Gaming with Two

What’s your style?“Take that!” or “We did it!”

Games with two players can really run the gamut from intensely confrontational to some great cooperative adventures.

Although gaming in a group is fun, with two players most games move faster and can be a little bit more intense. We get a lot of gamers in the shop who already have some great games in their collection, but want something that plays well with just two.

Here are some of my favorites. They are all immensely replayable, and each of them also accommodates at least 4 players, so they are not only couples’ games.

Dominion is the game that created a whole new genre of “deck-building” card games. As you play, each player collects more and more cards, trying to have get the most victory points in their own deck. Dominion has been a staple for Jen & I for several years.

Seven Wonders is a great puzzle of a game. There are many ways to score as you try to build the most magnificent civilization, but each turn you can only add one piece to the puzzle.In a two-player game, you take turns controlling a phantom third player. We like to call him “Doofus,” and it’s especially fun trying to get Doofus to work against your opponent.

Carcasonne is a modern classic, but unlike the more famous Settlers of Catan, this one is great with two players. It’s easy to learn and simple to set up (we’ve played it on picnics). As you add tiles to the map, you try to grow your cities and roads to score the most points. Carcasonne also gave us the word “meeple” (short for my “people”).

Robinson Crusoe – Lots of cooperative games (like Pandemic) play well with two, but for the avid gamers this is a whole new kind of challenge. It’s a fiendishly tough survival game. You must plan your moves very carefully, since you will be battered by weather, hunger and predators as you try to survive a variety of shipwreck scenarios. It’s gorgeously produced, and very thematic.

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