One of the best things about playing board games is their versatility – while most board games are best played in a group, they can also be enjoyed by as few as one individual. Two player board games are especially endearing, as they allow couples in different stages of a relationship to form stronger bonds. After all, there’s no more harmless activity than playing a board game!
Here, we list the best two person board games that we’ve had the privilege to come across.
Lost Cities encapsulates the fast food ideal of board games – it’s a pick-me-up activity, making it perfect for dishing out while waiting for food to arrive, or a movie to start. While being meaty may not be its strong suit, you can use this as an icebreaker to fill in those awkward early moments.
Lost Cities plays like a deck building game at its core, but has an attractive backstory. Each player plays as an explorer on an expedition, looking for… you guessed it, ‘lost cities’. There’s quite a bit of strategy involved, as each move you take reduces the total number of options available to your opponent.
One common complaint is that the rules involves too much math, and that luck has a larger role in victory than skill. The flip side is that it’s an easy game for new players to learn and pick up.
Pandemic thrusts players into a biological epidemic, where contagious diseases are slowly but surely decimating the world population. Players take on the role of counter-disease medical experts, desperately researching cures before it’s too late.
Pandemic is a unique take on the board game, where instead of battling each other, players cooperate to defeat the game. There are four diseases to cure, and players have to race against time to defeat the diseases.
This is a fantastic game if you liked getting bogged down in the nitty gritty of things. Tensions run high as the time limit sets a sense of urgency, and the deck is unique enough to lend a huge degree of replayability through different sessions.
Patchwork is a little like Carcassonne on a diet. Players are tasked with “sewing” a quilt by joining together different pieces of fabric onto a blank board. Quilt tiles are bought with “buttons”, which players collect as they progress through the game.
The game plays like a complicated form of checkers, in that player moves are defined from the outset, limiting the degree of randomness. This leads to a heavy element of strategy, despite the game’s lightweight first impression.
Unlike most 2 player board games, new players will get beaten by experienced players nearly every time… so choose your battles wisely.
Battle Line can be best described as if someone took poker, added their own rules and game tokens, and incorporated a war theme. The game is quite literally a hand management game, except for some unique additions which gives the game its own flavour.
In this game, players draw from a deck of 6 different colours and 10 numbers, and try to capture ‘flags’. Flags are captured by aligning cards in a row with higher values than your opponent. If this conjures visions of poker, that’s because that’s what it is. However, the game allows players to beat their opponents’ existing flags, and use trap cards called ‘tactic cards’ to throw off the enemy’s strategy. It’s really quite fun once you understand the boundaries and dive deep into it.
Hive touts itself as ‘the board game without a board’… which is largely true because the pieces themselves are the board! In this game, you control an army of insects, with the objective of trying to surround your enemy’s queen and capture her nest.
At its core, Hive is a game of insect chess. Each insect has a unique set of moves which come in handy in different circumstances – the Beetle can climb on top of other insects, the Grasshopper can jump over obstacles, while the Spider jumps 3 spaces per turn. Once a player’s queen is surrounded, it’s game over. Coupled with the ever-evolving board arrangement, the game provides endless replayability and constantly surprises.