Do fun games for two people exist?
Absolutely! Best of all–finding a board game for two players can build your marriage. And here at To Love, Honor and Vacuum, we’re all about fun marriages!
This week we’ve been looking at the problems many couples run into because husbands play video games, or you both turn to other screens, out of habit, instead of spending time together.
So I thought I would write a post on games you can play with your spouse that need only two players!
Updated with all new 2-player games for 2017!
In the evening, instead of turning to a screen, break out a board game. I’m only including 2 person games 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.
Let’s start with twelve new board games for two players that you may never have heard of, and then we’ll turn to 8 classic board games you can play with two people:
12 Newer two-player games that you may not be familiar with:
1. Hive – $29.96
One of my new favorites–really unique, really challenging, and really fun. Like dominoes, with Hive you build your own game by putting the tiles together in different ways. It can be learned in just a few minutes, and the matches are really quick. It’s chess like strategy for two people, but much quicker to learn–and to play!
2. Pandemic – $31.99
A pandemic has broken out–and it’s your job to prevent it from spreading! This is a really engrossing, challenging game for couples who want something to sink their teeth into. You can play with 2-4 players, and each of you plays one specialist who can help defeat the disease. You have to find the four possible cures before the game is over.
This is our absolute favourite. We play this one as a family all the time, but it works great with just two players, too. You each choose two specialists to play. My daughter who’s engaged has bought this to play with her fiance, too, because they both love it so much!
And here’s the real bonus: it’s a COOPERATIVE game, not a COMPETITIVE game. So if either of you is a sore loser, choose this one! You have a goal and you work towards it together. Now go and cure the world!
3. Forbidden Island – $10.89
This card game has tons of strategy, but the nice thing is it only takes 30 minutes. You can learn it quickly, but there’s a ton of different scenarios you can play. And it was voted Mensa Favourite Game in 2010! So you can tell your hubby that if you guys play it it means you’re super smart. Not only that, but it’s a cooperative game, too, so if he’s super competitive (or you are) and that often makes two-player game nights end badly, then here’s a great alternative.
4. Forbidden Desert – 18.93
You’re stranded in a desert, and you have to get out before you die of thirst–or something worse. Another cooperative game that’s full of strategy, and takes only about 30-45 minutes. If you’ve mastered Forbidden Island, this game is one-step up, with individual resource management and a board that’s always changing.
5. Jaipur – $22.00
My kingdom for a camel! This super fun card game is a blend of tactics, risk, and luck. And it’s a new 2-player game that I’ve recently added to the list. It takes under 30 minutes, but you’ll be in for a fun ride as you try to outsmart your spouse.
I love all the card games put out by SET, and this one’s awesome! You can play with two players, but it also works well letting the kids join in. It’s a strategy game that isn’t hard to learn, but it’s hard to stop playing once you start. Another favourite of mine by Set? Quiddler. Like Scrabble, but with cards!
7. Carcassone – $27.98
One of my favorite 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.
It’s a card game about kittens and explosions and sometimes goats. And it’s hilariously fun! It was the #1 most backed Kickstarter project ever. And it can be played as a family, as well, so you’ll get your money’s worth! Distract the kittens with laser beams! Defuse the explosions! This is a lighthearted game, that doesn’t require a ton of strategy. But it’s good for those nights that you just want to unwind and not think too hard.
9. 7 Wonders Duel Board Game – $23.99
7 Wonders is one of our favourite board games–we play it every Christmas with the family! So last Christmas, when I saw that a 2-player version was available, I jumped at it and bought it for Keith. You play different eras in history, with the goal to build some of the 7 wonders of the world, while also advancing your technology. And the best part? I always win! A super fun game that you can play with your spouse in under half an hour.
It’s a cooperate card game that’s surprisingly challenging–and super fun! Based on the original party Codenames game, this two-player version is a whole new game that many find even more intriguing. Using only one-word clues you have to try to identify the “secret agents” on the board. And because it’s cooperative–this couple game won’t lead to couple fights!
11. Dominion – $27.99
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.
12. Ticket to Ride – $39.99
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.
Classic Two-Player Board Games
13. Jenga – 12.99
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.
Like rummy? Here’s a great tile version that’s super fun and doesn’t require much brain power. Fun to play on nights when you want to just relax together.
Like Scrabble? Bananagrams is similar. You get letter tiles and form them into “crossword” type puzzles. But you don’t need a board, so it’s super portable. Going for a picnic with your husband? Take bananagrams along!
16. Scrabble – $14.24
If you loved Scrabble as a kid–then why not try it again? The thrill I get when I place a tile between two words and actually make THREE words with it–wow. I love it! And I still remember watching Family Ties as a kid and seeing the Scrabble showdowns between Alex and his dad. A great game for 2 people!
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.
18. Cribbage – $19.99
The best 2-player card game around! Comes with the wooden board with pegs and a deck of cards.
19. Boggle – $8.99
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).
20. Dominoes – $10.30
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 two person game option when there’s an ultra-competitive spouse and a not-so-competitive spouse. This one doesn’t hurt as many feelings.
3 Bonus Games: The Ultra-Classic Board Games for 2 People
Then, of course, don’t ignore the absolute absolute classics! Yes, you’ve heard of them. But you know what? If a game has been around for hundreds of years, maybe there’s a reason.
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.
Keith and I played chess a ton on a recent cruise, too! I’m still really bad at it, though.
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 games 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 two-person game, and start a new tradition.
What games for two people do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments!
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