2 Player Board Games Adults will Enjoy
I love playing games, but much of the time it’s just me and my guy here at home… so we play 2 Player Board Games Adults can really enjoy. Now, I know that a lot of board games can be played with just 2 People… but playing a game that was designed specifically for two people is different. Mostly because there are no rule variants to deal with. Another upside to 2 player games is that they tend to be small.. and therefore PORTABLE. You don’t need the Dining Room Table to lay it out. In fact, many of these can be played on a small table out on the patio.
The games listed are in no particular order. You will find games that use cards, meeples, shapes and bugs… there is a huge variety.Some are variants on multi-player games that you already enjoy. Many are easy… quick to learn and teach (and perfect for having conversation while you play). Others are more complex, and require loads more brain power. Whatever type of game you prefer, you will probably find it here.
If there are only 2 of you at home… shut off the TV! Pull out one of these 2 Player Board Games Adults will love!
2 Player Board Games Adults will Enjoy!
When it’s time to pull out a 2 player game, 7 Wonders Duel is the one my guy reaches for FIRST. Like 7 Wonders, you are putting together civilizations by drafting cards…. but you aren’t passing them. Cards are laid out on the table, so you have an idea what’s coming, and so does your opponent. There are a few different ways to win, and you can approach the game with different strategies… will you go for Victory Points? Maybe build up Military Strength? Or maybe you will go for a science strategy… Whatever you choose, you will love playing 7 Wonders Duel.
Want to add another layer to the game? … you can also add an expansion –> 7 Wonders Duel Pantheon Expansion
Hive is a tile placement game that feels related to chess. Each tile has one of many different bugs on it, that all move differently. The object… use your tiles to surround your opponent’s Queen Bee. Actually, as long as the Queen is surrounded, it doesn’t matter whose tiles are around her, so you can use your opponents pieces against them.There are rules about placement… you may not break up the Hive (so all tiles will ALWAYS be connected in some way. (And it can be a bit of a memory game at first remembering how each piece moves. ) There really is a lot to love about Hive. At the most basic, the pieces FEEL GREAT! They are thick hexagon disks designed to be held and manipulated. You can buy expansion bugs to make your hive more interesting… or you can jump right in with Hive Carbon (A black and white version of Hive that comes with the expansions).
A small table is all the space you need to play Hive. The games comes with a carrying bag, so it’s easy and compact to transport. There is even a Pocket version… that’s even smaller.
When I first saw Patchwork, I was a bit perplexed… a game based on Quilting? Ummm… Sewing? Now, as a amateur quilter, I know just how much time, energy and creativity goes into making these works of art. But how does that translate to a game? Turns out, it translates very well. Patchwork involves purchasing quilt pieces with buttons (that act as “money”)… then pieces are placed on the players board in a way that completes a quilt (as much as possible). Not only does each piece cost buttons, they also cost time, so there is bit of a race against the clock. When time is up, points are calculated by how much of the player’s quilt is left empty vs. how many buttons they have accumulated. Bonus pieces help add points. This may not be the perfect game for war gamer types… but I like the shape-fitting aspect. There are also ways of working your purchases to goof with your opponent. Your strategy will improve as you figure it out.
Patchwork does require a bit of space, as all the pieces need to be laid out on the playing surface in random circle.
Not every fun game needs to be new and exciting… sometimes, the old classics are just what you need, especially if you are playing with someone who isn’t that in to playing games. Mastermind is a game of codebreaking. One player sets up a hidden code of 4 colored pegs, and the other player tries to crack the code… in 10 guesses or less. The person who can figure it out quicker, wins. Communication is done with red and white pegs which indicate whether or not the guess has found the right color and/ or right color and placement. I must have played this 1000s of times while growing up (and yes, once you have figured it out, it gets MUCH easier). There are variants that have a 5 Peg code to keep things difficult.
Mastermind is small enough to play on an airplane tray table (maybe a bit awkwardly… but it’s possible). The game is fully self contained with little compartments to hold the pegs.
Carcassonne has been a favorite in our home for years… and can be played with 2 people. BUT Carcassonne The Castle can ONLY be played with 2 people, and it adds some interesting twists to basic Carcassonne. You begin the game by assembling the outside edge of the “board” (these are interlocking long pieces with numbered spaces on them). This works as a border, and as a scoring track. Players take turns laying pieces inside the border. The first pieces must be adjacent to starting places along the wall. There is less pressure to match up geographic elements in Carcassonne the Castle. The only parts that must match are roads. There are 60 placement tiles… so the game moves along fairly quickly. Bonus tiles can be earned when you travel along the scoring track.
Carcassone the Castle takes up some space… so you will need a table to play on. One tip (and this is true for all Carcassonne games) find a cloth bag to store your tile pieces… it makes play so much easier.
Pentago is sort of an advanced Tick Tack Toe or Connect 4 game… only you are looking to get 5 marbles in a row, and the board keeps changing. The board is horizontal, and broken into 4 squares. After you place your marble, you must rotate a square. What this means is that you have to look ahead to see where things will be, and not just where they are. Honestly, this game gives me fits (I’m not good at seeing what will happen). BUT my guy really likes it. It’s not complicated to learn, there is some strategy, and it’s a lot of fun (especially when you foil someone’s carefully set up plan).
Pentago is only about 8 inches on a side, so it takes up just a tiny bit of space. WARNING… you are playing with marbles. The board has divits and can take some jarring, but big bumps will send them flying.
Castellan reminds me of that game we used to play on grid paper… the one where you connect the dots and claim squares? Each player is given identical sets of cards (some primarily with walls, others with primarily towers) and some Keeps in their color. On the player’s turn, they draw cards, and play the ones they want to play. Each card has pictographs of walls and towers, so those are the building pieces you MUST USE on this turn. Whoever completes a courtyard… any completely enclosed space… gets to claim it with their Keep (that looks like a Monopoly house). Game ends when the pieces run out. Winner is determined NOT by the number of keeps, but by how many TOWER pieces(connector pieces) are in your keeps. You can even divide your opponent’s keep for your benefit!
Castellan takes up a bit of space, but a standard kitchen table is enough room to play. My son and his friends enjoy this one. Building and space relations.
It’s often frustrating to me that Settlers of Catan requires 3 people, but with the Rivals of Catan you can get your wheat/wood/ore/settlement fix with just two players. There are some serious differences… instead of setting up a game board with region tiles, you lay out a personal set of cards that are rotated to track resource quantities. There are still dice to be rolled…a regular D6 that corresponds with the resource card, as well as a second die with symbols that relate to action cards. You still add roads, build settlements and cities.. but it’s all on cards. The game does come with 3 Themes, which are essentially expansions. Start by playing the basic game, then add a new theme when you are ready. This keeps the replay ability HIGH.
Rivals of Catan takes up some space on a table. You are spreading out cards to build your Principality, and constantly adding more.
Othello is another classic that just doesn’t get enough credit. The premise is simple…surround your opponent’s pieces on the grid board, and flip them over to your color. The person with the most of his color at the end wins. Each player is given a set of 2 sided disks (one side white, the other black). The game starts by placing two disks, your color up, onto the board. Then with each turn you surround your opponent’s disk with yours… and flip them over to your color. The game takes about a minute to teach…. but the strategy… aahh… that can take a bit longer. I hadn’t played the game in years, when a friend suggested we pull it out. Honestly, even after 3 games, we were ready for another. This is a game, like checkers, where you can have a conversation while playing.
Othello requires a board that is about 12 inches on a side. Pieces come contained in the board.
For those of you who love Agricola, but want don’t always want to spend the time/energy/space on the full sized game… or for anyone who wants to dip their toes into the Agricola pond… Agricola All Creatures Big and Small is the game for you. Agricola is a worker placement game that’s set in in a Farm in the 17th Century. Over the course of 8 rounds, you are trying to build stables, create fenced pastures and breed or obtain as much livestock as possible. In this scaled down version, you don’t have to worry about plowing fields or feeding your family… it’s all about the cows and horses. And, can I just say, I LOVE the Animal Meeples (animeeples?). There are expansions available to add more buildings to the game.
Added bonus, Agricola All Creatures Big and Small only takes up about 1/3 of the space as the regular game. You still need a table, but it doesn’t have to be the dining room table.
Who can put more buildings within the walls of the city ( on the game board) before the space runs out? Cathedral is a puzzle game. While it is not a complicated game, there are tricks, and of course rules about placement. Basically this is a simple game of making more of your stuff fit than the other guy. Cathedral comes in 2 versions, the standard Wood Cathedral, and Cathedral World. Both play the same way… but with Cathedral World, your pieces look like famous buildings or landmarks (fair warning…they seem to be made of a heavy plastic or polymer… whatever they are, tips break off), and in the other they are wooden block pieces with castle motif. My people love to play! It’s one of those games that’s great for conversation while you play. Playtime is short (so it’s a filler). AND both the standard Wood Cathedral and Cathedral World are pretty enough to leave out all the time.
Take Tic Tac Toe… only switch it up. Now you need to get 4 in a row… and your opponent can “gobble” your pieces up! The wooden pieces for Gobblet are like Russian Nesting Dolls…. On your turn, you can place them on the board, in any open space… OR… if it fits… over the top of the other player’s pieces. You can also pick up and move your pieces once you’ve place them. But be sure and remember if there is something underneath! Keep placing, gobbling and moving pieces until you have 4 in a row. Gobblet is a really nice looking game. The wooden pieces fit neatly inside the wooden box, which also acts as the game board.
Gobblet is pretty compact, so you can take it along with you to play on a small table or bench.
Lost Cities the Card Game sends explorers off on missions to remote corners of the world, and you collect points along the way. At its most basic, this is a card game where you are collecting cards of a certain color (expedition) in order from lowest number to highest. Each player is taking cards from the same deck… so if your opponent is collecting green, you might want to consider collecting red… or you can wreck his day by collecting more green… Special cards, called handshake cards, are multipliers that add nicely to your score… but, since you have to use them BEFORE stating your expedition, they could also count against you. And, just like the real world, the Lost Cities expeditions cost money… each one you start costs 20 points. Since points are counted by the value of the card, you need to hope you get enough of those cards to break even! Lost Cities The Card Game is easy to learn, and had decent replay value (in fact, it’s a favorite for my older daughter’s best friend who can play it over and over… and no one minds).
Lost Cities the Card Game does take up some space.. You need room to spread 5 expeditions of cards out, as well as a center board. A regular table is fine (an airplane tray table will take some balance).
Did you Find the Perfect 2 Player Game?
I hope I was able to help you find the perfect 2 player game for you and your playmate. Shut off the TV… walk away from the laptop… set the phone in its charger and walk away. Play a game instead.