Let’s face it, its not easy getting a group together sometimes. Getting those 4 or 5 players together can be a hassle, and sometimes even 3 is difficult, so theres only 2 of you for the game night. Or maybe you and the spouse just want a night in, or you’re going to the coffee shop with a friend, and you wanna bring a game. Well don’t worry, because I’ve got you covered. There are my top 5 2-player only games, so grab a friend and play through them all!
Longhorn feels like a mini version of Five Tribes, and it’s 2 player only and plays in about 15 minutes or less. Using mancala mechanics, you are trying to steal cattle and not get caught doing it. It has multiple end game triggers, where if you collect all the cows of one colour you win, or get caught with the sheriff token you lose. Otherwise, the games goes to end game scoring when no more moves are possible, and each cow is worth $100 for each cow left on the board, meaning if all the cows of one colour are gone, they are worthless! It’s super tactical, aggressive and has some luck, but it’s always fun and usually one you wanna play again right away.
Targi is another game I reviewed and while it has the longest playtime of any game on this list, that doesn’t make it any more complex or less accessible. Each player is a tribe of Tuareg people who are vying for resources and trying to expand your tribe. It has an amazing grid mechanic where you place your markers on the outside and then get the resources or cards where they intersect. If you love a solid worker placement game but there’s only 2 of you, then Targi is definitely one to hit up!
Ok, so you can tell by my reviews I love 2 player game, and Jaipur is another one I reviewed back in the day, and it’s one of the best card games ever made. It’s a simple set collection card drafting game, where you are merchants competing for selling goods. With a great restrictive hand management system, and you’re always trying to sell more of each goods so you get those bonus tiles. Highly addictive and easy to learn, this is my wife’s favourite for sure but it lands at number 3 for me.
The only game on the list I haven’t reviewed yet (one day!), it’s also the biggest on the table and the most intense! It’s also the only asymmetrical game (meaning the players each have special powers and objectives). One player is the raptors, the momma with the 5 babies and one player is the evil scientist who just want to steal the babies from mom (that’s my wife’s take on it anyways). The raptors objectives are to get 3 babies to escape, and the scientist objectives are to capture 3 babies (alive of course), and with 5 babies there can only be one winner! This is all done with amazing card play where you are trying to guess what your opponent is playing. One of my all time favourites, it’s a contender for #1… but the next game is so good it keeps this one on the outside looking in.
1) 7 Wonders Duel
Here we have it. When they took 7 Wonders and turned it into a 2 player game, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it surpassed the original and it’s become my favourite 2 player game of all time. It has the same feel, as you draft cards (from a great pyramid mechanic) over 3 ages, but if you’re not careful you can lose early by your opponent dominating you through military strength or through science (See? Science is powerful!) and you wont even get to count all your points. You can read my review of it here and see what all the fuss is about, but if you play 2 player games and haven’t played this one yet, what are you waiting for? Go out and get it now, and enjoy the best 2 player game ever made!
There you have it! There’s a lot of other great 2 player games (Patchwork, Lost Cities) and many others that play with more but are also amazing with 2. Did any of your favourites make the list, or did I miss some great ones? Sound off in the comments below!