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Sometimes it seems like the best board games require several players, but what happens when you can’t get anyone to commit to a game night? Don’t fret. You can get your weekly board game fix with one of these amazing two-player games—all you have to do is get one other person on board!
Whether you like strategy games, resource management games, or even cooperative games, there’s sure to be a two-person board game on this list that tickles your fancy. You’ll find two-person adaptations of cult-classic games, fun twists on traditional games like chess, and even totally wild, out-of-the-box options, like a game about collecting mushrooms. (Yes, really.) In fact, there are so many good games here that you might find yourself cancelling game night to stay in and play head-to-head with your partner.
Here, the best two-player games available now.
Colorful, beautifully decorated tiles are just one aspect of what makes Azul so great. In this unique game, players are tasked with claiming tiles and arranging them on the board to create stunning mosaics. You get bonus points for completing certain patterns, but you’ll also lose points for claiming tiles that you can't use. And, of course, there are different ways you can block your opponent, which inevitably throws fire on the competition.
In addition to being extremely fun, Parks will also help you discover new destinations to add to your travel bucket list! Win-win, right? To play, each person takes on the role of a hiker traversing National Parks around the country. You can purchase gear to make your hiker more efficient, and at the end of the game (which spans four seasons), the person who racked up the most Park cards takes home the prize.
The original Codenames is a widely popular party game, but it’s not nearly as fun to play with just two people. That's where Codenames Duet comes in, though.
This spinoff keeps the basic elements from the game you know and love, but it’s optimized for two-person play. In the new cooperative gameplay, you and your partner work together to identify your “secret agents,” taking turns giving each other one-word clues. Your partner has to figure out which words on the board relate to the clue—but if they get it wrong and an assassin is revealed, the game is over!
Even if creepy crawly bugs aren’t your thing, we promise you’ll still like playing Hive. This strategy-based game is similar to chess, and the goal is to surround your opponent’s queen bee tile—without letting them get to yours first. Each of your bug-themed pieces has specific rules on how it can move, but unlike in chess, the game moves quickly so you won’t be there all night.
Your town may be tiny, but the competition will be huge when you play this game. Tiny Towns can be played solo or with up to six people, and the goal is to collect materials and build up a town on your playing grid, with every structure earning you victory points. People love that the game is light and easy to pick up, and no two games will ever be the same, giving it plenty of replay value.
Who knew that a board game about foraging for mushrooms would be so fun? Morels is a strategic game that uses two decks of cards, and the whole goal is to collect mushrooms that you can either sell or cook to earn points. The gameplay is simple, making it appropriate for all ages, and you’re sure to love the quaint mushroom illustrations on every card.
7 Wonders Duel
If you enjoy the original 7 Wonders board game (or even if you’ve never played it), you should definitely invest in 7 Wonders Duel, a two-player edition of the award-winning game. As you go head to head with your opponent, you’ll race to build “Wonders” in your city, achieve scientific advancements, and hold off invasions from your opponent—or even launch one of your own! What makes this game fun is that there are different ways to achieve victory, so you never know what the round will bring.
Do you love being able to undermine your opponent? If so, Carcassonne is the game for you! It can be played with anywhere from two to five people, but everyone agrees that it's every bit as fun when there are just two of you.
During gameplay, you take turns laying tiles to create the countryside surrounding the main city and placing “followers” on the map, as well. Because everyone is playing on the same map, there are ample opportunities to foil your opponent’s plans, making strategy and planning a key part of gameplay.
What do cooperative gameplay, strategic thinking, and intense problem solving have in common? They’re all crucial in Forbidden Island, a collaborative game where you work together to collect sacred treasures from the ruins of an ancient island. With every move you make, the island sinks further into the sea, so make sure you give yourself enough time to get back to your helicopter… otherwise, the game will end in defeat!
Certain board games are only fun when you have a big group, but Sequence is one of those rare games that’s just as good with two people as it is with many. The objective is to put down five chips in a row on the game board using corresponding playing cards, but it’s easier said than done, as there are ample ways your opponents can hinder your plans. If you want to win at Sequence, you’d better put your thinking cap on, because it requires planning, foresight, and a competitive spirit.
A board game about… quilting? Yup, and it's actually really fun! Patchwork has captured the hearts of thousands of people thanks to its quaint, quirky concept. Each player gets their own board where they build a quilt with the available patches, using their supplies of buttons to purchase new pieces. However, the Tetris-style patches don’t always fit together, so the game requires a fair bit of strategy if you want to create a more beautiful blanket than your opponent.
There aren’t many games out there that have a board like Santorini. The goal is to be the first to build a three-story building on the 3D game board, but watch out! Your opponent may play their God Card just as you’re about to win, blocking your victory.
What’s nice is that you can choose how difficult you want Santorini to be, tailoring the game to your level of skill (and making it a great option for kids). While the game is technically for two to four players, many people think it’s actually better for just two people, so it’s a good option to add to your date night board game collection.