also be fun just for you as a couple. And the more you play together, the more you laugh together and the more you build relationships. It’s hard to do that in front of a screen. So go for it! Pick a game or two, and start a new tradition.
What games do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments!
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