Quality time spent with your loved one is always time well spent. Whether played over an after-dinner bottle of wine, or on a lazy Sunday afternoon, these games are great for two players, and like all good relationships, get better with age.
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1) Android: Netrunner
2 players ♠ 45 minutes ♠ Ages 14 & up
Information warfare in a dystopian future. When corporations have more power than governments, it’s up to intrepid hackers known as Netrunners to take down the corps.
Information is power, and nowhere is that more evident than in Netrunner. An asymmetrical card game where one player is the shadowy corporation and the other a resourceful hacker, each game of Netrunner is a tightrope of high tension where each player is convinced they are a moment away from losing the game.
As the corporation defends their servers from attack using powerful firewall software and the threat of private security goons, the runner must stay on their toes, deploying powerful hardware and customized hacking tools to expose the corp and find the truth. An incredibly deep two player card game, Netrunner can be played hundreds of times and still leave new ground to explore.
2) Battlelore: Second Edition
2 players ♠ 90 minutes ♠ Ages 14 & up
Two fantasy armies take to the field and you are their commanders. Control mystical creatures and legions of infantry; let arrows and spells fly through the air as you struggle for control.
Whether the noble alliance of the Daqan Lords or the horrendous demonic forces of the Uthuk Y’llan, Battlelore challenges your grasp of tactics and positioning as you send your forces to clash in titanic combat against your opponent. As your flanks crumble and numbers grow thin, how can you seize victory from the jaws of defeat?
Battlelore: Second Edition is based on the classic Command & Colors system that has underpinned games like Battle Line and Memoir ’44. Arguably the smoothest interpretation of these rules, Battlelore is packed with gorgeous miniatures and tactical depth to come to grips with. Take to the field!
3) Dale of Merchants
2-4 players ♠ 30 minutes ♠ Ages 10 & up
A game about adorable animal merchants competing to be the best purveyor of commerce in the city. Seriously, they’re very cute.
Dale of Merchants is a simple card game with incredible depth. Each game, players select a few animals to play with – from the helpful fennec foxes to the adaptable squirrels – and use their animal friend’s special abilities to buy more cards and acquire stock for their stall.
Dale of Merchants comes in two sets with different animals in each. The rules are identical, so you should choose the set with the animals you like the best: or else get both!
4) Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
2 players ♠ 30 minutes ♠ Ages 14 & up
Around $15 according to BoardGamePrices.com
The ring must reach Mount Doom, or the ringbearer must be found. Only then will the saga end.
Deceptively simple and incredibly deep, Confrontation takes the familiar characters from The Lord of the Rings and tasks you with maneuvering them against each other in hidden conflicts. Is that a defenseless hobbit moving towards your borders, or the mighty Aragorn?
A simple game that nevertheless gets deeper and richer each time you play, Lord of the Rings Confrontation is a wonderful choice for fans of Middle Earth.
2 players ♠ 30 minutes ♠ Ages 8 & up
Around $22 according to BoardGamePrices.com
There’s nothing quite like the joy of something well-made. Patchwork is a game about finding the pieces for a quilt and putting them together into something entirely your own.
Players compete for the tetris-shaped pieces of quilt fabric to add to their individual boards. Fight over valuable buttons and block your opponent from grabbing the shapes they need to patch the holes in their design.
A deceptively deep game with hidden joys, Patchwork is a game of small satisfactions and things being greater than the sum of their parts.
6) Shadowrun: Crossfire
1-4 players ♠ 60 minutes ♠ Ages 13 & up
A co-operative cyberpunk card game where everything is half a moment from falling apart.
Set in the universe of Shadowrun where elven hackers rub shoulders with orc samurai, Crossfire is a card game about taking on a high stakes crime job and getting out safe.
Powerful enemies require careful teamwork, and your character’s progress can be saved between games leading to incredible replayability as you level up over time to face the game’s more difficult challenges, including a dragon.
7) Star Wars: Rebellion
1-4 players ♠ 240 minutes ♠ Ages 14 & up
Take control of your destiny with the ultimate Star Wars board game experience: an epic game of galactic conquest and espionage.
Designed for 2 players, Star Wars Rebellion lets you live out tge original trilogy in full. From the ability to build Death Stars and take out planets to training up Luke as a Jedi, experience both sides of the epic conflict.
The object of the game is for the plucky rebels to stay hidden from the empire while gathering support for their Rebellion, while the Empire simply seeks to crush them under their planet-destroying lasers. Wield the power of the dark side or overcome evil – Rebellion is Star Wars in a box.
8) The Pursuit of Happiness
1 – 4 players ♠ 90 minutes ♠ Ages 12 & up
The Game Of Life for grown-ups. Follow your dreams, do good in the world and find the love of your life: this is the Pursuit of Happiness.
Manage stress (or burn twice as bright) , maintain your career (or live a life of luxurious excess), get married to the partner of your dreams (or don’t). The Pursuit of Happiness gives you one lifetime and asks you the great question: What do you want to do with it?
With its adorable art style and relatable theme, The Pursuit of Happiness is a game where you can find out just who you are, or at least, the kind of person you’d really like to be.