Gaming for 2?


By Brian Snyder

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In these uncertain times, as social distancing becomes more prevalent, curfews are mandated, and more and more we get to spend time with those we are closest to, the inevitable is bound to happen.  We are going to get bored and want to occupy and entertain ourselves.  So, I figured what better time to discuss some of the amazing games out there for 2 players. 

So, if you are laying low and looking for something to do with your partner in the coming days or weeks, may I suggest that you mix up a batch of Quarantini’s and give one of these a try.

Before I get too far into it, I want to address the elephant in the room. Pandemic. Pandemic is an amazing game. It is incredibly popular for a reason and I have personally sunk countless hours into it without regret. I highly recommend it for anyone and it plays very well with 2 players. The game is for 2-4 players and plays in about half an hour. It is co-op, which I think may be a valuable trait if you are isolated with someone for the foreseeable future. It may; however; hit a little too close to home right now. The premise of the game is that viruses have broken out and are wreaking havoc across the globe. Your job is to stop them. You each assume the role of a different specialist and work together. Communication and strategy are key in order to succeed. The replay value is extremely high as well with plenty of randomness.

Patchwork is amazing. Seriously. I was really resistant to it at first, because the theme is… quilt crafting. Yep. The truth; however; is even more bizarre. Patchwork is an absolutely amazing and well done polymomino game. In short, you have to draft pieces of your quilt which vary in time and resources (buttons) to place. There are only two options for actions on your turn, but the game has a lot of depth for its simplicity. You can either move your token up past the other player and collect a payload of buttons, or you can pay buttons and time to draft and place a patch tile on your quilt. It is also an extremely easy game to learn. It is simple enough that a younger audience (recommended 8+) or a player that is not into heavier games can easily enjoy it. Patchwork has been on a lot of lists as a great board game, and will be a great way to kill some time.

This game has been around for a while and is immensely popular. If you are reading this and haven’t already played Ticket to Ride. Follow the link, order a copy, and welcome to board gaming! All kidding aside though, Ticket to Ride has everything you want in a fun way to kill time. It is competitive, but not too competitive. You focus on building Train Routes across North America, connecting cities. You score points for the routes that you place and for special mission cities you are tasked with connecting. You have choices to make. Do you connect smaller, quicker routes to put points in the bank easily, or do you go for longer complicated routes for a bigger payday. There are limited amounts of space on the board to place the routes, so it is definitely an option to block your opponent(s) from getting where they are trying to go. This game has layers and is a lot of fun. It is also pretty straightforward, easy to set up and fun to play. I personally consider it one of the founders of a new generation of board games and recommend it for anyone.

Ok, ok, this is turning into a “start your collection” post as much as it is a 2 player post. Dominion scales really well at two players. It is a deck building game that I personally love. It is also a great game to pick up as it can handle your friends coming over once we can all head out into the world again. Dominion is like the “grandad” of deck building games. It set the trend, and is still relevant enough to do it as well or better than any other deck building game out there. The replay value is high, and there are a ton of expansions available in case you decide you want to mix it up even more. 

The object of the game is to score the most points. Every player starts with a small hand of cards, and then draft cards from a pool into their deck. Cards come in the form of currency, actions and victory points and you are striving for a balance between currency and actions in the early stages. Then in the late stages of the game, everyone makes a mad rush to fill up their hand with victory point cards. Let a player develop for too long, you have problems. Start going for victory point cards too early, and you will bog down your draw.

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