Today we have a guest post by my wife, Micaela! Because we’ve been sticking to a budget, most of our dates lately have been cozy nights at home. So she’s sharing some of our favorite two-player board games for date nights!
When Chris and I started getting to know each other, one of the things he got really excited about was the fact that my family loves playing board games together! We grew up having family game nights, we take games to Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter dinner, and in recent years my great aunt has hosted what we call the “Family Olympics,” where we do bean bag tosses, egg races, and giant versions of games like Dutch Blitz!
Chris’s family never really played games when he was growing up, so he has really enjoyed when we play with my family and friends, and when we have board game date nights! In order from least to most favourite, read on to find out our top 6 two-player board game recommendations for couples (plus one bonus game!)
6. Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride was the first board game Chris and I played together, and is still one of our favourites! There are different versions of the game, but in each version, the board is a map of a part of the world (Europe, North America, etc.), and features cities as well as coloured spaces for the trains.
The object of the game is to place train pieces on the board to complete routes between two cities on the map. In order to place train pieces, the players must collect coloured cards that correspond to the coloured spaces on the map.
As the players place trains between cities and complete routes, they collect points—the winner is the player with the most points at the end of the game!
Time to Play: 1-2 hours
Price: $49.99 on Amazon
5. Monopoly Deal
I really don’t like regular Monopoly. It takes sooooo long that for most of my childhood I had no idea how you were supposed to win the game, because I had never played long enough to figure it out!
Monopoly Deal is the answer to that issue! It’s the same concept, but it’s played with cards and short rounds, so you can play for as long as you want!
Plus, even the richest player could lose everything to someone else depending on the cards and on each player’s strategy, so there’s no more rolling the dice for what feels like hours even though you already know you’re going to lose!
Monopoly Deal is highly competitive, lots of fun, and did I mention super cheap?? Under $10 on Amazon!
4. Monopoly: Ultimate Banking
Another thing that makes me dread regular Monopoly is the fact that I can’t do basic mental math… Games that include counting money never make any favourites list for me!
Monopoly: Ultimate Banking completely solves that problem! In this modernized version of the game, the rainbow-coloured paper bills have been replaced with shiny credit cards and a bar code reader!!!!
All of the cards in the game, including the property cards and event cards, include a bar code that the machine reads in order to keep track of where each player stands in the game, who owns which properties, and how much rent to charge on each space.
Because of this, and a few other rule changes, the game moves much more quickly than traditional Monopoly, and is SO much more fun!
Time to Play: 1-2 hours
Price: $24.99 on Amazon
Pandemic is a brand new favourite of ours! We first played with our friends Chelsea and Scott, and we love that it’s a co-operative game where you have to work as a team rather than against each other!
The object of the game is to save the world from various diseases that break out in specific major cities across the globe! Each player has a different role, such as a medic who treat diseases, a researcher who can research cures, or an outbreak specialist who can keep the outbreaks contained. Some versions of the game even include blank cards for the players to invent their own roles!
Everyone uses their specialized roles to work together, keeping the outbreaks from spreading and developing cures to stop them entirely! But the diseases spread fast, which makes it a super challenging game!
Pandemic has a lot of rules and features which makes it challenging to learn at first, but once we learned how to play, it became an immediate favourite!! Seriously such a fun game!!
Time to Play: 45-60 minutes
Price: $35.99 on Amazon
2. Jenga (Bonus Points if it’s Personalized!)
Chris’s top love languages are Words of Affirmation and Quality Time, so for our first Valentine’s Day, I made him a personalized Jenga game that helps us both to show love to each other through words while spending time having fun together!
I found a blank, wooden Jenga game at the dollar store and wrote instructions on many of the pieces. When one of us successfully removes a piece without toppling the tower, we have to check for an instruction on the back and do what it says!
Most of them are fill-in-the-blank type instructions, like “I love you because…” or “You’re really good at…”
Some are actions, like “Give me a kiss” or “Tell a funny joke!”
And I mayyy have left some blank at the time, because now that we’re married, we can add a few less PG options in there 😉
Time to Play:Depends on how careful you are!
Players: Unlimited (but if you make a romantic version, obviously stick to two!)
Price: $11.99 on Amazon
1. Exit: The Game
This is our absolute TOP favourite right now! What makes it unique is that it’s a game that can only be played once!
Exit: The Game was invented by a husband and wife team (which we LOVE!) and is basically an escape room in a box! The main goal is to collaborate to figure out mental puzzles that give you the codes to unlock doors and boxes that contain more clues. Once you figure out all the puzzles, you can unlock the door and get out!
While playing, sometimes you have to cut, tear, and write on pieces of the game in order to figure out the clues. This (combined with the fact that if you played again you’d already know the answers) is why you can only play it once!
The good thing is, there are now ten different versions of the game, so you can always buy another one if you loved the first one! We played the “Abandoned Cabin,” but there are versions such as “The Secret Lab” and “The Pharaoh’s Tomb” that we will absolutely try at some point! Bonus: it costs less than a real escape room for two, and you can play from the comfort of your own home!
Time to Play: 1-2 hours
Players: 2-6 (but we wouldn’t recommend playing with more than two!)
Price: $13.49 on Amazon
Thanks for reading!
We hope this inspires your next at-home date night! Let us know what games we should add to the list! And if you live in Miami, Florida and want to give one of these two-player board games a try before buying, just shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org! We love double dates 🙂
(All images in this post are from Amazon.)
March 14, 2020