Intro To: Good Games for 2 Players

Since opening our doors, we’ve been visited by a multitude of couples, and whether they were here on a date, or just to socialize, they’ve asked the same question over and over again; “What are the best 2 player games?” When talking about a collection as large as ours, where many of the games are intended for three or more players, and don’t always scale down well, this is a really good question. With that in mind, we’ve put together a short list of some of the games that we typically recommend for 2 players.

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Splendor, a competitive game for 2 to 4 players that can be played in 30 minutes, was one of our staff picks for January because of how fun and accessible it is and how well it scales with the number of players. This chip-collecting and card development game is an exercise in careful strategy that lets you play as wealthy merchants trying to gain more prestige than your competitors. If you’re visiting The Round Table with a friend, or a date, this is a great game to start out with! Then, when you come back later with a slightly larger group, this is a great game to teach to your friends. It’s easy to pick up and still shines with up to 4 players.

Gloom, an especially innovative competitive game for 2 to 4 players that can be played in 60 minutes, is fast paced and easy to pick up and play. In this eccentric card game, you control the fate of a family of misfits, and must stack transparent cards to achieve a simple but morbid goal: cause your characters to suffer as much as possible before passing on, while causing your opponent’s characters to become as happy as possible. The transparent playing cards used in this game allow effects and modifiers from stacked cards to show through, and remain active even when cards are placed on top of them. With a lot of quirky story telling elements, this game is a great choice for anyone with a flair for the unusual, and with such an innovative design, this is a game that anyone looking for something fresh and new should try.

Blokus, a competitive game for 2 to 4 players that can be played in 20 minutes, is probably the most accessible game on our list but its simple mechanics lead to complex strategy. In this fast paced game, you and your opponent take turns placing different shaped blocks on a board. Each new block can only be placed diagonally adjacent to one of your previously placed blocks, and most of the strategy comes from placing your blocks in such a way that they cut off your opponent’s best options for where to place their blocks. If you’re looking for a game that’s very quick to learn, and will become addictively fun to competitive players, this is a great game to try!

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Tokaido, a competitive game for 2 to 5 players that can be played in 45 minutes, has each player take the role of a traveler crossing Japan. In this game, players move along a linier track while taking actions to try to score the most points. Each turn, the last player on the track moves ahead as many spaces as they want, even taking extra turns until a different player is the last player on the track. When playing with 2 players, this game has a neutral 3rd player that is controlled by the first player on the track. This acts as an interesting balance to the game’s normal movement rules. This game features beautiful artwork, and is an excellent low intensity game for players that are looking for a lighthearted experience.

Tzaar, a competitive 2 player game that can be played in 30 to 60 minutes, and the only game on this list that cannot be played with more than 2 players. While this game was first published in 2007, it feels very reminiscent of classic games like chess, and it captures the same high-strategy feel. At the start of the game, both players have 30 game pieces divided into 3 types, and the goal is to eliminate all of your opponent’s game pieces of any 1 type. The game uses a simple set of movement and piece stacking rules, and keeps the focus on out-playing your opponent. If you love classic games but want to try something new, this is definitely the game you should try!

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Neuroshima Hex!, a competitive game for 2 to 4 players that can be played in 30 minutes, is a great head to head game for more experienced players. In this post-apocalypse themed war game each player chooses a faction, and you pit your faction’s units against your opponent’s units in a hex-based battle. Each faction has a selection of hex-shaped tokens representing their units, and each round players draw new tokens to replenish their troops. This intense strategy game is more complicated than some of the other games on this list, and is an excellent choice if you’re an experienced gamer looking for a 2 player game.

When you come to The Round Table looking for a 2 player game, all of the games on this list are great options! Our collection has lots more great games, and whatever you end up playing, you’re sure to have an awesome experience! Whatever you decide to play, we’re looking forward to your next visit to The Round Table!

Looking for games for larger groups? Check back soon because we’ll be doing intros to more games in the near future!