Board games are a great way to gather a group of friends together for a night of strategy, and and arguing over minute rules that probably won’t have any bearing on the outcome of the game (Michelle). But sometimes it’s nice to have a quiet night with a spouse, significant other or a friend who actually bothers to open up the rule book. For those times, here is a selection of a few games that play great with only two.
Jaipur is a game all about trading goods at a bustling market. It’s pretty unassuming from the outside, but opening it up reveals a fast-paced contest that does a surprisingly good job of simulating the commotion of a crowded market square. The back and forth play sees players trading goods for points. The more goods of a certain type you trade in, the more points they’re worth. The game feels a bit like Speed with camels, and it goes without saying that camels make everything better.
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
Agricola is considered one of the pillars of the modern Eurogame. All Creatures Big and Small is an attempt to distill Uwe Rosenberg’s classic into a more digestible format while still allowing your animals to have sex. It’s rather impressive just how much Creatures manages to feel like its bigger sibling. There are a lot of choices and goals but not enough time to see them all through. This makes each turn critical, and, because there are a finite number of turns, you must be sure to make the most of your workers.
Oh look, another Uwe Rosenberg game. It’s almost like he’s standing over my shoulder as I write this list (help). This time, Rosenberg eschews farming for quilting, a decidedly less exciting pastime. Surprisingly, though, quilting lends itself to board games quite well. In this game, time is a resource players must manage in order to sew the grandest quilt in all the land. Watching your textile grow in your tableau is satisfying, especially when you’ve managed your time optimally, and the short playtime make multiple plays in a night a treat.
The bastard love child of Street Fighter and Poker, Yomi is a simple card game that is played with a slightly modified standard deck of cards. Each deck represents a character and players will throw combos and special moves at each other in the form of Poker cards: number cards are normal moves, face cards are special moves, and aces are super moves. You can also throw combos by playing numbers in sequence. It’s a fantastic fighting game sim that fits in your pocket.