One of the most frequently asked questions we get at Mox is “What game would be good for two-players?”. We’re searching for that answer in our new three part series; Best Board Games for Two Players. This series helps you find the best board game for you and your gaming partner. Each part is divided by how long it takes to play, and how much strategy is involved. Let’s get started with part 1 where we take a closer look into what makes a great two player board game, and some of the best choices out there for games that play in under 30 minutes.
What makes a great 2 player game?
Playing one on one is a great way to spend time with your best friend, significant other, or anyone you are trying to get to know better. There is something unique to board games that immerses you in the moment with someone else, and 2 player games are no different.
It’s a great feeling when you find that perfect game for your game group, especially if you have more than 4 players. However, what game works best for a quick lunch, late night in with your SO, or playing a fun game with your child? The big game night games typically do not scale down easily, or create clunky new mechanics to combat the lack of players. So, this is why two player games are so important to add to your collection of games.
Alright, now what should I play?
Check out our list of great 2 player board games that play in under 30 minutes. These shorter games are best for people who enjoy playing casually, are looking to play a lighter game, or are on a time crunch. No matter which one you choose, there’s a little something for everyone’s play style! If you have a question about which game would be best for you, reach out to us on our Twitter.
Please note that we have included games specifically designed for two players and games that were designed with two players and up in mind. Sometimes games designed for two or more players work better with bigger player numbers, and not so well for only two people. There is nothing worse than buying a board game that says it’s for two people, and it turns out there is an alternate rule set, or weird drafting mechanic!
Kingdomino, by Blue Orange, is sure to be a fun addition to your board game collection. In Kingdomino, you build up your kingdom with cute domino style pieces. Your goal is to have the biggest plots of land that are all the same color. But, be careful, you will only score points if you have at least one crown in the patch! Crowns are considered multipliers, so you need at least one to score. Winner of the 2017 Spiel de Jahres award, Kingdomino allows you to play up to 4 people, and is great whether its just you and your partner, or fun for family game night. Also check out Queendomino and Age of Giants if you enjoy playing Kingdomino and looking for something a little different.
Onitama by Arcane Wonders is a very clever and beautiful game. This game utilizes chess-style mechanics creatively. Your goal is to take over your opponent’s Master pawn, or get your Master to their Temple Arch Space before they can do the same. Try to out think your opponent in this perfect knowledge, strategy game. The cool thing about Onitama is how you maneuver around the board. To clarify, you will choose one of two movement cards in front of you that depicts what space a piece can move to. You can choose to use this card to move any one of your pieces. Be careful though, your opponent recieves the movement card you just used and can use that move to take over your piece! It’s a great game to learn quickly, and can be played a couple times over lunch. Best of three anyone?
Patchwork is a beautiful game designed by Uwe Rosenburg , where you try to create the best quilt. Who doesn’t love competitive quilting? This game has been a staple in our stores for years. Fill your board with patches of all different shapes to complete your quilt. If you have any holes at the end of the game, you lose a button. Whoever has the most buttons at the end of the game wins! While the game play may seem simple, your choices will greatly affect your score, and what your opponent can do on their turn. Patchwork is perfect for getting together with a friend, and being able to catch up between turns.
If you are looking for a classic card game, Cribbage is perfect for you! For those who have not played before, Cribbage is a card game for 2-4 players made in the 1600’s. It combines a classic card game with a cool scoring mechanic and unique wooden board. Players take turns playing cards to create sets to score points. Play each card strategically, and try and be the last player to play cards to equal 31 points. The longer you can play, the more points you get. Order the cards carefully to get the most points in a single set.
All the games we have covered so far have been competitive, so it is time to introduce a cooperative option into the mix. In Codenames Duet you work together to find the secret agents in the grid. If you are a fan of Codenames, you are in for a real treat with Duet. Your goal is to figure out where all 15 of your agents are hiding in the grid by giving your teammate a one-word clues. It’s their job to puzzle these clues together, and find the code that that will connect them. Careful not to eliminate civilians or trigger the assassin.
Unlike regular Codenames, the Duet version has two-sided keys that allow you to see where some of the agents are hiding. You can also play along the provided map for different missions, that have more challenging tasks to complete. Your mission, if you decide to take it, is to complete each area, find your preferred play style, and have fun!
- Great for Kids: Gobblet Gobblers
- Asymmetrical Game: Fugitive
- Classic Game: 7 Wonders Duel
- Card Game: Mandala
- Quick Setup: Niya
Check back soon!
In conclusion, there are a lot of two player board games in under 30 minutes to choose from. Looking to play with a partner(s)? There are more game suggestions focused on date night in our valentines blog post. Stay tuned for our “Two Player Board Games that take 30 Minutes to an Hour” blog post coming soon!